The current Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola has been speculated as one of the current cabinet members that will make President Muhammadu Buhari’s NextLevel cabinet.
Though the president upon his return to Abuja after a 10-day private visit to London told reporters that he won’t reveal names of those that will make his NextLevel cabinet.
If the power shift comes to the South West in 2023 as it’s been speculated, Fashola, a former Lagos State governor, has been listed as one of those who may get the endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari.
That will be tough though considering the fact the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is rumoured to be looking forward as a possible successor to his boss.
Controversy with Tinubu:
Towards the end of his first term, it was rumoured that things fell apart between him and Tinubu, this started in December 2009.
It is believed that there was a dispute over Fashola’s 2.1 billion Naira worth of commission with the former governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, although both Fashola and the Lagos State House of Assembly had earlier denied such plot ever took place.
But in late January 2010, the Lagos State House of Assembly launched an investigation into possible mishandling of taxpayers’ money by Fashola, mainly on the ongoing megacity project.
The accusations range from importing of palm trees from Niger, for gardening projects within a rain forest state, to improper usage of contract money involving one of Lagos State’s contractors.
The group carrying out the investigation was known as the “True Face of Lagos”. The final reports were due to be submitted on 15 February 2010, but the True Face of Lagos was later abolished. There were attempts to re-launch the probes through a petition, but they were again being turned down by the court.
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the time finally ended months of speculation over the second term ambition of the Fashola, when it endorsed him as the party’s sole candidate for the 2011 governorship election.
Upon completing his second term he was appointed to head of the largest ministry under the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Controversial statement about power supply
Fashola is also known to have made some controversial statements. One of such is on power when he allegedly said a serious government should be able to fix power with six months.
He later denied the statement when his party won the 2015 election and was put in charge of the ministry that will make that possible.
“There is a danger that very soon, we will miss the lesson we have learnt over the years. This is because if a government makes a public commitment, the government must fulfil that promise. Electricity was not discovered yesterday, it is over 100 years old and no excuses will be acceptable from the federal government for not providing electricity.
“We are the only nation that has oil and gas and no electricity to its citizens. Angola and Gabon don’t have the kind of oil we have. There are many countries that do not produce oil and they enjoy electricity. Very soon we will make a choice on the next set of leaders and this will be done through the ballot papers,” he was quoted as saying by PM in November 2014.
Above all, Fashola remains a reference point in 21st century Governance as a result of sterling performance as Lagos State governor between 2007 to 2015.
He was the National Coordinator of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) Situation Room in Abuja.
Here are the 10 facts about the man who is on top of the list candidates likely to become Nigerian President in 2023.
1) Since his undergraduate days at the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Edo State, Babatunde Fashola was one of the best students in his set. He continued the feat by becoming the second law graduate from UNIBEN to be conferred with the professional rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
2) During the tenure of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the governor of Lagos State, Fashola was appointed Chief of Staff as well as the Commissioner to the Governor’s office, becoming the first person to hold both offices simultaneously.
3) He’s one of the few people on the continent in 2010 to raise fund for the victims of Haiti earthquake. Haiti was hit by a magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, his appeal raised up to one million US dollars which was donated to the victims.
4) Fashola has won more awards than any incumbent governor in the history of Lagos State.
Some of his awards as the governor of Lagos State include Man of the Year Award of The Guardian (2009), The Vanguard (2009), The SUN (2009), the Champion (2010) and the City People (2012).
He also received the Corporate Governance Award 2012 from the Governing Council of the Institute of Directors and was equally presented the Most Labour-friendly Governor’s Award 2012 by the Lagos Zonal Council of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).
A year before the end of his tenure, at the Year 2014 Newswatch Awards, Fashola won three Awards-Governor of the Year (Internal Revenue Generation); Governor of the Year (Internal Security) and Governor of the Year (Health).
5) Babatunde Fashola was listed in 2014 as one of the 100 Top Global Thinkers for 2013 by a global personality assessment organisation, Lo Spazio della Politica (LSDP) based in Italy and Brussels.
As Nigerians await the 2023 drama, Fashola may be one of the actors from the South West geopolitical zone.
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