Meet Prof Oladapo Abraham Afolabi: Chairman, Presidential Visitation Panel to ABU Zaria

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After its inauguration by the Hon. Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, Tuesday last week on the directive of the Visitor and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, members of the Presidential Visitation Panel to Ahmadu Bello University on Friday, arrived at the institution to begin their assignment.

The seven-member Presidential Visitation Panel chaired by Prof Oladapo Abraham Afolabi CFR was received on arrival in ABU Zaria by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kabir Bala.

Other members of the panel include Arc Muftau B Bello, Alhaji Mohammed Musa Makarfi, Prof Salisu Shehu. The rest are Prof Joseph Ikechebelu, Mr. Martin Dibang Achua, and Kunle S Adedeji who will also serve as Secretary of the Panel.

Who is Prof Oladapo Abraham Afolabi CFR?
Professor Oladapo Abraham Afolabi, Chairman, Presidential Visitation Panel to ABU Zaria
Professor Oladapo Abraham Afolabi

Professor Oladapo Abraham Afolabi CFR is a former academic and specialist in Environmental and Food Nutritional Chemistry. He is also a former Head of Service of the Federation of Nigeria.

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Born on 3 October 1953 in Ibadan, Oyo State, he is the son of Princess Asimawu Gbemisola Aweni Adeyemi and grandson of the Akinrun of Ikirun, Oba Lawani Adeyemi, Oyeloja II.

He attended Igbo-Elerin Grammar School, Ibadan, Mayflower School, Ikenne, Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan for his secondary education. He attended the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (1972–1975), earning a BSc in biochemistry.

After receiving his degree, he worked as a graduate assistant while studying for his MSc in biochemistry, which he gained in 1978, followed by a PhD in applied chemistry in 1981.

Afolabi won a fellowship at Howard University as an International Atomic Energy Agency Fellow in 1983. He taught at Obafemi Awolowo University, the University of Zimbabwe, and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho.

Prof Oladapo Abraham Afolabi specialized in environmental and food nutritional chemistry and contributed many papers on related subjects. He played an important role in organizing the first Ecological Summit in 1988, which led to the creation of the Federal Ministry of Environment.

Afolabi joined the Federal Environmental Protection Agency in June 1991. He started at the agency as a manager, rising to become the acting director. He joined the Federal Ministry of Environment when it was formed in 1995.

Afolabi chaired the committee that defined the initial structure of the ministry, and then was appointed coordinator and then director of the Department of Pollution Control and Environmental Health. At the Environment Ministry, he supervised the Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility for 15 cities and was responsible for several studies on waste management and pollution reduction.

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In October 2006 Afolabi was appointed a permanent secretary of the Federal Civil Service by President Olusegun Obasanjo. In June 2007 he became permanent secretary of the Ministry of Labour. In November 2007 he moved to the newly created Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, formerly two separate ministries.

In February 2009 Afolabi was assigned to the Cabinet Secretariat, in which role he introduced storage of documents in electronic form. In August 2009 he was again posted as a permanent secretary at the Ministry of Education, where he helped end a three-month strike.

Prof Oladapo Abraham Afolabi was sworn in as Head of Service on 18 November 2010. He succeeded Steve Oronsaye, who retired on 16 November 2010 after reaching the statutory retirement age of 60.

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