Senator Iyiola Ajani Omisore was born in Ile Ife, Osun State, on 15 September, 1957, into a royal family of the people of Ile-Ife, the cradle of the Yoruba civilization. He is the grandson of Lowa Omisore. His father was Oba David Olajide Omisore of Ayepe, Olode, Ile-Ife. Senator Omisore is also the grandson of the late Olufewara Kabiyesi, Oba Titus Adetoba of the Oseganderuku Ruling House in Ifewara where his mother, Princess Emilia Adejola Omisore reigned as Regent until her transition to eternal glory in 2006. Iyiola grew up in Ile-Ife, in a large and extended household where diligence, integrity and community service were part of both his heritage and ethos. His parents were devout Catholics, members of the SS Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Lagere, Ile Ife. As a youngster, Iyiola served as an altar boy in the church. He learnt both the value of giving and discipline as well as tolerance for all religions and people. He started demonstrating forthrightness, keen intellect and uprightness at an early age. These were the qualities which set him apart from his peers and prepared him for his role as a national leader.
Senator Omisore had his primary education at SS Peter and Paul Roman Catholic School in Ile-Ife, and his secondary education at St. John Grammar School, Ile Ife, Osun State. He went on to attend Federal Polytechnic, Owo, in Ondo State Nigeria. He sat and passed his Full Technology Certificate Examinations at the Technology College, Reading UK, obtaining a Diploma Certificate in Electrical/Electronic Engineering. He received a Bachelor of Engineering Degree from Brunel University Uxbridge, United Kingdom, and went on to bag a Postgraduate Certificate in Power and Machine and a Master of Science Degree in Building Services from the same University. In January 2013, Senator Omisore obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Infrastructure Finance from the International School of Management, Paris, France. He majored in Procurement, Taxation, Corporate Governance, Infrastructure Finance and Public Private Partnerships. The Senator is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, England and Wales and also a Fellow of Nigeria Society of Engineers.
Senator Omisore’s quest for continuous improvement has seen him taking several courses in different high-profile institutions. He attended the Advanced Budgeting course at Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA, the Appropriations and Public Finance course at the ABS Academy, Athens, Greece, the Advanced Leadership course at the University of Carolina, USA, the Innovation and Leadership course at the West London College, the Public Finance course at Harvard University and the Aid Effectiveness and Donour Harmonization course at the Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung GmbH, Germany.
Senator Omisore is an embodiment of intelligence who has made the pursuit of excellence his trademark. He is an engineer of repute and politician of note. An astute manager of resources whose attention to detail, calmness, and ability to simplify and proffer solutions to complex issues is appreciated by his teeming admirers. This attributes reflects on all his engagement both as a politician and a professional engineer.
He started his early professional life with the firm, Drake and Gordham UK, in the early eighties where he received on the job training and rose to top a management position. The same firm, Drake and Scull (Nig.) Ltd, brought him back home to Nigeria where he worked on major engineering projects as a project manager. While working at Drake and Scull his project management skills were honed. He was directly responsible for the construction of 19 airfields including the Makurdi Air Force Base, Benue State. Apart from these, he supervised other projects like the Sokoto and Makurdi Rice Mills, Taraku Oil Mill and the Sokoto University Teaching Hospital. Some of the other projects that the companies handled under his lead include: Central Bank of Nigeria Governor’s/Deputy Governor’s Lodges, UACN Commercial Complex, Abuja, Union Bank (Stallion Plaza), UBA Headquarters, Marina Lagos, EIB Headquarters, Afribank Headquarters, British High Commission, Abuja, Brawal Shipping Lines Office Complex (12 storey). He was elevated to the post of General Manager in 1985 and served in this capacity up till 1987 when he left the company to set up his own private engineering service company.
The company Chrisore Engineering Ltd – an Electrical Engineering firm (1987) and Mechelec Consultants –an Engineering Consultancy outfit (1988), were established by Senator Omisore. Both companies continue to provide world class service to their clients.
Senator Omisore was conferred with the Nigerian Society of Engineers Presidential Merit Award for Support and Contribution to the Development of the Society in 2007. He was also honoured at the Golden Jubilee celebration of the Nigerian Society of Engineers in 2008, with the Prime Award for Remarkable Contribution to the Growth of Engineering Profession and Society.
Omisore led Chrisore Engineering and Mechelec Consultants has been involved in the execution of several World Bank assisted projects and ADB/ADF assisted projects in virtually every part of Nigeria. The World Bank Assisted Projects include: Enugu State Multi-State Road Project, Ondo State Multi-State Road Project, Kano/Jigawa Multi-State Road Project, Ondo/Enugu IDF, Sokoto/Zamfara Multi-State Health Project, Ondo/Bauchi Multi-State Health Project, Ogun/Kaduna Multi-State Health Project. ADB/ADF Assisted Projects are; Kwara Water Supply, Bauchi Water Supply, Delta Water Supply, Lagos Fishing Terminal, Nkalagu Cement Factory, NSPMC Proposed Factory in Jos, Ondo State Afforestation Project to mention just a few.
Political Views and Policies
Senator Omisore’s involvement in politics started early in life as his family has always been involved in politics both at sub-national and national levels. He has also been active in international relations, representing Nigeria’s interests and positions at various global processes and conferences. In the transition years of the General Ibrahim Babangida Administration, he was member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and later joined the Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM), and UNCP in the General Sani Abacha years. During the General. Abdulsalam Abubakar’s transition years he got involved with the Pan Yoruba group Afenifere (a pre-democratic activist group largely in south west Nigeria), where he was caucus leader for Osun State and the south west region of Nigeria. It was natural for him to have been involved in the formation of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), All People’s Party (APP) and finally Alliance for Democracy (AD) where he was a top financial backer.
During his tenure in the upper legislative chamber in Nigeria, Senator Omisore distinguished himself not only in name but also by the key positions he held and the achievements recorded during this period at the Senate. Some of the key positions he held include:
- Chairman, Senate Committee on Industries, 2004 – 2005
- Chairman, Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs, 2005 – 2006
- Chairman, Joint Finance Committee, 2007 – 2011
- Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, 2006 – 2007
- Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations (2007 -2011)
- Chairman, UNDP/NASS Support Implementation Committee (2007 – 2011)
- Chairman, Board of Fellows, Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria.
While he was the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, he worked with other members of the committee on four rounds of National Budget Reviews and Allocation, increasing national investments in infrastructure, economic and social development as well as championing civic engagement in what has become nationally recognized as the ‘Inclusive National Budgeting Initiative’. Using this platform he transformed the appropriations processes into an evidence and people responsive process, taking on publicly solicited citizens and institutional perspectives to guide allocations and appropriations. While this often meant that long and challenging negotiations were required with the executive and implementing ministries departments and agencies, Senator. Omisore’s leadership and people skills kept all views and thoughts included until a shared budgetary consensus was achieved.
Senator Omisore further worked with global institutions and national civil society organizations to ensure that there is alignment between overseas development assistance and national budgeting and appropriation process, proposing for legislative action to support improved research evidence support alignment while focusing on improved budgeting performance and results. The overarching objective of his work over the 4 year period as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee of the Upper Legislative Chamber of the Nigerian Assembly was to transform budgeting and appropriation into socially desirable projects with sustained impact on national development. His work in development assistance and performance with effective engagement of civil society is recognized by the International Health Partnership Plus and other international agencies
Senator Omisore used his office to improve the level of infrastructural development of the nation, especially road and water supply infrastructures network. He used his office to facilitate bold and transformative investments of the national budget in infrastructure, health and human capital development (education, youth development and economic empowerment).
Some of his key achievements include:
|Rehabilitation of Ife Ipetu Ilesha Road||Dualisation of Mayfair-Lagere-Enuwa-Moore-Ilesha Bye pass-Akure|
|Dualisation of Ilorin Ogbomosho Ibadan Ijebu Ode Ibadan Road, Ondo-Akure, Ore-Ondo, Ore-Ipele-Lokoja, Anuja-Okene- Lokoja, Akure- Ado Ekiti, Ado-Ifaki, Aramoko-Ado-Ijero, Gbongan-Sekona-Osogbo Road.||Reconstrution of Oja Ife. Expansion of the market stall to 24, provision of electrification fund, borehole and rehabilitation of existing market stalls|
|Rural Electrification of the villages in Osun East LGA||UNESCO Cultural Center? Where? Osun Osogbo?|
|Multipurpose dams in Ife-Ijesha, Oyan, Yemoji, Ijebu Ode and Ogbese. Channelisation of Oora stream.||Dredging of erosion channels from Oke Ese to Alapata to Ondo Road and from Ilode to Mokuro to Esinmirin|
|Facilitation of projects to Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife and the Teaching Hospital OAUTH||Solar powered boreholes and solar powered streetlights across Ile Ife.|
Although he lost his senate seat in the national elections of 2011, Senator. Iyiola Omisore remains undaunted in his commitment to the development of Osun State, as well as the overall stability and economic progress of Nigeria. He retained his extensive ties with the legislative and executive process to ensure sustained investments in all the projects above, and contribute to national directions adopting concessional and the public private financing approach for sustained impact.
Senator Iyiola Omisore is known for his kindness and love for his people. His philanthropic activities span over several decades of actively empowering the youths of his immediate constituency and across the nation as a whole. As at the last count he has personally funded or facilitated the funding of over two hundred and fifty (250) projects widely spread all over his home state of Osun and in other states in Nigeria.
Senator Omisore when asked about his contribution to the development of the Yoruba youths responded by saying, “I organize scholarship programmes, pay school fees of less privileged students, help the needy ones. These things are part of the life of a people-responsive leader, whose heritage is ‘Bi bi Ire’ these principles are the pillars of my commitment to philanthropy.” It is a charge and a call to duty which his forbearers has impressed on him on account of his faith and birth. Senator Omisore, the humanitarian, humble, friendly, and hardworking engineer opined, “My basic philosophy in life is simple, ‘Love your neighbour as thy self.’ and do’ unto others what you would like them to do unto you’. These are what the holy books of all religions charge us to do, but of course I came about these philosophies from my parentage and the responsibilities of my birth.” These words show the stock from which Senator Iyiola Omisore is from.
Community Service and Cultural Image
Senator Iyiola Omisore is a grass root politician, a political mobiliser and a community man, who has always being involved in development efforts in his place of birth, Ile Ife. He has been conferred with several traditional titles by different communities where he has won the admiration of the people. Senator Omisore is the Apesin Oodua of the Source, Ile Ife, Osun, Asiwaju Balogun of Ibadan land, High Chief Lisa of Osogbo land, Osogbo, Maiyegun of Ijero Kingdom, Bashorun of Ijesha land, Seriki of Usi Ekiti, Akinrogun of Ede land, Ashipa of Inisha Kingdom, Agba Akin of Ila Orangun, Otunba of Odo Eku, Otunba of Ipetu Modu. The recognition of his community service and philanthropy are not limited to Yoruba land. Dr. Iyiola Omisore was honoured with the title “Zege Huror u Kwande man ishan na” a title by the people of Kwande, Benue State.
Senator Omisore is a lover of people regardless of class, age or social status. Speaking about ways to improve development in Yorubaland, Omisore, said, “All Yoruba indigenes should go back to the core values of the Yoruba Omoluabi which emphasizes honesty, love, and good names instead of unhealthy quest for wealth and fame.”
Family and Personal Life
Senator Iyiola Omisore is happily married to Mojisola Omisore (née Fasuba), of Ekiti State. Mojisola is a Barrister and Solicitor. The union is blessed with children who are engaged in diverse academic pursuits. In line with the social and leadership responsibilities of his royal heritage, Senator Omisore provides paternal support and parental guidance to a large number of young persons in his community. He is a member of notable social clubs including the Ikoyi Club, Lagos Island Club, Abuja Golf Club and the Metropolitan Club. Senator Iyiola Omisore remains a major political bridge builder in Nigeria and a leading Pan Yoruba politician whose views on national political issues shape public opinion.