Nigeria: The Ground-Breaking Strides of Oluremi Tinubu

17 January 2020

John Mayaki points to Senator Oluremi Tinubu as a good example of the growing capacity of women to hold their own in politics

On January 1, Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu, the senator representing Lagos Central senatorial district, ended her public message with the famous quote of John F Kennedy. Having explained the need for all Nigerians to join hands, in a comely togetherness, to make the country a great place, Senator Oluremi emphasized that Nigerians should at all times ask what they can do for the country. This offers a glimpse into the senator's understanding of politics, governance, and citizenship.

But more than just a glimpse, the belief that all citizens should instead seek what to do for the country speaks of an understanding that common devotion to society's welfare is needed for a successful building of a country. For this, Senator Oluremi Tinubu's agenda, focus, and objective have been on the people, on the section of society who by circumstances, are at the peripheries and bottom of the chain.

Her achievements since the turn of the past decade, when she was elected in 2011, reveals her faithfulness to her pledged ideas. By her consistent return, the constituents' trust in her abilities and manifesto, hence voting her for three consecutive times, shows that there are many things working out well and that there is a mass acceptance of Her Excellency. With the emergence of a new decade, there has never been a time more pertinent than now, to hinge on and consolidate the glorious work of the Lagos Central Senatorial representative.

The array of Senator Oluremi Tinubu's constituency projects, more than anything, prove her devotion. These projects span across the various needs, both basic and secondary, of the society, of the common man. Abimbola Jakande Obstetrics and Gynaecology Centre, at Badore Primary Health Centre in Eti-Osa Local Government, opened to public use on March 3, 2016, speaks of a woman who brings a third dimension to our collective understanding of the society's need.

There also is a 360-degree achievement of ambitions and not an extreme focus on women's peculiar issues. The lyaloja-General Folasade Tinubu-Ojo Model Market at Oke-lra Nla in Etl-Osa Local Government; the donation of a Boat to Eti-Osa local government (Iru Victorial Island LCDA); and the distribution of grinding machines to the beneficiaries of petty traders empowerment capital scheme reveals a concerted drive, without much ado, to the heart of society's dire needs.

Yet beyond basic needs and infrastructure, Oluremi Tinubu's giant strides divest into other sectors of society. Her Youth Empowerment & Skill Acquisition Scheme (YESAS) which has been merged with the Good Boys and Girls Empowerment Scheme (GBGES), has produced 1172 beneficiaries. One Hundred and Sixty Four youths, through this scheme, were trained in various skills and each received business start-up kits and N40,000.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu believes that for a broken society to heal and quickly get back to productive tracks, as the All Progressives Congress (APC) imagined, there must then be a thorough investment in the society's human capital, consolidating on the resources of the country's wealth of population. This is why Senator Tinubu invests not just on the particular section of the society she does, but in a great multitude and in various forms.

These multifaceted achievements include but are not limited to 10 block making machines and startup capital of N500,000 distributed to constituents; distribution of sewing machines and 5KVA generators to 50 youths who are into fashion design on September 1, 2016; sponsorship of five youths to the African Youth Initiative on Crime Prevention Conference which held in Abuja and Lagos in 2017 and 2018 respectively; presentation of sewing machines and N20,000 each to 79 youths who had been trained in fashion design, on January 18, 2017.

Continuing the list, there are also 31 tricycles and grant of N50, 000 each presented to constituents on April 24, 2018; nomination and sponsorship of one beneficiary to a three-week Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity Artisan Training Programme held in Abuja between April 5 and 23; 8 sewing machines were presented to the International Women's Society on May 1, 2018; fully equipped barbershop at Lagos Island handed over to a constituent on September 9, 2018. The list is endless, yet there is more to Senator Oluremi Tinubu.

She understands the value of education and the imperative need to care for the old and aging citizens who had served the nation with the energies of their youth. The Annual Elderly Citizens Assistance Scheme (ECAS) which celebrates 1300 Elderly Citizens aged 65 and above with cash and material gifts, has so far had 7800 beneficiaries so far.

A well-educated person, Senator Oluremi Tinubu places premium on education, understanding that nothing elevates society and assists a people's achievement of their destiny more than a good education. For this, over the years, she has made her work concerned and catering towards making and providing a comfortable atmosphere for a wide range of schools and pupils.

From a bottomless list, Senator Oluremi Tinubu has provided Post-Secondary School Scholarship Scheme (PSSS). The second phase of the four-year scholarship scheme commenced with 26 shortlisted beneficiaries from the 13 LGs/LCDAS within the district. This brings the number of beneficiaries under the scheme to 52. Each beneficiary received the sum of N100, 000 yearly for a period of four years. In addition, 624 applicants who did not qualify in 2011 and 39 others that did not qualify in 2015 received grants to defray the cost of books.

There have been construction and rehabilitation of primary school infrastructures, offsetting the bills of incapacitated secondary school students who are writing school certificate exams. This manifests in her annual distribution of 255 GCE forms to constituents. Beyond the cognitive and academic aspect of education, Senator Oluremi Tinubu focuses on psychomotor and sporting events, hence the Muniru Muse U-12/U-15 Boys and Girls Soccer Competition and Annual sponsorship of the Muniru Muse U- 12/U-15 Boys and Girls Soccer Competition from 2012 to date.

There remains a streak of consistency in Senator Oluremi Tinibu's political outlook. Her people-centric ideology reflects in her legislative activities in the Senate. The series of bills she has supported, sponsored and argued for shows her commitment to her principles. She has supported bills like:

"Motion on the Apapa Port Gridlock -October 25, 2015; Stop Violence Against Children - May 27, 2016; Motion on Urgent Need for the Federal Government to Redeem Local Contractors' Debts- February 28, 2016; Motion on the Urgent Need to Provide Pedestrian Bridges on Federal Highways -May 2, 2017; World Environment Day -June 6, 2017; Motion on the Need to Ensure Affordable and Accessible Mental Health Care for Nigerians -June 13, 2017; Update on Lead Poisoning in Zamfara State and the Need to Prevent Further Propagation of the Resource Curse Theory -October 17, 2017; The Need to Immediately Ban Tobacco Companies from Targeting School Children in Nigeria -February 16, 2018; Motion on Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the need to take Precautionary Measures -May 15, 2018; World Environment Day 2018 -June 5, 2018; Priority Programmes and Projects for 2019-2023."

Senator Oluremi's legislative map is wide, far-reaching and all-encompassing. With bills like Social Security (National Social Security Agency Bill) 2012, Employment (Labour Act Cap L1 LPN Amendment Bill) 2012 and 2016, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Act Amendment Bill, 2017 e.t.c, Senator Oluremi goes beyond particularizing her endeavors, putting her resources towards building a robust and strong systems and institutions for the benefit of all Nigerians.

Arguments have been made by social scientists that the inclusion and active participation of women in politics will bring an empathic approach to the questions of the nation. The logic stretches, suggesting that women, with their peculiar traits and motherly virtues, will approach issues with methodic commitment, enduring patience, and persevering follow up. Doubts have equally met this logic but here, with the emergence and thriving of Senator Oluremi Tinubu, there is no further debate as to the capacity of women in politics. The vanguard march only needs to continue and be sustained.

*Mayaki is an Oxford and Cambridge University-trained entrepreneurship, leadership and sustainability expert

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