|Intro||Engineer and a technology advocate|
26 June 1972
Olatunji Ariyomo (born 26 June 1972) is a Nigerian engineer, a technology advocate and currently the Special Adviser on Energy in Ondo State and a member of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Ministerial Taskforce on Power with Prof. Abubakar Sani Sambo as Chairman . Popularly called ‘Tunji Light Ariyomo, he has “garnered a reputation … for delivering (results) on the use of technology no matter the odds”. He trained as an Energy Engineering expert at the University of Sheffield (England) and as a Civil and Structural Engineer at the Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria. Ariyomo is an advocate of a technology driven economic sector in Nigeria. He was nominated International Poet of Merit by the International Society of Poets in 1995. He won the overall best prize, across all engineering disciplines, at the professional examination of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in the September diet (in Ibadan) in 2005 . He was appointed by Dr. Olusegun Agagu in 2005 as the pioneer Coordinator of the Ondo State Information Technology Development Agency (2005-Feb. 2009). Ariyomo is also a playwright, a poet and the author of the book “Odundun, African Legendary Monarch” one of the approved texts for secondary school education in Ondo State.
Tunji Lght Ariyomo is a youth icon in Nigeria who can be described as the pioneer of electronic governance system in Ondo State. He introduced the state’s e-portal www.ondostate.gov.ng, security surveillance systems, computerization of processes of internally generated revenue www.ondostate-bir.com which pushed the state’s Internally Generated Revenue up by over eighty six percent) and has been one of the key advocates of electronic knowledge based system in Nigeria. He was one of four Nigerians sponsored by government to participate in the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government’s Science Technology and Innovation programme (2008 batch). He initiated the current scheme allowing promising youths to be trained to acquire professional certification in India. Six young natives of Ondo State benefitted from this scheme between January and March 2009..
Advocacy – Electric Sector Reform, Electronic Technology and National Infrasructure Stock
Ariyomo was active in warning the Federal Government on the gaps inherent in the power sector reforms under the previous administrations and the need to leverage the knowledge gained from the success of the liberalization of the telecommunication sector . Ariyomo is a leading advocate of a proper liberalization of the Nigerian electricity sub-sector. In April 2014 he stated that “Nigeria has an enormous electricity deficit. It is a remarkable paradox – the abundance of energy resources and widespread energy poverty” after writing the satire deriding the claim of ‘evil spirits’ as being responsible for the nation’s electricity woes in December 2012.
He has also been extensively involved in advocacy for the adoption of electronic voting in Nigeria and severally called upon Prof. Attahiru Jega, then Head of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to drive the change arguing that “There is no doubt that electronic voting would bring a major change to the existing electoral system. It will also have the multiple benefits of reducing the need for too many voting stations, introducing permanent voting stations in secure locations and enabling INEC to drive political parties to utilise such voting stations for the conduct of their primaries” as reported by Temitope Adebanke. He openly challenged the Federal Government to deploy technology to solve the persisting national fuel distribution and subsidy administration challenges in January 2011, a call that was ignored.
Effort at reformation
Olatunji Ariyomo’s team attempted to change the way things were originally done in Ondo State within a space of 5 years via the computerization of different departments of government. His team achieved tremendous success. Examples include the phasing out of typewriters in the state civil service and the automation of tax collections and administration in the state. While the latter was popular with the then governor and the majority of citizens of the state, he nonetheless incurred the hatred and the stiff resistance of a section of the State Board of Internal Revenue whose previous ability to control funds were terminated. The unprecedented increase in the state internally generated revenue in the year 2008 is a confirmation that reforming that sector was a successful step.
The computer literacy level of civil servants in the state was also raised via a compulsory training programme administered upon every public officer in the state. This was done by advocating and implementing a compulsory computer training programme for civil servant in the state. With the assistance of the Head of Service, Mr. Alaba Isijola, the state service in fact adopted computer literacy as one of the compulsory requirements in the annual promotion examinations for civil servants. Also, the state of the art ICT centre (SITDEC building) commissioned by President Olusegun Obasanjo on 24 June 2006 which is considered one of the key accomplishments of the Olusegun Agagu administration was built by his team.
The Open Door to ‘Industrial Attaches’ and ‘National Youth Service Corp’ members also resulted in ICT knowledge empowerment for over 370 beneficiaries between 2003 and 2008. Under Ariyomo’s team, information technology drive of the government was so intense that the governor of the state Dr. Olusegun Agagu was pronounced the ICT Governor of the Year 2007 by NITTA – a prize he shared only with Senator Mamman Bello Ali and His Excellency Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State.
In 2006, the then Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure Prof. Peter Adeniyi described Olatunji as a living testimony to the good quality of products of the Federal University of Technology Akure. Professor Peter Adeniyi is the current Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the University of Ado Ekiti.
He was one of the panel of engineering experts at the Sheffield 2013 Infrastructure Meet on Nigeria.
Ariyomo is a Wushu – KungFu enthusiast. He was elected National President of the Nigeria Kungfu Federation in 2013. He advised the Nigerian government to declare 2-week holiday at the wake of the Ebola disease in 2014 as part of “his opening speech at the 2014 Conference of Coaches and Judges of Wushu KungFu, which took place Thursday in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital” Nigeria. Under his leadership, Nigeria won gold for the first time in history at international events and he was commended by leading athletes. Ariyomo attributed the success to timely sponsorship and a personal relationship he developed with the athletes.
Ariyomo graduated from the University of Sheffield (England) with a Master’s degree in Energy Engineering (MSc.). He is a graduate of Civil and Structural Engineering (B.Eng.) from the Federal University of Technology Akure and holds a certificate in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Ondo 2016 Governorship
Ariyomo is a governorship aspirant on the platform of the APC. A Pastor of the popular Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in August stated that he received a divine revelation that “Ariyomo is God’s Joshua in Ondo State”.
Leading African scholar late Pof. Pius Adesanmi once described Tunji Ariyomo as a patriotic engineer who has practical blueprints that can help in the development of Nigeria . Former federal Minister of Environment, Laraba Mallam in an interview in August 2016 described Ariyomo as “a brilliant engineer that belongs in a rare class of excellence” following his work with her as Special Adviser on Flood, Erosion Control and Coastal Zone Management – a position where he served pro bono. She credited him with initiatives that sought to eliminate malaria in Nigeria whence he got a presidential commendation and cited his role as her ‘secret weapon’ that solved a problem with the NEWMAP project of the federal government preserving several billion Naira for the country.
Awards and honours
- Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Senate of the Federal University of Technology Akure (December 2007)
- Honorary member of FUTA Protocol List
- Excellence Service Award by the Rotary Club International, Ijapo District (2006)
- Fellow, School of Environmental Studies, Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria.
- Fellow, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE)
- Fellow, Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria (CIPMN).