A senator is usually elected to represent and protect the interest of his constituents and senatorial district at the national level. He or she does this through his activities on law making, oversight and representation. However, few senators go beyond this definitive mandate to impact on and make a positive difference on issues that have national implications using their unique expertise and commitment to service. The result of such contributes in no small measures to policy making and good governance.
One of such senators in the 9th Senate is Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, a fellow of Institute of Chartered Accountants(ICAN) and Chartered Taxation Institute, whose chairmanship of the critical Senate Committee of Finance over the last three years has championed and contributed to advancing the national interest in the unique area of “national cake baking” as opposed the derogatory “national cake sharing”. His role as chairman of that committee and the manner he has discharged his responsibility contributed to national development in unprecedented manner with effects of such still ongoing.
As the chairman of Senate Committee on Finance he fully contributed and was instrumental to the passage of three critical and unprecedented Executive Bills namely, the Finance Acts 2019, 2020 and 2021. The laws, individually, amended about 12 existing financial legislations that were either outdated or anti-people. The various acts were targeted not only at generating increased revenues (cake baking) for government to execute projects and render services but also targeted at protecting the less privilege across the nation using the instrument of discriminatory charges for the rich and poor. These laws form a major aspect of funding the three Appropriation Acts of 2020, 2021 and now 2022 beyond revenue from the usual crude oil earnings. From all indications the laws are regarded as revolutionary as well as reformist in nature as they positively reform some of the nation’s financial legislations as well as bring such legislations to modern global standard.
But beyond these rigorous law-making interventions involving public hearings, presentation of reports and eventual passage and assent, Senator Adeola oversighted all revenue generating agencies of the nation in a way never attempted before until his chairmanship of the Finance Committee of the Senate. Using the instrumentality of provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007, the Lagos West Senatorial District senator and his committee started an investigation of “Remittances of IGR by Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) and Payment of 1% Stamp Duties on all Government Contracts since 2015”
The investigations revealed that virtually all MDAs have fallen short of the law in remittances of revenue generated to the coffers of government and indeed most expend government funds unlawfully through what amounts to frivolous expenditures or just sit on government money in various bank accounts when such funds are needed for appropriation and use by government for needed projects and services. As chairman of Senate Finance Committee, head of such MDAs were made to do the right thing and refund the money to government coffers evidenced with treasury receipts from the Accountant General of the Federation’s office. To the senator’s credit, the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation received inflow to the tunes of billions of naira in a short while as acknowledged by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed during one of her appearances before the committee. So far only about a quarter of all MDAs have been scrutinized.
The same feat was recorded on the issue of 1% Stamp Duty on all contracts remittances for Federal Inland Revenue Service. Contractors generally do not pay these dues to government and the MDAs that awards the contracts negligently turns a blind eye. Senator Adeola in effort to source for fund for funding challenges facing the nation would not have this flagrant breach of laws costing the nations millions of naira. MDAs were directed to recover these funds from their contractors or risk the amount being deducted from their future appropriations. Expectedly, this also turned in millions of naira for government for the few MDAs investigated so far. These investigations are still ongoing and a new one is in the offing in form of foreign shipping companies lifting our crude oil without paying taxes. The focus of Senator Adeola is on how government can get funds and stop borrowing to fund needed social and physical infrastructural projects across the nation.
In the three years that had elapsed in the 9th Senate, Senator Adeola sponsored and successfully introduced 14 Bills. Three of the bills have been successfully passed by the 9th Senate, one has passed Second Reading for public hearing while 10 have undergone first reading or in the process of listing for first reading in the crowded legislative time table of the Senate. The passed bills are “A Bill to Provide for the Establishment of Federal University of Technology, Yaba and other matters, 2020” (SB.85), “A Bill to Provide for the Establishment of the Federal University of Technology, Ilaro (Est, etc), 2019” (SB. 84) and “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of Nigeria French Language Village as an Inter University Centre for French Studies and other matters Connected therewith, 2020” (SB.483), These passed bills as well as those in the remaining in process of passage dwells on educational, constitutional and institutional development as well as human rights issues in Nigeria. There is expectation that the three passed bills will be enacted into laws with concurrence of the House of Representatives and assent by the President before the end of the 9th Senate. Equally the NDCC Amendment bill by Senator Adeola that has passed Second reading will be passed to rightly include Lagos and other similar states like Ogun, Kogi and Bauchi as oil producing states. All these activities of the senator are of national importance and not just for his constituents and senatorial district. These feats are the trademark of Senator Adeola in the 8th Senate and the 7th House of Representatives as well as his two- term stint at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Working for the nation has however not precluded the senator from overwhelmingly impacting on his constituents and senatorial district. In the area of provision of portable water, he facilitated 6 major water works in form of solar powered boreholes and water treatment plants in six (6) LGAs namely; Ikeja, Ifako-Ijaiye, Agege, Oshodi-Isolo, Mushin and Alimosho in 2020. These self- sustaining water projects are located in population centres in the LGAs like markets and densely populated residential areas. He also personally constructed at least a normal borehole in each of the 28 LCDAs and similar number of public toilets spread across the senatorial district. Under the 2021 Budget he facilitated the construction of another 60 solarized boreholes across LGAs and LCDAs of Lagos West Senatorial District making a total of 94 of such water outlets.
Developing human resources in his district got serious attention from the senator as he facilitated the training of over 1000 of constituents in rural riverine communities of Lagos West in different aspects of Fish Production, Business, Feed Making and boat operation over a period of months. Each trained and certificated participant in a programme of “teach a man to fish” were equipped and giving grants to commence business. In addition, he facilitated the training of at least 8000 constituents in vocations such phone repairs, hair dressing, make up artistry, soap/detergent making and sanitizer making skills and entrepreneurship development with participants receiving start up equipment and cash grants. Market men and women are also included in the grants in his programme tagged “Okowo Yayi” meant to assist in shop rent payments and purchase of more stock to boost their trades. Similarly, he facilitated ICT Training for about 1000 unemployed graduates that were certificated internationally at the end of their training in Azure (Cloud Computing), Power BI (Data Analysis), Basic and Advance Excel (Data Analysis), Digital Marketing and Graphic Designs. Each of the participant got a modern laptop for their practice. Hopefully, the training and certification will exit them from the unemployment market as these skills are in high demand in the ICT sector locally and internationally.
Similarly, with the realization that many teachers were not online/ICT compliant Senator Adeola facilitated a one-week training for teachers in the state where the rudiment of online teaching were taught to over 147 teachers with due certification. To complement this, he donated two (2) HP Computer laptops to the school authorities of 36 selected schools for the purpose of assisting in online teaching. Equally, he empowered 60 selected best students from secondary schools in Lagos West Senatorial District with computer laptops to encourage excellence.
For constituents desirous of establishment in the booming business of logistic and delivery, he gave out 185 motorcycles to constituents in each ward in the district in 2020. In 2021 he also empowered selected constituents with Block Molding Machines, Refrigerators, Sewing Machines, Grinding Machines, Hair Dryers, Clipper Sterilizers and Generators, Deep Freezers, Tricycles (Keke Napeps) and Vulcanizing Machines, a feat that was repeated at his 2022 edition of the empowerment programme, with the donation of all the above items and more like mini buses(Korope), ambulances, security vehicles and welding machines.
To address deficiencies in power supply the senator facilitated the procurement and installation of 28 units of 500 KVA Transformers which were distributed to communities across the 10 LGAs and LCDAs of the senatorial district. Similarly, he facilitated the provision of 180 poles solar panel street lights which were distributed to 20 major streets in Ojo, Badagry, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Amuwo-Odofin, Ikeja, Alimosho, Mushin, Ifako Ijaiye, Oshodi-Isolo and Agege LGAs in 2020. In 2021, the distributed transformers were installed while he equally facilitated at least additional 800 poles solar panel street light spread across Lagos West Senatorial District.
On provision of educational infrastructure, the senator facilitated the supply of 750 prefabricated chairs and desks for 13 public nursery and primary schools spread across Lagos West at Ojo, Badagry, Oshodi-Isolo, Mushin and Alimosho. Furthermore, he facilitated the construction and installation of a multi-million-naira Information, Communication and Technology(ICT) centres in two public secondary schools in the district namely Ikotun Senior High School, Ikotun and Muslim College, Egbe. This brings the number of such centres that he facilitated to six as four of such were done by him in the 8th Senate. He also facilitated the construction of state of art Public Library at Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin, Lagos
Still on educational front, Senator Adeola facilitated the construction of 10 Block of Classroom spread across the three Educational Districts of Lagos West. He distributed educational materials in form of 15,000 textbooks in Mathematics and English Language for selected schools across the senatorial district for JSS1-JSS3 as well as exercise books, modern writing boards, school bags and other learning aids.
Again in 2021, in complementing the effort of State and Local Government authorities in the provision of health care for the citizens, he facilitated the supply of fully 10 Ambulances to be distributed to 10 General Hospitals as well as 10 Child Incubators. Furthermore, 17 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) were renovated while three new ones were constructed across the senatorial district. All the PHCs and General Hospitals also received medical equipment and drugs worth over N50 million needed for effective operations over time.
To assist the state government in the provision of security, Senator Adeola facilitated the supply of 8 Hilux SUVs for the Nigeria Police Force with the donation of one each to the 7 Police Area Commands in Lagos West senatorial district and one to the State Police Headquarters.
As part of my alleviating suffering and inconveniences of constituents and others visiting or transiting through our district, the senator facilitated the construction and rehabilitation of 15 inner and rural roads, drainages and culverts with asphaltic finishing. Among them are: 1. Apata Street, Alfa Nla, 2. Ireakari/Fagbile Street, Off Kayode Street, Onipanu, Mushin LGA, 3. Alakija – Navy Town Road, Amuwo Odofin LGA, 4. Oritshe Street, Ikeja LGA, 5. Dotun Adewale Street, Off Dayo Olowo Alimosho LGA, 6. Oko Afa- Ilogbo Road, Olorunda, Badagry LGA, 7. Temidire Road, Mosalasi Bus Stop, Alagbado, Alimosho LGA, 8. Olowologbon Street, Akowonjo, Alimosho LGA, 9. Vespa Market Road, Ijanikin, Ojo 10. Ifelodun / Tanimola Street, Ilasamaja, Oshodi- Isolo LGA, 11. Muyibi Street Ajegunle, Ajeromi Ifelodun LGA, and, 12. Shodipo Street, Olusosun, Off Kudirat Abiola Road Behind Phillips, Ikeja among others.
To boost market infrastructure and commercial activities in the Badagry Division of the senatorial district, Senator Adeola facilitated the construction of 80 Lock up/open roof market stalls in Apa Town, in Badagry. This facility is already in use by constituents. The senator also facilitated employment in Federal Agencies to no less than 30 constituents, ensured that over 100 constituents benefitted from CBN loans to cushion effects of the impact of COVID-19 on businesses from sums ranging from N250,000 to N5million as well as ensured that thousands of constituents benefited from the Special Works Programme of the Ministry of Labour and Productivity with a special payment of N60,000 per participants late last year. All these were only for the 9th Senate. Similar feat has been associated with him in all his legislative career spanning almost 20 years from the State legislature through to the House of Representatives and now the Senate.
For the young man born some 53 years ago without a silver spoon or indeed any spoon, not many would have imagined the man Adeola making it this far in the affairs of our nation as a legislator par excellence having transverse all levels of legislative hierarchy in Nigeria. But he did and is poised to still render service to the people and nation. His meteoric rise as a technocrat politician winning five elections at state and federal levels consecutively apparently marked him out as a peoples’ politician.
Born on August 10, 1969 at Lagos Island Maternity Hospital, Lagos State to family of Mr. Ayinde Adeola Ogunleye and Madam Abeeni Olasunbo Ogunleye (nee Akinola), Yayi began his education at the State Primary School, Alimosho in Lagos State. On the successful completion of his primary education, he proceeded to Community Grammar School, Akowonjo, Lagos for his secondary education. His quest for educational advancement in life took him to the prestigious Ondo State Polytechnic, Owo now Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo state where he bagged the Higher National Diploma (HND) in Accounting. Adeola became a Chartered Accountant at a relatively young age. As well as being a fellow of ICAN and CTI, he is also a member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).
Adeola working experience in both private and public sector finance started in “The Guardian Newspapers Limited”, where he put in almost 12 years of meritorious accounting service and rose to the position of Accountant. He resigned from “The Guardian” and proceeded to Olatunji Omoyeni &Co where he led the audit team for several years and was later promoted to the position of a Senior Auditor. Adeola later established his own company, Sootem Nigeria Limited, where he was the managing director and chief executive officer until his foray to serve the public through partisan politics.
At the Lagos Assembly where he was from 2003-2011, he was appointed the Chairman of Finance Committee and Joint Chairman of Appropriation Committee, where he was instrumental to the enactment of the law that strengthened the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service. The legislative reforms laid the foundation that catapulted the revenue of the state from a paltry N5billion monthly to about N50billion presently! And in all his years as a legislator, Adeola set the standard for effective representation that saw his repeated re-elections. He is noted for his numerous personal and constituency projects with a few examples as revealed above. The people of Alimosho and indeed now Lagos West can never forget his developmental initiatives in a hurry.
As a member of the House of Representatives, he was selected as the chairman of the only constitutional committee of the House, the Public Accounts Committee. It was a feat that he got this important post usually reserved for ranking members as a first-time member of the House. Indeed, his outstanding performance as a legislator over the years in Lagos State and nationally was responsible for a movement in Ogun State calling for his home coming to contribute to the upliftment of his people. Graciously, he has now been elected as the APC candidate for Ogun West Senatorial District in 2023 election
Adeola, a Christian, is a believer in religious freedom for all faiths. The great philanthropist is happily married to Mrs. Temitope Adeola and the union is blessed with children.
At the age of 53 years, 19 served as a legislator at state and Federal level and still counting, Adeola is setting a worthy record of an experienced legislator par excellence and look set for more service to his people in Ogun West, Ogun state and indeed the nation.