30 November 1959
Ademola Rasaq Seriki (born November 30, 1959) is a Lagos Island born Nigerian politician, teacher, businessman, accountant and public administrator and a prominent native of Lagos State of Nigeria. He started his career as a clerical officer in the Lagos City Council, City Hall, Lagos in 1978 and had a brief stint at International Bank for West Africa Ltd(IBWA)now Afribank and thereafter proceeded to New York to pursue academic studies in the field of Accounting, Finance & Management. He later became a licensed teacher in Accounting and Business Mathematics with the New York City Board of Education. He has been a grassroots political organizer.
As a junior public servant Demola Seriki was not satisfied with his clerical job at the Lagos City Council because his secondary school qualification would not guarantee him possible promotion to the senior ranks of public service, so he proceeded to New York where he studied for and earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in the field of Accounting, Finance & Management from Herbert Lehman College of the City University of New York.
He also attended Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge Massachusetts where he completed a Senior Executive Education and earned a Certificate in National and International Security.
Upon completion of his studies, Demola Seriki became a licensed teacher with the New York City Board of Education under their employment at the JFK Memorial High School, Walton High School, and the Springfield High School. He served them as a teacher and counsellor by helping to teach Accounting and Business Mathematics from 1984 to 1986 as well as counselling young students from time to time. He then joined the Rochester New York firm of Koskolowsky and Co. (Certified Public Accountants) from 1986 to 1987 as Assistant Manager (Auditing). He was also Customer Representative/Assistant Manager at Dollar Dry Dock Bank, New York City. On return to Nigeria, Demola Seriki joined Equity and Trust Finance Company Limited from 1987 as Business Manager until he was appointed Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Council in 1992; a position he held till 1994. More than anywhere else in Nigeria at the time, Demola Seriki’s tenure as chairman of the Lagos State Sports Council was marked by political instability in Nigeria during the struggle for democratic rule by the National Democratic Coalition, Nigeria (NADECO) and civil society organisations following the then military junta’s annulment of Nigeria’s freest and fairest general elections won by M.K.O. Abiola. This period witnessed very regular youth demonstrations and riots on the streets of Lagos. However, Demola Seriki was instrumental to the successful Sports Development programmes by the Lagos State government to engage young talents in sporting activities at State and National levels. He applied his experiences as a grassroots organiser to positively mobilise the local youths towards sporting activities in the State with educational institutions as platforms for youth participation in grassroots sports development programmes, hence Demola Seriki was named – Best State Chairman of Sports Council [for the year] 1993 by the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF). He was granted Honorary Life Membership of Table Tennis Association in 1993 in recognition of his public administration expertise and passion for sports development in Lagos State. With the Nigerian military due to hand over power (which they unfortunately failed to do) in 1993 to elected civilians, Demola Seriki soon left public service to start his company – Perpetual Investment and Finance Company Limited(PIFCO) as well as launch a grassroots career in politics. The annulment of the June 12, 1993, general elections led him into private business. From 1994 to 1999 Demola Seriki was Vice President of Rosedale New York based Perpetual Associates International (USA) Inc. (an International Consulting Firm to multinational Oil and Aviation companies). He returned to PIFCO Nigeria Limited from 1999 to 2007 as Executive Director – Business Development and Marketing.
Ademola Seriki was the Lagos Central District Senatorial candidate on the platform of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in 1992. In 1998 he was elected a member of the Federal House of Representatives from the Lagos Island Federal Constituency on the ticket of the defunct United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP). This victory was short-lived with the abrupt end of the General Abacha regime and the inception of General Abdulsalam Abubakar’s transition regime. But with the emergence of the 4th Republic, he was appointed a National Fund Raising Committee member in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 1999 National elections. The PDP also appointed him as a member of the Candidate and Party Relations Committee for Obasanjo/Atiku Presidential Election. From 2000 to 2002 Demola Seriki emerged as the PDP Party Chairman of Lagos Island Local Government Area in Lagos State and later in 2003 as the party’s flag bearer to the House of Assembly representing Lagos Island Federal Constituency. In 2005 he cut his political tooth further by serving as Secretary of the Lagos State PDP Disciplinary Committees. In 2005 up until 2006, he was appointed as the Lagos State Vice-Chairman of the PDP after which in 2007, he campaigned to become Senator for the Lagos Central Senatorial district. Demola Seriki’s campaign sought to ensure the gainful and qualitative employment of youths in his district. His political vision aimed to ensure quality education for youths in the rundown areas of his senatorial district by galvanising the support of the Federal Government through special federal government support schemes to rejuvenate literacy in such highly populated parts of Lagos State described by him as the most cosmopolitan and populated in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Although education for the youth was high on his political agenda, Demola Seriki also sought to advance gender sensitivity in politics and public service opportunities. These key issues including housing, infrastructure development and security have remained cornerstones of his approach to politics.
National Political Appointments and Responsibilities
Hon. Minister of State for Interior of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: 2009 to March 2010
Demola Seriki worked in tandem with the Minister of Interior in the formulation and implementation of policies towards the realisation of the ministry’s mandate. He chaired the Nigerian Civil Defence, Immigration and Prisons Services Board and assisted to provide oversight for the Board in areas such as coordinating and ensuring harmony towards the Ministry’s mandate. He is responsible for providing oversight for Nigeria Prison Service, Federal Fire Service, Seaman Identity Certificate and Registration of Marriages according to governing laws of Nigeria.
Hon. Minister of State for Defence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: 2008 to 2009
Demola Seriki’s responsibilities in this position included provision of oversight to the Military Pensions Board in order to attain the goals and objectives as envisaged by the Federal Government of Nigeria. He in tandem with the Honourable Minister of Defence worked in vigorous ways to formulate and implement policies within the purview of his mandated Defence schedule. Under Seriki, there was effective oversight on the operations of the Armed Forces Resettlement Scheme, the welfare of ex-service personnel including the Nigerian legion. He also oversees matters relating to honourable interment of deceased Nigerian Armed Forces personnel in war graves as well as the documentation and preservation of Nigerian Military history in Military Museums including maintenance of the National Cenotaph. He coordinated the annual commemorative activities of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebrations. During his tenure as Minister of State Demola Seriki was appointed Chairman of the Defence Health Maintenance Limited a holding company for Military Health Maintenance initiatives. During this time, Demola Seriki was also the Chairman of the Ministry of Defence HIV/USDoD joint initiative to help ameliorate the lives of HIV/AIDS infected servicemen and their families/dependents. He was a Member of the Joint Development Authority of Nigeria-São Tomé and Príncipe. Finally and quite significantly, he was responsible for the supervision of the Joint Services Organisations and Parastatals such as the Nigerian Defence Academy, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, National War College, Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement centre (NAFRC) and the Tafawa Balewa Square Investment Limited.
Hon. Supervising Minister for Mines and Steel Development: October 2008 to December 2008
Although Demola Seriki had a short but remarkable stint in this portfolio, he undertook various nationalist initiatives through his supervision of the Privatization of Federal Government Enterprises in the Solid Minerals, Steel and Aluminium Industry. He advised the Federal Government on key matters relating policy formulation and implementation for the realization of set growth indices in the solid minerals and metals industries. Demola Seriki oversaw activities of Nigerian Parastatals like the Geological Surveys Agency of Nigeria, the Nigerian Coal corporation Joint Ventures – Enugu, National Steel Raw Materials Agency – Kaduna, national Metallurgical Development Centre – Jos, Metallurgical Training Institute – Onitsha, Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and the National Iron Ore Mining Company Limited. He was also key to the ratification of decisions of the Ministerial Tenders Board and the Procurement Planning Committee.
Hon. Minister of State for Agriculture and Water Resources of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: 2007 to 2008
As Demola Seriki’s first appointment to National service, he worked alongside the Minister in the setting out of policies on Agriculture and Water resources needed to galvanise the employment, industrial and social development of this sector of the Nigerian economy. He helped steer focus towards the development and review of the National Water Resources Master Plan and also helped in overseeing the ministerial activities in the Cash and Food Crop production, Livestock, Fishery, Agricultural Research, Agricultural Disease control, Agricultural Statistics, Strategic Food Reserve, and distribution of Essential Inputs schedules within the Ministry. Under his watch he ensured the aggressive implementation of the national policies and water resources development and distribution through Irrigation/Dam, Underground Water Supply, and Water Resources Research and Statistics programmes. He coordinated bilateral relations with governments on matters Water Resources and supervised activities of the River Basin Development Authorities and the National Water Resources Institute. He was also elected as the chairman of Niger Basin Authority (NBA) Council of Ministers in Niamey, Niger Republic in 2008. He was quite prominent as the country’s spokesperson on agricultural sector engagements at international and regional levels.
Traditional Awards and Titles
In May 2009 the Oba of Lagos HRH Oba Rilwan Akiolu conferred on Demola Seriki the chieftaincy title – the Ottun Aare of Lagos.
Present and Future
Demola Seriki has had stints in Federal Ministerial positions in the interest of Nigeria’s national development. In collaboration with the US Ambassador to Nigeria major assistance has been provided for Military personnel and their families suffering from HIV/AIDS related ailments. He is a member of Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) He is a Director of Cappa and D’Abberto(Building and Civil Engineers) and the chairman of PIFCO Nigeria Limited
He is an Alumnus and Fellow of the prestigious Harvard University. Demola Seriki is a member of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce. He belongs to the Yoruba Tennis Club, the Ikoyi Club 1938, the Island Club, F’s Club and IBB Golf, Country Club and Lagos yacht Club.
Playing golf (present Handicap is 17), Reading, writing articles, and travelling.