Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole, Action Democratic Party’s gubernatorial candidate in Ogun state, in 2007 became the youngest Nigerian No. 4 citizen in history at the age of 37. This feat can be credited to his experience & understanding of Nigerian politics, and his enviable track record and stellar performance in previous positions held during his first term at the House of Representatives.
Before he became Speaker, he served as deputy chairman of the House Committee on Finance and was also previously Chairman of the House Committee on Land Transport. He was a member of other committees such as Defence, Internal Affairs, and Banking and Currency.
During his tenure as Speaker, the House of Representatives – through oversight functions – ensured that Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) returned unspent budgeted funds amounting to about 450 billion Naira to the government treasury in 2007, while about 350 billion Naira was again recovered in 2008. In total, the House of Representatives ensured the return of about 1 trillion Naira unspent funds by MDA’s as part of the annual budgetary process under Bankole’s speakership.
This was hitherto unheard of and marked the beginning of a new dawn in oversight functions in the Legislature. The Green Chamber, under Bankole’s leadership, also discovered that about 5 trillion Naira in generated revenue was never remitted by MDA’s in the five (5) years leading up to the investigation.
Under Bankole, the 64 billion Naira contract for the second runway of the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport in Abuja was investigated and found to be grossly inflated. The contract was thus terminated by the Executive, in line with Parliament’s resolution.
The 6th Assembly, which Bankole presided over, saw to the adoption of 328 motions, the approval of 282 resolutions and the passage of 136 bills. These bills include the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and Fiscal Responsibility Act which ensured that all revenue-generating agencies of government present their budgets for scrutiny every year. Prior to this, agencies such as CBN, NNPC and Customs spent trillions of Naira yearly without appropriation by the National Assembly.
Away from the national stage, Bankole’s tenure at the House of Representatives translated to measurable impact not just in Abeokuta South Federal Constituency, which he was elected to represent, but in Ogun State as a whole. He supported numerous unions, educational institutions and citizens in our dear state, and attracted several projects including the flyover at Otta and the Lafenwa bridge, among others (list of projects is in the attached image).
Bankole is widely acknowledged for his intellectual prowess.
An alumnus of the historic Baptist Boys’ High School (’85 set), in 1989, he obtained a first degree in Business Economics from the University of Reading.
In 1991, he passed D.A.B selection into the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst while taking courses for military officers at Oxford University where he was in the Artillery Corps.
In 2005, he went on to obtain a Master of Public Administration degree from the globally renowned John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (USA) and in 2014, he became a Mason Fellow in Public Policy and Management at the same institution.