Babalola Borishade

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Abraham Babalola Borishade (7 March 1946-April 26, 2017) was a Nigerian politician. Born into the Ebi Ilotin family he was a Federal Minister in Nigeria four times, between 1999-2011. He was known as an electrical engineer, teacher and political strategist. He died on the 26 April 2017 after a brief illness. He was 71.[1]

Education and personal life[edit]

Borishade had his early education at St. Andrews Primary School in his home town and his Secondary School education at Doherty Memorial Grammar School, Ijero Ekiti. In 1971, he graduated from the University of Ife with First Class Honours in Electrical Engineering. He was retained as Graduate Assistant at the same university. In 1972, he secured a Commonwealth Scholarship for a Doctorate Degree in High Voltage Engineering at the Victoria University, Manchester, United Kingdom. He later obtained his PHD in 1975 and returned to Obafemi Awolowo University where he pioneered the establishment of the Electrical Power Systems Degree Programme and the University of Ife Consultancy Unit in the Faculty of Technology.

In 1975, Borishade was selected as a member of pioneering experts and proceeded to train at the Nuclear and Power Engineering Station in Texas, A & M University where he obtained a certificate in Nuclear Power Development. He further undertook training in the International Atomic Energy Agency Centre in Vienna in 1982.

Borishade who was a registered engineer and member of Institute of Electrical Engineers U.K, Nigerian Society of Engineers, American Nuclear Society, Science Association of Nigeria, became an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering O.A.U Ile- Ife in 1985. During the years of his stay at O.A.U Ile-Ife, he served as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee at the Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Survey, a representative of the congregation at the University Senate, Chairman of Project Advisory Committee and University Works and Maintenance Service Monitoring Committee. He is married to Ireti Olubunmi Borishade and blessed with children.

Public service[edit]

In 1988, Borishade was elected as Member of the Constituent Assembly, to review the 1979 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He along with a group of intellects usefully advocated for the creation of the Nigeria Energy Commission and the Environmental Protection Commission which gave birth to the establishment of FEPA as a precursor to the present Ministry of Environment. Borishade was attracted and inspired by the disposition of General Sheu Musa Yar’adua towards the establishment of bridges of understanding across the ethnic nationalities of the country as a prerequisite for National Coalition and Development. He joined the Generals effort in creating a Movement called the “ the Peoples Front” which later gave birth to the formation of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), a political association that has remained dominant in the landscape of Nigerian Politics. The PDM was in the forefront of the struggle to restore democracy to Nigeria and became a principal partner in the formation of Social Democratic Party created by the Babangida Military Administration. Prof. Borishade served as Director of Research and Planning for the defunct Society Democratic Party (S.D.P); Coordinator (Administration) of M.K.O Abiola’s campaign; Director of Administration, Strategy and Planning for the Obasanjo Campaign Organization in 1999; and Coordinator of the Election Administration and Management Unit of the Obasanjo/Atiku Campaign Organization in 2003. Prof. Borishade was appointed as Senior Special Assistant to President Obasanjo in May 1999, initiating and convening the first Youth Forum in Abuja. He chaired the preparation of the National Youth Policy and the blueprint of the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP).Between February 2001 and May 2003, he served as the Minister of Education.

In recognition of his contributions to Education in Nigeria, Africa and the World at large, Prof. Borishade was elected the Vice- Chairman of the E9 Group of the United Nations,[2] President of the UNESCO International Conference on Education, as well as Chairman Education for All (EFA) Forum of African Ministers of Education. In 2004, Prof. Borishade was appointed as Honourable Minister of State, Power and Steel. He initiated the ‘Gas to Power Project (G2P)’ a World Bank sponsored project designed to ensure sustained gas development and availability for power production to meet Nigerian electricity demands. Between July, 2005 and November 2006, Prof. Borishade was Minister of Aviation, during which a Civil Aviation Bill was passed to replace the 1964 Act and the direct flight between Nigeria and the United States of America was restored. His initiation of various reforms and development in the aviation sector resulted in Nigeria scoring 93% in the ICAO Universal Audit which made Nigeria a benchmark to African Aviation Industry. In November 2006, he was reassigned to the Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism as a Minister, a position he held till May, 2007 at the expiration of Olusegun Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar tenure.

Awards and honours[edit]

National Honour of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic, CFR, in recognition of his more than three decades of service to Nigeria.[3]

References[edit]