Tunde Imolehin: Round peg in round hole

The appointment of Architect Akintunde Babatope Imolehin as the Senior Special Adviser on Environment & Waste Management to the Honourable Minister of the Federal Capital Territory should be likened to fitting a square peg to a square hole.

Coming at a time when there are general reservations about the outlook of the nation’s capital city, the appointment of a tested and renowned Architect and Environmentalist is a welcome development.

Architect Tunde Imolehin has, over the years, resourcefully pursued his passion and vocation with the sole purpose of making positive contributions to the society, and building a smart city that will be in harmony with the Nigerian environment, and the earth in general.

Some of his professional contributions to ensuring that man becomes a good friend to the ecosystem made him ‘birth’ and participate in programmes not limited to the following: Member, Clean Up the Niger Delta (2000); Member, Technical Committee, Great Green Wall; Co- Midwifed the Private Sector Programme (PSP) in Waste Management in Lagos.

Convener, Save the Bar beach, Lagos- 2002; Publisher, GREEN IT Magazine- Launched by Governor Babatunde Fashola in South Africa during the ‘World Earth Summit’-2002, Consultant to the Federal Ministry of Environment; Started the first TV programme on the Environment in Nigeria; Special Adviser/Consultant to the Minister of Housing & Urban Development (Dr. Olusegun Mimiko – 2005); Special Adviser/Consultant to the Minister of Power (Dr. Lanre Babalola – 2008); Promoter, Abuja Business Forum and many more.

As a brand that beats the hurdle, and only sees opportunities to proffer solutions where others see problems, Tunde Imolehin has earned leadership positions and awards for excellence in different sectors. Some of these recognitions are: President, OAU JAYCEES 1990; The Outstanding Young Person Award (TOYP)-Junior Chamber International (JCI) 1996; Pioneer Award for Environmental Excellence (by Nigerian Federal Environmental Protection Agency) (FEPA) 1999; Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) awards for Environmental Excellence, to name a few.

Being a man with many passionate interests driven by the quest for positive change and national development, Tunde Imolehin ventured into politics to contribute his quota towards influencing policies that will better the lives of the people. He offered himself and served in many roles in the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the National, State and local government levels.

He had also been a Member, Governor-Elect- Bola Ahmed Tinubu Transition Council/Work Group 1999; Member, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) 2012; Member, All Progressives Congress (APC), 2014. Member, APC Presidential Campaign Council (2015 & 2019).

Tunde Imolehin is often referred to as Mr. Change and Mr. Environment by admirers and friends and most of them have always considered him a big asset to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He has also created a functional niche for himself in the Media World, which became tools for disseminating development-oriented worldviews, being an Ambassador of CHANGE.

He is the CEO of Forms and Spaces Limited, Greenmatters International, Promoters of Change Media, Change TV & Green TV, and Inside Abuja Magazine and Television series.

Imolehin is a renowned Nigerian Architect and Environmentalist. He is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), member of the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON)- the regulatory organ for Architectural practice in Nigeria and Fellow, International Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD), fallout of a two-year international scholarship programme on Environmental Management and leadership sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation.

His educational journey began at the Ondo State Polytechnic (now Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo) where he did only one year (ND 1 in ARCHITECTURE) from 1982-1983 before he proceeded to the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, where he bagged a Bachelor of Science, (BSc. Hons.) in Architecture and a Masters degree in the same Architecture.

His professional work experience began with his mandatory one-year National Youth Service (NYSC) with Omokhodion Associates/Tropical Publications Limited-) 1991 to 1992.

He was engaged in 1993 by the Punch Newspapers Nigeria Limited as a Consultant/Editor (Property & Environment Desk), where he set up the property and environment desk and cut his teeth in the Noble media profession.

Between 1993 and 1999, Imolehin worked as an Architect with Designlines Consultants. In 1999, he worked at the Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund (PTF) as Director, Community Education Programme for the entire Southwest.

Imolehin, a native of IPELE, was born in the early sixties to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Imolehin in Owo, Ondo State, Southwest Nigeria and began his early education at St. Andrew’s Anglican Primary School, Owo from 1970 to 1975 where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate.

He obtained his West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) and General Certificate Examination (GCE) from the famous Aionian school, Imade College, Owo.

Imolehin is a great thinker, achiever, visionary and patriotic Nigerian and a global citizen of note and this makes expectations high as he assumes office in a job which he is well cut out for.

It is the recognition of his value and worth as a chartered Architect, notable and celebrated environmentalist, popular change advocate and accomplished media/development communication specialist that he was honoured on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, by President Muhammadu Buhari administration with the position of Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Honourable Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello on Environment and Waste Management.

His love and knowledge of Abuja is well- documented through his contributions to the media, business development and community education in the FCT.

Expectedly, his appointment has been generating a lot of positive reactions from not a few across the country. Writing on Facebook, Emeka Oparah, Vice President, Airtel Nigeria said: Congratulations, Bro Truly well-deserved. At last one damn good round peg in a round hole. We will be looking out for you and also looking at you-our own person. God be with you! Also contributing, Edward Adebanjo, top PR practitioner, remarked: Congratulations. Round peg in a round hole. Praying for God’s guidance and for outstanding success! Ben Onoh, an admirer and academician had this to say of Imolehin: I learnt all I know about the Environment through Tunde’s popular TV programme on AIT. In fact I make bold to say that Tunde Imolehin taught me how to bag and sort my waste.

In his own submission, Biodun Omolayo, owner of the popular Biodun Omolayo Arts Gallery had this to say of Tunde Imolehin: CONGRATULATIONS, my dear friend & brother, Architect Akintunde Imolehin on your new appointment to serve and do publicly what you have been doing consistently privately for the environment over the years!

You’ve got the requisite trainings and skills needed to perform, you designed and produced programs on television (on AIT & others) for the environment & allied matters.

Those of us who know you closely know that this new assignment is not up to a match for your skill, ideas and creativity! It is just a step to a higher assignment and calling soon! Nevertheless, we are supporting you with our prayers, and we will be your advisers and supporters at large! By the special grace of the Lord Almighty you will succeed and deliver excellently in this new public assignment. To say that we are proud of you is to say it modestly! All the best Honourable GODOBA!

In his own comment, High Chief Joseph Adekolu, a financial consultant said: I salute the Honorable Minister for FCT for bringing you on board, Egbon. This is your very familiar terrain and He is about seeing why the right person MUST be appointed into positions. Congratulating Tunde, Mr. Agbonsuremi Augustine Okhiria, a veteran journalist said: Congratulations. You have stayed faithful, committed and patiently.

In a country where many still see politics as a dirty game, the incursion of professionals and progressives like Tunde Imolehin has given not a few a ray of hope in the polity. “Tunde Imolehin is one professional in politics that is worthy of emulation. He is able, visionary, consistent, principled and dogged. His passion for change is amazing. Even when Change was not fashionable, Tunde founded The Change Nigeria Vision Project in the 90s to promote positive change and sustainable development in the polity. Little did he know that many years later, he would be a key player in a government of change in the country. This appointment has been long in coming. He deserves more but we appreciate the Minister’s recognition which we see as a stepping stone and spring board for this very gifted and loyal party man and progressive professional in politics, said Dele Fulani, a progressive and political associate.

Expectations are high as he assumes office this week. He is coming into office when there are severe challenges of waste management in the nation’s capital. For a seasoned Architect, Environmentalist and renowned development expert, these problems are not unsurmountable. In Tunde Imolehin, the FCT Minister has identified a very competent and unbiased adviser, nationalist, patriot, and a loyal politician: a workaholic with vision for green economy and sustainable development. I hope he would be given the room to bring about the needed professional touch needed in government especially in the sensitive area of environment, sanitation, waste management and sustainable development.

Writing on his Facebook Wall last week, the appointee gave an insight into what to expect in the FCT in the days and months to come: “the people need to own and protect the environment sustainably.

We shall pursue an effortless and seamless ownership and sustenance of this very important sector. The people do not have to be forced or coerced to clean and preserve their environment anywhere let alone in the FCT, the window to our dear nation.

If the people can struggle and willingly provide for their consumption, they should also make adequate and equal provision for their waste and take responsibility for same.

The sector is an important and veritable avenue to increase IGR in the face of dwindling resources and creative and innovative ways will be adopted to achieve this.

Private Sector investment in the waste sector is key as government is already overburdened with several challenges. We shall explore the provisions in the newly signed Climate Change bill by Mr President and apply same responsibly and pragmatically in the FCT. We shall provide and explore new insights and opportunities for the Environment in the FCT.

As the custodians of the nation’s capital, we shall set the pace in nature conservation and sustainability in the country and even beyond the shores of Nigeria.

We hope to be the destination through which the world measures the environmental sustainability of the continent. And much more. Luckily for me, I will be working under a well- established foundation of integrity in public service in the FCT and that makes it easy for me to work without too much bureaucratic bottlenecks.

The Honourable Minister’s passion, love and vision for nature and the environment (clean and smart city) is also a plus for me as a technocrat and professional in politics. It’s indeed a massive opportunity to serve the country”

As an advocate, Imolehin is expected to pursue an advocacy-driven environment and waste management in the FCT. Open defecation, illegal disposal of solid waste, etc are offences that require adequate attitudinal change and enforcement strategies. With his vast experience and contacts here and abroad, Imolehin is expected to help the Minister achieve his private sector participation/investment in the environment particularly on waste management.

Abuja is replete with various abuse of environmental standards that will require the urgent attention of the FCT Minister. Given the professional background and track record of the new Ministerial adviser as a renowned architect, environmental and change advocate and activist, the Abuja community should brace up for very proactive interventions, lasting and enduring reforms.

A widely travelled man, Imolehin is happily married to his lovely spouse, Oluwabunmi and the union is blessed with children.

Subscribe to our youtube channel


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.