Interior Minister, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo: A problem-solver with deep ICT certifications

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Those who know Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, agree that from his childhood, he was destined for great things. Currently, Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Tunji-Ojo is an engineer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and politician. His story has been that of determination and resilience.

Born 1 May 1982 in Oyin Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria, he attended Ansarudeen Primary School, Oyin Akoko from 1987 to 1990 and Hakda International School in Kaduna from 1990 to 1992 before completing his primary education at Universal Primary School, Akure in 1993. He then proceeded to FUTA staff secondary school, Akure for his secondary education where he was elected the senior prefect in 1998.

He demonstrates curiosity and creativity in his approach to problem-solving and is willing to explore new ideas and concepts. This attribute and the quest to further his education led Tunji-Ojo to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, where he gained admission in 1999 to study Electrical and Electronics Engineering. In 2002, while in his third year at the Obafemi Awolowo University, he proceeded to the University of North London (now London Metropolitan University) where he studied Electronics and Communication Engineering and graduated in 2005. He obtained a master’s degree in Digital Communication and Networking from the same institution in 2006.

Not satisfied with his master’s degree, pursued various certifications in his field, allowing him to hold certifications in 18 professional qualifications in ICT including the prestigious title of being one of the first set of certified ethical hackers from Royal Britannia IT Training Academy in the United Kingdom before he turned 24 years.

At the young age of 24, he became the CEO of a leading indigenous ICT consultancy firm in Nigeria, Matrix IT Solutions Limited. He later ventured into politics. It has to be emphasised however that before his advent into politics, Tunji-Ojo was an accomplished business and management executive with a flourishing career in ICT.

In Nigeria, he consulted for the World Bank and several government agencies, including Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), National Health Insurance Scheme, Abuja (NHIS), Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), various committees of the Senate and House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Nigeria Gas Company, National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education, among others.

In 2019, he was elected into Nigeria’s House of Representatives to represent Akoko North East/Akoko North West Federal Constituency of Ondo State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Known for his unwavering courage and determination in the face of adversity, his actions and values reflect a deep commitment to standing up for what is right and facing challenges with resilience and bravery.

These qualities probably led to his appointment as the Chairman of the House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). He led the House of Representatives Committee to probe alleged malfeasance of over 80bn Naira in the Commission, making it the first time a probe would be launched into the financial activities of the NDDC in its over 20 years of existence. In March 2021, his proposed bill to repeal the NDDC Act which will make abuse of office impossible passed the first reading.

On February 26, 2023, he was re-elected as the federal lawmaker representing Akoko North East and North West Federal Constituency. He however resigned his membership of the lower chamber of the National Assembly after being appointed by President Bola Tinubu as Minister of Interior on August 16, 2023.

One of his hallmarks in triumphs since becoming Minister of Interior is the commendable feat at the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), where he orchestrated the clearance of an overwhelming backlog of 204,332 passports within a record-breaking three-week period, rescuing the nation from the grip of a dire national crisis. Indeed since then, Tunji-Ojo earned the title of a problem solver.

Since becoming a public official, Tunji-Ojo has been exhibiting the personality of a hard-working and dedicated public official who wants to record measurable achievements and impacts.

He is married to Abimbola Tunji-Ojo who also hails from Ondo State. They have two children.

He has over 20 awards and recognitions which include National Assembly Best Legislator of the Year (2020, 2021) and the Sir Ahmadu Bello Platinum Leadership Award of Excellence (2019). Others include Honorary Doctorate Degree in Public Administration by Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji Arakeji, Osun State (2021); Award of Recommendation as a Distinguished Lecturer at the 1st African and 2nd Nigeria Conference on Adolescent and Youth Health and Development Abuja, Nigeria (2021); 30 most Influential Young Nigerians Award by National Youth Council of Nigeria (2019); Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Ondo State Council as most outstanding constituents-friendly Federal Lawmaker of the Year (2021), among numerous others.