The Giant Strides of Asiwaju of Akokoland in the Nigerian Senate

Blessing towing Company

Ajayi Victor Olusuyi                                                                         

When in the run-up to the 2011 General Elections, the then Director-General of Nigeria’s space agency, the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Professor Robert Ajayi Boroffice was chosen by the Labour Party as its candidate for the Ondo North Senatorial District, many people across the senatorial district were expectant of an impressive representation at the upper national legislative chamber. Their expectations were largely hinged on his achievements as an eminent academic as well as in public office at NASRDA, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NBDA), and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Also, the people were yearning for quality representation having been very disenchanted by the lacklustre performances of the then-incumbent senator and the others before him since the inception of the Fourth Republic in May 1999. His victory in that election was spectacular in the sense that Boroffice scored 84,290 votes to defeat the incumbent Senator Bode Olajumoke of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 51,112 votes and other opponents to be elected into the Nigerian Senate.

Since his swearing-in in June 2011 and his subsequent re-elections in 2015 and 2019, the Asiwaju of Akokoland has brought dynamism into qualitative representation to the people of Ondo North Senatorial District at the upper federal legislative chamber.

Boroffice has performed exceptionally well in all fields required of a federal legislator in Nigeria: during plenary sessions, oversight functions in the various committees he has served in, constituency projects, community development and leadership.  

The current Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate has proven to be an excellent legislator, politician and Nigerian leader winning the confidence and support of many stakeholders in the senatorial district and beyond across Ondo state and Nigeria.

This piece will focus on his great achievements in terms of projects done or facilitated by Senator Boroffice across the six local government areas of the senatorial district since 2011 when the people first sent him to Abuja to represent them in the Senate.

The local governments:  Akoko North West, Akoko North East, Akoko South West, Akoko South-East, Owo and Ose have all benefitted in these projects spread in critical areas of human development.

In the area of Education, the erudite Information, Bio-technology and Communication professional has made giant moves to attract federal agencies into the senatorial district as well as improve the quality of infrastructure and facilities in the state-owned primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in the district.

In terms of federal-owned education and research institutes, Professor Boroffice has helped and facilitated the siting and setting up of many such institutions. In Akoko South West LGA, these are National Laboratory for Science Technology Incubation at Akungba Akoko, Aerospace Centre (University) at Oka Akoko of which he financed the institution’s Engineering Designs and construction of its Administrative Building, National Institute of Leather Research Technology (South West Regional Centre) at Oka Akoko, Biotechnology Development Centre, Oka Akoko and National Board for Technology Incubation at Oka Akoko.  For Akoko North East, there is the National Research Institute for Chemical Technology at Oyinmo Quarters, Ikare Akoko.

For the state tertiary institution, Boroffice is helping in the construction of an Atmospheric Science Centre at the Adekunle Ajasin University at Akungba Akoko.

His upgrades of facilities of primary and secondary schools in the districts across the local governments include construction of ultra-modern classrooms and VIP toilets at Ikara Secondary School, Ikara Ose, and other schools in Owani, Imeri, and Ido Ani (Ose LGA); construction of ultra-modern classrooms and VIP toilets at Christ School, Ibaka, Oka Akoko (3-phase project), Z.I. Primary School, Oka Akoko, Oyinla Grammar School, Oka Akoko, and other schools in Owalushi, Iwaro Oka Akoko (Akoko South West LGA); and provision of an ultra-modern Science laboratory at Akuunu Akoko Grammar School, Akuunu, construction of ultra-modern classrooms and VIP toilets at Agboriki Community High School, Ilapa, Ikare Akoko, St. James Primary School, Ilapa and perimeter fencing of Muslim Primary School, Ilapa Ikare Akoko (Akoko North East LGA). He also provided potable water facilities at AUD Primary School, Iyere Owo and Isuada Community Secondary School, Isuada Owo.

Senator Boroffice has also performed very well in the empowerment of his constituents in terms of skill development, and finances. Across the six LGAs, he has initiated and done these empowerment programmes that are specifically targeted at the youths and women. These include giving out of interest-free loans for business start-ups, setting up of Skills Acquisition Centres across the LGAS including those at Ikaram Akoko, Ikare Akoko (2 units), Auga Akoko, Ifon, Olugboju, Ekun and Odoruwa; training of youth and women in Sewing/ Fashion Design, Shoes and Bags Designs, Coding and Apps Development across the 6 LGAs.

Using his connections, Senator Boroffice has also facilitated the employment of many youths in the public sector at both the state and federal levels as well as in the private sector.

In line with making his constituents economically buoyant, the former Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology has also facilitated the setting up of cottage industries across the senatorial district. These include the Bio-Ethanol Plant at Ajowa Akoko, Cassava Catalytic Plant at Ogbagi Akoko, Cashew Processing Plant at Ikakunmo, Akoko, Garri Processing Plants at Iboropa Akoko, Ago Ajayi (Owo-Ikare road), Ebo Iwaro at Oka Akoko, and Ifira; and the Ceramic Development Centre at Epinmi Akoko.

In other to ease the problem of the electricity supply in the senatorial district, Senator Boroffice paid the sum of N5million to the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to offset some of the electricity bills owed to the distribution company by his constituents. He has also facilitated the supply of 500KVA transformers to Idogun, Ute, Uba Akoko, Owase, Ibaja, Idankasa, Ose Owo and Iyere Owo townships and the Farm Settlement Centre along Owo-Ikare Road; supply of solar mini-grids at Olukare Palace, NYSC  Orientation camp at Ikare, and the State Hospital at Ikare. In line with his electricity projects Senator Boroffice has also installed solar-powered street lights in major towns and communities across senatorial districts, these include those at  Ikeka Esho, Ilepa, Iku, Okorun, Akunnu, Iboropa, Ekan, Ugbe, Ekun, (Akoko North East); Olowo palace, Ipenme (Owo); Ipesi, Sosan Oke, Sosan, Epinmi (Akoko South East)

The people-oriented senior federal legislator has also embarked on projects to provide potable water to his constituents. These include the provision of solar-powered boreholes and hand water pumps at Isua, Ifira, Olupe Palace (Akoko South East); OloOkan Ikare, Ugbe Akoko, Igede Ikare, (Akoko North East); Fajuyi Street, Owo, Emure Ile, Owo, Isuada Owo,  and Iyere Owo (Owo); Ikanmu Oka, Ago Iwoye, Isese, Oka Akoko, Iboje quarters, Police Divisional Headquarters, Oka, Senator Boroffice Road, Oka (Akoko South West LGA) Ikaram Akoko, Ogbagi, Arigidi Akoko, Ajowa Akoko, Erusu, Akoko, (Akoko North West).

As health is wealth, the former university don has also made an impact in upgrading the health facilities in his district. These include donating an ambulance to each of the six local government areas and upgrading facilities at the Primary Healthcare Centres, including the one at Akoko South East LGA.

No doubt, Senator Robert Boroffice is one Senator whose passion for delivering projects that make life easier for the people is greater than any senator that has represented Ondo North senatorial district since the return to democracy in May 1999.

The Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) is indeed an achieving legislator in performances in terms of projects delivery. Just as he stands heads above many in terms of contributions to plenary sessions, oversight functions, leadership and bill making functions.

The Asiwaju of Akokoland deserves this accolade and many more.

Victor Ajayi writes from Ondo State

editor

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