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‘what I don’t like about public service’ Oyo Commissioner For Finance, Bimbo Adekambi

Bimbo Adekambi was a Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Abiola Ajimobi before his appointment as the State’s Commissioner for Finance. In this interview with Ayotunde Ayanda the financial expert traces his background, how he met Governor Ajimobi and what he doesn’t cherish about public service…
WHAT ARE THE THINGS YOU DON’T LIKE ABOUT PUBLIC SERVICE?
I think the rot in the country generally has been allowed to emit into the public service, the things I dont like is allowing the rot to affect the professionalism that should be in the public service. In Eastern African countries the Civil Service forms the core and the growth of these countries, the best brains in those countries, they line up to go into the civil service. In the UK and, America they call them the stars, in Malawi, Angola the best of the people, even in Zimbabwe as bad as that country is they have solid civil service.
 Nigeria is not devoid of people that are cerebral in the civil service, we have smart people, of course over the years the culture of mediocrity has been allowed to to take hold in Nigeria, you find out that it has eaten deep into the Civil Service. Those are the things I dont like.
 Civil Service sometime seems to have lost its focus and a lot of politicisation has come in and a lot of mediocrity has been allowed to take hold.
  You find out that in the early days there was a lot of kicking and biting to get people , there are lot of criticism and you ask why did that happen.I will tell you something ,people keep talking about corruption in Nigeria and corruption in the civil service ,I would rather say its incompetence that is the danger and the enemy of progress in Nigeria because if you are competent you don’t have to steal . Look at places like China they kill them for corruption all the time, things are happening because they are competent. Those are the things thatIi have issues with, we need to wrap up on that, the Governor has tried to have people thinking and kicking out of that primitive stage, like I earlier said it was part of the achievement, the paradigm shift, the change in orientation that has happened in oyo state.
THERE IS THIS BELIEF THAT MOST COMMISSIONER FOR FINANCE ARE RICH AND POWERFUL LIKE THE GOVERNOR, CAN WE SAY THAT ABOUT YOU?
The thing is this. the yorubas will say we dont count children for the mother, I guess you are asking if I consider myself rich, I will say I thank God for contentment, I’m happy where I am and I beleive God has been gracious and I appreciate Him. I have a pedigree and a track record that is verifiable, empirical in terms of what have you achieved in life? how have you achieved it? did you achieve it through structured means and clean ways? i belive if youve been a disciplined person and you have worked hard …as to the nigerian culture where people associate it that when you are in public service you are going to be stupendously rich because you can dip your hands into governemnt money, I dont fall into that category, I dont have that wealth. I accrue from lutocracy, that has been empirically proven the little time I spent in this office, I don’t think there have been any…people will say a lot of things about me but one of he things they cant say is that the guy has been stealing or corrupt. to that extent I’m happy where I am, am contented and I beleive that if you can work with your hands you will get the reward.The way I was brought up, my background especially in consulting is that if you apply yourself you will get benefits from where you apply yourself, if you apply yourself intellectually, emotionally, physically, spiritually you should get a reward for it, tha’ts my attitude to work.
IS IT TRUE YOU WERE INTRODUCED BY ASIWAJU BOLA TINUBU TO GOVERNOR AJIMOBI?
I’ve never met Asiwaju Bola Tinubu one-on-one in my entire life, I’m sure if he sees me he doesn’t know me. I’ve seen him at a distance when he came to Ibadan to commission the bridge and when he came for some political meetings but I’ve never exchanged a word with him, I guess there is a misconception somewhere. I have tremendous respect for him because of what he has achieved and what he represents. but I’ve never had the opportunity and the privilege to meet him, but I look forward to that.
YOU WERE ONCE THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT AS THE FINANCE COMMISSIONER, WHAT WERE THE QUALITIES THAT GOT YOU INTO THAT OFFICE?
It’s difficult to answer that question because you are at a risk of being think you are blowing your trumpet and also not to delve into the governor’s mindset as to what informed the decision. I will just quote from what the governor said in public that ‘perhaps this gentleman if you give him an assignment you can be sure that he will apply himself to it and get it done, no matter the difficulty’. I can only have guesses but i wont be accurate, the governor is the one marking the scripts and I think he is in the best position to explain why he put me in a position of responsibility.
YOUR OFFICE WITNESSED SOME TREMENDOUS CHANGES COMPARED TO YOUR PREDECESSORS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING DIFFERENTLY?
I will not talk about my predeecessors, I will take it in the context of my little time in the office. The most important thing i will say is when you apply apply yourself completely to the assignment given me as a commissioner for finanace, meaning i eat, drink, sleep this job, i take it personal . when something lands on my table i apply myself to it …to make sure that we give it the best shot as we can in oyo state and you know of course when you talk of SKE which in management means Skills, Knowledge and Experience we apply that as well. the background i bring in ive always been  in the world of  finance and accounting, so the skills and knowledge ive had in the past i brought in wholesaleto my job, even in the way i do my memos, the way i initiate my project, the way we implement the project, the way we monitor, the way we deplore…these things are from the backgound i have over several years in public sector, private sector , several sectors. i will tell you something at the risk of blowing one’s trumpet. the kind of roles that used to come my way are the roles where people. i will tell you a particular story, when i was in birmingham city council, i was in charge of their payment and all the single pennies they used to receive. about two weeks into the job i found out that what they advertised when i was taking the jobwas much more than what i met on ground, so i said this is not what we bargained for, we need to sit down and re-negotiate, you cant be paying me from driving a beetle and giving me the job of driving a trailer and they said they were not paying, i told them no problem them they should give me someone to handover to, in two hours the whole place went crazy, they eventually paid me more than i asked for. later i found out that six people had left that role. We are talking of Birmingham Coumcil which is the biggest Council in Europeand you are proposing a solution that will cover every single penny you receive, its only somebody who is on fire that can do that job, i discovered six people had left. What am saying in essence is that i apply myself to what i do and get the reward in return, im used to a culture that when you apply yourself the benefits come..
WHO IS BIMBO ADEKAMBI? ARE YOU TRULY AN AJEBUTTER?
Bimbo Adekambi is a passionate Nigerian, my root is from Ibadan and iam proud of it. i grew up here so when they say ajebutteri dont know what it is that the so called locals see themselves do that they can do better than I…is it in appreciation of culture, the language, respect for the people? I’m a passionate Nigerian, a son of Oyo state in Ibadan, a respecter of family, respecter of culture somebody who beleives in structure. The way I’ve been brought up is that, Barrack Obama said it too, if you build structures it makes it easier for you, you dont have to remember many things because the structure is there for you. Bimbo Adekambi is somebody who loves structure, who loves people,I am very passionate about people especially people that are under-privileged. the only thing that makes me different is that many of the time I like people to stand up for themselves, you have to give contribution then we can work together. why I believe in generosity , I have a large heart and I empathise a lot because I like people coming with targeted purpose, this is what I want you to assist me with, it makes it easy for me. I’m upfront, I’m very responsible and I’m somebody who will not run away when things fail. I am forward looking, I look at the possiblity of constantly making things better. The standard I use for myself are even more punishing than the standards that bosses or anyone can use for me. That is who I am in a nutshell.
YOU ONCE LIVED AND WORKED IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, WHAT INFORMED YOUR DECISION TO COME BACK HOME?
I think gov ajimobi was the major determinant of my coming back home.When I made acquintance with Governor Ajimobi was shortly after the 2007 election where he was robbed,  I met him and we sat down together, then I was working in a consulting firm, I asked him then, I said ‘sir, why is somebody like you in politics?’  I felt he doesn’t fit the stereotype , I was personally attracted to his person, his charisma, his brain. so when he won the election  he sent for me. Anytime he was around in London he would call me and say what are you doing, I would tell him I’m working and also chasing this qualification, he would be like you are always constantly chasing qualifications. so when he won the election he sent for me and said you are the kind of person I want around me, come and contribute. for me it was initially very tough becuse I was with Accenture then, it was an ambitious project which I really liked. I didnt communicate initially, eventually the governor said you have a lot to offer, you need to be here and one day I was at Accenture on Friday and on Monday I was in Ibadan, at the secretariat. that was my transition then. I later thought I believe in this man, I beleive in everything he represents and that was all.
CAN YOU LET US INTO YOUR BACKGROUND
I am not an ajebutter, i grew up in ibadan. my father is late now. he was Reverend Adekambi, he is a son of the soil, i dont know if you have heard about Omo Ajorosun, he was a founding member, so i dont know how much ajebutter you can get. My mum is one of the biggest people that used to sell stuffs in Bodija market, her shop is still there. when we were younger we used to go there to help out, I dont know how much of an ajebutter you can get in iso elelubo in Bodija market, even all the mamalojas know me very well. All the prominnent, established Ibadan people know my father. I grew up  here, we were at Apata, later we went to Iwo road and we later moved to Bodija and that is where my parent’s house is presently.
I went to Federal government college Okigbo, Imo state, I attended Oritamefa Baptist school, later OAU, I had all my qualifications around Accounting. I worked for years in Lagos, I worked in three banks. I was with Global Bank, then MBC Bank and then Liberty Bank, it was from Liberty Bank that I traveled out. I’m very strong in theme with my culture and traditional local bases , I’m very integral, people have been here from my local government today, we speak the same language. I think people just call me an ajebutter because it suits the way they want it and that works for me anyway. I like being underestimated, it gives you an advantage ..I dont mind.
WHEN CAN YOU CALL YOUR BEST DAY AS A COMMISSIONER?
I think that should be the day that we signed off the last arrears to make it clear that we had won the battle against what seemed like something that will not go away.
WHAT ABOUT THE CHALLENGES?
they are numerous, every MDAs belive their need is the most urgent , the challenges are trying to satisfy in a period where the resources are very little , it becomes more difficult.
YOU DON’T SOCIALIZE, IS THAT DELIBERATE?
I do socialize, but most of the time what i found out is that , im a very social person. i make friends easily and love hanging out with people but most of the time at times if you really apply yourself it looks as if the 24 hours are not enough to make a day. but many of the time when I have to I meet up my social commitment to family events, you can find me hanging out. I dont know whether I meet up to the standard expected but I think I will blame it all on the work that takes all my time. I do physical fitness, I like to run, I like lounges, I love gists, I enjoy the company of family, I like to read, I cook but I don’t have time for that again, I like to drive myself on long distances.

N605M Scam: EFCC DRAGS AJIMOBI’S IN-LAW, HERITAGE BANK BOSS TO COURT

It’s a persistent scandal that refused to die! In what led credence to months of denial and counter denial by the parties involved, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission today Wednesday 29th March, 2018 dragged the Managing Director of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo before the  Federal High Court in Lagos over an alleged fraud of N605,321,051.05.

 

It was alleged that the banker violated section 7(1) of the Bank employees laws of the Federation of Nigeria and is liable to be punished under the law.

 

Also joined in the charge sheet marked FHC/C/95C/18 is a son-in-law to the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, Kolapo Kola-Daisi.

 

The Commission alleged that Sekibo committed the crime as the Managing Director of Heritage Bank  when he acquired the sum of N180M beyond his legitimate income through Greame Properties Limited, a company he owns.

 

Other charges also read that the Bank Chief committed other financial misdemeanour in connivance with Mr Kolapo Kola Daisi.

 

Sekibo was alleged to have conspired with the Governor’s son-in-law to transfer a N300M proceeds of unlawful activityinto the accounts of Hiltrans Global Investment Limited when he knew that the fund was fraudulently withdrawn from the account of Heritage Bank in Access Bank plc.

 

Some months ago there was a report linking the Heritage bank, Oyo State Government and Kolapo Kola Daisi in a fraudulent financial case which the bank hurriedly dismissed.

 

The case in court today threw light on the financial misappropriation that links the Bank MD and the Governor’s son in-law.

 

It was revealed that when the EFCC first picked up Kolapo Kola Daisi, the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi called back his ex Commissioner of Finance who was holidaying in Dubai to come back home and defend the young man before he talks himself into problem.

 

The case was adjourned.

Gaso Boss, Gani Shonubi’s New Interest

Not many can claim to have seen the CEO of GASO Furniture, Gani Shonubi lately, not only at occasions, but his usual fun places.

The money man, who changed the face of modern entrepreneurship in Ibadan with his Gaso Furniture, a multimillion naira furniture company in the heart of the city has opened a new door different from the ones that gave him a name and stupendous riches.

Now, the Asiwaju of Ibadanland has become a big factor in Real Estate and Development in Europe.

His company has won the license to construct some buildings laced with the recent architectural designs in some cities in Europe.

Gani’s journey is now limited within the space of Madrid, Brussels, Lyon and Venice to supervise the work of his builders.

Like a man touched by the gods, Shonubi has been raking money from all his businesses. His Casa Lucio event centre remains the centre for the best events and shindigs in Oyo State.

Gov Fayose Escapes Death In Car Inferno (family alleges ‘it was a bomb attack)

There’s a new twist into the car accident survived by Ekiti State Governor, Peter Ayodele Fayose in Lagos some days ago as one of his brothers, Isaac alleged it was a bomb attack.

The Governor’s AMG Benz 2016 went up in flames and burnt beyond repairs along Oshodi expressway.

According to Isaac Fayose, the CEO of Anis Guards, he claimed ‘the accident was a bomb attack. My brother was in Lagos where he went to grant some interviews in a couple of radio stations, Jimi Agbaje came to meet him at one of the radio stations and they left together. On his way to the airport the Governor was in the car…a 2016 AMG for that matter! He noticed smoke was coming from the back of the seat and he jumped out and joined another car in the convoy, in a second the car went up in flames…it was a bomb attack, either spiritual or physical’.

The Governor’s spokesperson, Lere Olayinka confirmed the incident with claims that security operatives are working to determine the cause.

Isime Esene, managing editor of Y!/YNaija.com speaks at the London School of Economics Africa Summit

Isime Esene, managing editor of Y!/YNaija.com speaks at the London School of Economics Africa Summit

Managing Editor of Y! /YNaija.com, Isime Esene was a speaker at the LSE Africa Summit which held at the London School of Economics and Political Science from March 31 to April 1, 2017.

Themed ‘Built for Africa: African solutions to African issues’, the summit is a platform to engage and explore cutting-edge research and business trends across Africa’s rapidly changing socio-economic environment.

Esene who spoke on the topic, ‘Law and Development: Citizen-Led Accountability’ cited social media as a tool to mobilize people, provoke thought, and establish cultural and socio-political movements.

Chaired by lawyer and open governance activist, Lolan Sagoe-Moses, the discussion panel include research specialist for the International Budget Partnership (IBP), Andile Cele; assistant professor at Keele University and former Lord Kelvin/Adam Smith Scholar at the University of Glasgow, Awol Allo; and director of Lawyers for Justice in Libya, Elham Saudi.

A research paper was also presented on ‘Local Media Monitoring of Mozambique’ by Joseph Hanlon, a visiting Senior Fellow at the Department of International Development of the London School of Economics and visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Open University, Milton Keynes, England.

Powered by Red Media Africa as official media partners, the Summit is organized to highlight African solutions to pressing issues facing the continent.

Protest, Anger Trail Mass Sack At OAGF

No fewer than 71 accounting Officers, employees of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF),who were recently disengaged by the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC), have petitioned, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, Accountant General of the Federation, (AGF) and Joan Ayo, Chairman the FCSC, over what they termed unjust termination of appointment.
They alleged that for no just cause, the appointment letters they were offered in 2014 after undergoing interview, screening and documentation, were suddenly withdrawn in 2016 without cogent reasons.
They averred that their engagement followed laid down civil service rules and regulations and therefore were at loss of what led to the termination of their appointment after waiting for two years to be posted to offices across the country.
They also alleged that while some who have people in government were retained and posted, they were shown the exit door for reasons unknown to them.
They asserted that the way they were treated was “malicious, insensitive and the height of injustice”
According to them, “this petition relates to issues which involve sizeable number of Nigerians whose careers are being put at stake through malicious actions of the two officers of FCSC and AGF”

Revealed! Why Robert Mbonu Quit Heritage Bank (how he was eased out to please Ifie Sekibo)

It is an open yet closely guarded secret in Heritage Bank today that Robert, a brilliant banker, and Executive Director in charge of Enterprise Management Group was surreptitiously eased out of the bank’s management. Though no official reason has been given for Mbonu’s dismissal, sources close to the bank alleged that it might not be unconnected with a power tussle between him and the bank’s Managing Director (MD), Ifie Sekibo.

A former MD of the Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria, owned by the illustrious Saraki family, Mbonu was arrested in 2013 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2013 for his involvement in the pillaging of the bank’s vault. The SGBN later metamorphosed into Heritage Bank where Mbonu was placed below Sekibo. The centre never held between the duo as Sekibo persistently felt threatened by Mbonu’s brilliance and competency at his job.

The embers of discord were further stoked between the two when Heritage Bank acquired Enterprise Bank. Mbonu allegedly believed that, being a tested and trusted turn-around expert, he would be given the responsibility of integrating the moribund bank into the Heritage Banking Company Limited. Alas, that was not to be. Yet, his competence and prolificacy are not in doubt – a fact attested to by the bank on its website. Mbonu was allegedly paid off by the bank.

There is no doubt Mbonu is an astute numbers man and a seasoned Banker. He took charge and led the team that restructured the former Societe Generale Bank Nig. leading up to the bank’s acquisition by IEI Investments Limited. “Robb” as he is fondly called by friends and associates, headed the Enterprise Management Group of Heritage Bank until he was craftily dismissed as a result of high-wired boardroom politics.

After been shown the exit door at Heritage Bank, an act insiders of the back referred to as an act of betrayer, he relocated abroad for study only to come back in the country to open an Arts Gallery.