NEW CABINET: A CASE FOR JUMOKE AKINJIDE
The challenges facing the new government are akin to those of a football team that is under pressure to win laurels. Mr President, at his various campaign stops had promised Nigerians a new lease of life. He asked them to look forward to a responsible and responsive government.
Therefore, as a football team looks to select her first 11 for the challenges of any crucial game, Mr. President should look for the best anywhere in this country. Enlightened public opinion has it that Nigerians are tired of business -as-usual approach to governance. They do not want government by professional politicians, cronies and those generally perceived as being calamitously clueless about the issues that are germane to the development of Nigeria.
It is trite to submit that Mr. President needs the best hands he could find among Nigerians to help him drive and deliver on his vision for the country. This is therefore our modest contribution to that search for quality men and women that will assist Mr. President as ministers of government. With all sense of patriotism, we would like to submit that Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, lawyer, politician, philanthropist and a true Nigerian patriot richly deserves to be in the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan. Jumoke is the principal partner of Newman Legal, a law firm based in Lagos and Abuja assisting domestic and international clients with advice and representation across the full range of legal matters. In doing so, she has logged in a total of 22 years post-qualification experience with notable expertise both as counsel, arbitrator, conciliator and mediator in corporate, commercial, energy, construction and maritime matters.
Akinjide is a former managing partner of Akinjide & Co where she served as Joint Head of the Energy Law Department and Head of Company Law Department of this leading Nigerian law firm. She holds a dual qualification as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and a solicitor of England and Wales. She is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK). She is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the Law Society of England and Wales, Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, USA, Nigerian Environmental Law Society and Women International Shipping & Trading Association among others.
In recognition of her sterling qualities and capabilities, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in May 2001, appointed her as a Special Assistant to the President on Federal Capital Territory Matters. She was redeployed in September 2002 as Special Assistant to the President on G77 Matters and Nigerians in the Diaspora Organisation. During her tenures, she developed Guidelines and Contract Documentation on Public Private Partnerships in the provision of Mass Housing & Infrastructure in the FCT and implemented the Abuja Investment & Development Forum in 2001.
She also facilitated the Medical Mission of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas to Kaduna State in 2003 as well as the development, in conjunction with the International Organisation on Migration, United Nations, of a roadmap of programmes comprising National Needs Assessment, Skills & Resources of Nigerians in Diaspora, NIDO Global Website and Online Database. She later served as a member, Local Coordinating Committee of the G77 Action Committee on Raw Materials.
As a director, Abuja Investment Company Limited (AICL), she has extensive supervisory and management experience in the private sector with a proven track record of successfully driving strategies and initiatives to fruition.
Her public-spiritedness motivated her into founding the Olajumoke Akinjide Foundation which has offered both surgical and medical care during her campaign for election as a PDP senatorial candidate for Oyo Central. All surgical complaints were treated including head and neck tumours, hernias, caesarian operations etc, absolutely free of charge in the 11 local government areas in the district comprising Ibadan, Oyo and Ogbomoso.