By John Mayaki
You won’t find many politicians who better embody the values of Lagos, Nigeria’s center of excellence, than Hon. James Faleke. The member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives is a living personification of the bold idea that propelled Lagos to enviable heights in the country and across the continent. The idea of an open and welcoming space where hard work is rewarded by limitless success – and men are allowed to make their own destinies.
Born and raised in Kogi State, Hon. James Faleke arrived Lagos like many before him but soon distinguished himself and rose to political and leadership prominence with uncommon diligence, ingenuity, and leadership creativity.
His journey to the House of Representatives, where he bears an added responsibility as the Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, began with an appointment in 2003 as the pioneer Executive Secretary of the newly-formed Ojodu Local Development Council Area (LCDA).
The LCDA creation was a brave move on the part of Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. It sparked a tiff with a hesitant and belligerent Obasanjo-led Federal Government and the end result was a crucial legal victory for the state. This victory not only redefined Nigeria’s federalism, it also marked an intelligible starting point of the transformation of Lagos into a self-sustaining entity. As one of the pioneer Executives that helped implement Asiwaju’s vision, Hon. James Faleke contributed in no small measure to the successful pivot.
His tenure as the Chairman of the Ojodu LCDA heralded unprecedented growth and increased the acceptance of the new arrangement – in spite of the threats and scaremongering from the opposing Federal Government. Through sensible public policies and smart resource management – a quality he has consistently displayed – Hon. Faleke improved infrastructure, expanded trade, and brought government presence to several communities within the Ojodu LCDA.
In no time, he became a beloved political figure and it was no surprise when in 2011, he was elected to the Federal House of Representatives to represent the Ikeja Federal Constituency. He has yet delivered on the job too, emerging as one of Nigeria’s finest lawmakers of his time.
The evidence of his success is in abundance. From ‘Korope Faleke’ – mini-buses with which Hon. Faleke tackled the twin-challenge of youth unemployment and transport access problems, particularly in the interiors of the constituency – to the facilitation of empowerment schemes and programs where constituents are equipped with skills in various professions and offered take-off capital, he has brought relief to the people and offered them a sure pathway to sustainable success and goal fulfillment.
Keenly aware of the bustling youth demography of his constituency, and intent on ensuring that it keeps its technological edge in the country, Hon. Faleke has encouraged continuous tech innovation with the sponsorship of tech training programs in collaborations with globally acclaimed outfits and the distribution of required gadgets such as laptops and internet modems to promising candidates and students.
Earlier this month, at a ceremony attended by eminent and influential figures, and from a pool of political heavyweights, Hon. James Faleke was awarded the ‘Iconic Man of the Year’ by the respected National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP) – one of several awards to honor his contributions to the progress of his constituency and the nation.
Hon. Faleke’s emergence as the Chairman of the House Committee on Finance was informed by the respect he commands amongst his colleagues, many of whom he has worked with to draft and secure passage of crucial Bills that earned plaudits from stakeholders and the Nigerian public. His reputation in the House as an exceptionally brilliant lawmaker with an eye for detail stemmed from the meticulous nature he conducts his legislative business. His mind for numbers and scrutiny stands him out as one of the best Bill drafters that have had the pleasure of representing his people in the House.
Hon. James Faleke is a man of many parts and his story adds to the fame and admiration of Lagos as the shining city on the hill where dreams come true.