Femi Pedro

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Otunba Femi Pedro

Olufemi Pedro (born 29 January 1955, in Lagos) was the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Nigeria from 2003 until 2007. Prior to his election alongside Bola Tinubu, he was a part-owner and the chief executive officer of First Atlantic Bank, now FinBank.

Personal life and education[edit]

Early Childhood

A scion of renowned Pa Sanusi Adeyinka Pedro- whose own father settled in the Shomolu area of Lagos before moving to Bambose Street in Lagos Island- Femi Pedro was born to late Pa Olajide Pedro- a retired officer of the defunct Western Nigeria Marketing Board, Ikeja- and late Mrs. Modupe Pedro (née Abayomi) on 29 January 1955. Today, aside from the Lagos Island fame, the Pedro Family house is still deeply rooted around Aina Street in the Shomolu area of Lagos.


Education

Educated at St.Stephens primary school, Adeniji Adele Road from 1960 to 1967 where he obtained the First School Leaving Certificate, Femi Pedro subsequently attended Ahmadiyya College (now Anwar-U1-Islam College), Agege between 1968 and 1974 where he earned the Higher School Certificate (HSC) after having successfully completed the West African School Certificate in 1972.

Pedro received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from University of Wisconsin–Superior (1976–1978) and a Master's degree in Economics from Wichita State University (1979–1981).

Family Life

He is married to Justice Jumoke Pedro, a High Court Judge in Lagos; they have 4 children.

Business career[edit]

He commenced his banking career in 1982 when he joined the country's apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Femi Pedro rose to the post of assistant manager in 1985 and became a research economist the following year. The same year (1986), he was admitted as an associate of the prestigious Chartered Institute of Bankers, London, United Kingdom having successfully completed the professional bankers' examinations. First City Merchant Bank Ltd (now First City Monument Bank ltd) became his next port of call by 1988, where he rose to become the Executive Assistant to the bank's chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) and later Deputy Manager and Head of Corporate planning within a period of one year.

Femi Pedro became one of the first set of investors in Guaranty Trust Bank along with Fola Adeola, Tayo Aderinokun (now deceased), Gbolahan Osibodu, Femi Akingbe, Akin Opeodu and a few others. Femi Pedro later took up a senior managerial role at its inception in 1990, and he was subsequently responsible for opening a multitude of its branches across the Southern and Northern parts of Nigeria. He served in various capacities at the bank until 1997, when he voluntarily retired. On the eve of his retirement, he was admitted to the fellowship of Chartered institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

In January 1998, Pedro ventured into private business as the Chairman of Agro-Corp Ventures Limited, a commodity processing company. The same year (Nov 1998), he was appointed managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of Comet Merchant Bank (now FinBank), following the acquisition of the bank by a consortium of investors including himself. He served as managing director and Part-Owner of FinBank from 1998 to 2003. He was also the Chairman of the First Atlantic Online Limited from 2002 to 2003. He resigned as managing director of the Bank after accepting to serve as the Deputy Governor of Lagos State.

He is currently a director in various business ventures, and is reportedly a 12.7% minority part-owner of Southern Sun Hotel Group in Nigeria.

Political career[edit]

Femi Pedro was elected as Deputy Governor of Lagos State in April 2003, and was sworn-in alongside Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu the following month. He was recruited primarily due to his Economic background; but with time, he became renowned for his political sagacity by keen political observers in Lagos, Nigeria.

Femi Pedro is widely regarded as one of the bedrocks of the economic revolution which Lagos enjoys today. In his years as the Deputy Governor, Pedro was appointed chairman of Lagos State Revenue Mobilization committee under which the Board of Inland Revenue, the Land Use Allocation Committee, and other revenue generating agencies reported and performed admirably. They embarked on an unprecedented and aggressive revenue drive by restructuring, reorganising and re-engineering the Board of Inland Revenue. His wealth of experience in the banking sector came to fruition as he oversaw the increase of Lagos State's Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from 300 Million Naira per month to a staggering 7 Billion Naira per month in the space of eighteen months. He was popularly referred to as 'Mr. Pedronomics', primarily due to his affinity towards micro and macro-economic policies.[1]

Pedro also introduced and implemented the PSP and waste management model which is thriving in Lagos today.Femi Pedro was also in charge of conducting extensive research in Brazil with other cabinet members to study and understand the novel metropolitan bus transport system which resulted in the birth of the BRT. He was given the task of raising funds from the Afrexim Bank based in Cairo to purchase the red Marcopolo buses currently plying the streets of Lagos today. Consequently, he came up with the name LAGBUS and alongside other key cabinet members, set up the structure on which the BRT is built upon today.[2]

Aside from leading the Government Economic Team, Femi Pedro also championed the fight against the Federal Government regarding the withheld Local Government Funds in 2003. During the course of his term in office, he was awarded the Yoruba aristocratic title of Otunba by the people of his native Lagos, and the Yoruba [Chieftancy] title as the Badeleola of Lagos (meaning: We came back home and always found prosperity) by the Oba of Lagos in 2005.

Gubernatorial run[edit]

In September 2006, Femi Pedro declared his intention to run for office as the Governor of Lagos State in 2007. Tinubu was initially in support of Pedro's candidacy, but allegedly began to gravitate towards Babatunde Raji Fashola as the campaign season drew closer.

On 13 December 2006, Pedro dumped the Action Congress to declare under the Labour Party. He became the first ever Nigerian to contest for a gubernatorial election under the Labour Party platform. On 30 January 2007, Femi Pedro named a University lecturer, Oluranti Adebule, as his running mate for the 19 April elections. Adebule, who teaches Islamic studies at the Lagos State University (LASU), is from the Badagry Division of the state. Solidarity and goodwill messages also poured in for Pedro from the various stakeholders in the party, including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), teachers, pensioners, Hausa and Igbo communities, women's groups, students and youth bodies. He endeared himself to Lagosians with his comprehensive manifesto and various policies, many of which are currently being implemented by the sitting Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola.[3]

In May 2007, Pedro resigned his position as Deputy Governor a few days after citing electoral malpractices in the Gubernatorial elections in which he participated and lost. Today, he continues to champion the fight against wasteful spending in Government, and has preached on the need for transparency and accountability by elected officials in Nigeria.

2011 Elections[edit]

In September 2010, whispers began spreading around Lagos State that Femi Pedro may contest the 2011 gubernatorial elections under the PDP platform. Scores of groups reportedly urged Pedro to declare, including prominent South West leaders and at least one sitting Governor from a prominent Yoruba state. He was rumoured to have had widespread support and goodwill amongst the PDP hierarchy and party faithful in Abuja. Pedro remained silent about his ambitions, but sources close to his camp claimed that Femi Pedro was very reluctant to throw his hat in the race. He however committed to having an open, honest and transparent debate with stakeholders about "how to move the state forward in the coming years".[4]

On 24 September 2010, Femi Pedro finally declared his intention to run for the 2011 governorship election in Lagos state on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party.

He made his declaration at the PDP secretariat in Ikeja amidst fanfare and jubilation by his supporters and party members, explaining that his administration would be committed to improving the living conditions of at least 100 Lagosians a day.


He urged the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) led government to do more to reduce the suffering of the people and encouraged them to reduce the penchant to celebrate days in office when there continued to remain an uphill struggle towards attaining sustainable achievements. According to Pedro, "The Government, notwithstanding its many achievements, does a great-disservice if its primary focus is to give people a false sense of comfort – home and abroad – that Lagosians are living in utopian paradise when there is still a lot more work to be done.”[5]

He continued: “I was part and parcel of the administration during the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu era and I know where some of the problems of the state lie. God-willing, If I am chosen to run in the 2011 polls, I would do everything within my power to help Lagosians right the wrongs."[6]

“This government has performed excellently well, but there is room for vast improvement. We desperately need the government to sow the seeds that will grow successful and vibrant Lagosians by creating a better enabling environment for all Lagosians to realise their dreams,” he said.

To the surprise of pundits and political experts, Femi Pedro lost the PDP primaries to Ade Dosunmu. This was due in large part to the efforts of Dosunmu's political godfather: Chief Olabode George.

As part of the Presidency's efforts to compensate Pedro due to his loss in the Lagos Primaries, he was appointed as Executive Vice-Chairman of the PDP SW Fund Mobilization Team, which was put together by the Presidency to spearhead the PDP efforts to raise substantial funds to execute elections in the South West.[7]

Pedro's Reconciliation with Tinubu and Return to APC[edit]

Throughout 2013, indications began to emerge of reconciliation moves between Tinubu and Pedro, who had fallen apart in the buildup to the 2007 elections. The Oba of Lagos publicly and privately encouraged the reconciliation moves after Tinubu had graced the wedding ceremony of Pedro’s son in 2012, which was the first time they had been publicly seen together since 2006.[8]

In December 2013, Pedro reportedly held a secret meeting with Tinubu, the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and the interim National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande, to finalise his move back to APC.[9] Within a matter of days of the report breaking out, Femi Pedro released a statement confirming his move back to APC.[10]

Today, Femi Pedro continues to remain a respected member of the Nigerian political hierarchy. Within days of his return to APC, he was appointed as the Chairman of the APC Registration Exercise Committee, which was held in February 2014 in Ondo State, which is located in the South-Western part of Nigeria.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://thenationonlineng.net/web3/politics/15839.html
  2. ^ http://www.compassnewspaper.com/NG/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=39685:otunba-femi-pedro-at-55-i-am-fulfilled&catid=36:news&Itemid=702
  3. ^ http://www.tribune.com.ng/31012007/news/news12.html
  4. ^ http://www.thisdayonline.info/nview.php?id=183671
  5. ^ http://www.thisdayonline.info/nview.php?id=183671
  6. ^ http://www.thisdayonline.info/nview.php?id=183671
  7. ^ http://thepost-ng.com/defence-minister-pedro-others-to-raise-fund-for-southwest-pdp/
  8. ^ http://www.osundefender.org/?p=137375
  9. ^ http://www.osundefender.org/?p=137375
  10. ^ http://www.punchng.com/news/lagos-ex-deputy-gov-pedro-joins-apc/
  11. ^ http://dailypost.com.ng/2014/02/05/learn-apc-registration-exercise-ex-deputy-governor-lagos-tells-inec/

External links[edit]