Engr. Ifeoluwa Oyedele is the Executive Director (Engineering and Technical Services) of Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited. He is a successful entrepreneur, a popular politician who graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Lagos.
Ifeoluwa Oyedele was born to the family of late Chief MO Oyedele and Mrs. C.I. Oyedele, a retired primary school teacher. He attended 7 different primary schools and he proceeded to the prestigious Government College, Ibadan. Thereafter, he proceeded to Ibadan Polytechnic and the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and the University of Lagos where he studied Electric Engineering.
He started his career with DAFEC Consultants as an Engineer whose responsibility was to design and prepare tenders for rural electrification projects as well as supervising and monitoring the implementation of the projects. “I proceeded to Oyo State Ministry of Works and Transport where I served for 2 years with similar responsibilities as my previous job he explained. “I headed the Sales department of Dynapower Nigeria Limited for two years after which I consulted for Edison Group where I designed electrical engineering projects and services per clients’ briefs and terms and also supervised project executions.
Due to my innovative and leadership skills, I served in a number of executive capacities in some blue-chip companies carrying out cutting-edge businesses in Nigeria between 1987 and 1991. As Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer, I set the company’s business and strategic agenda, negotiated contracts and ensured quality and standard of jobs are maintained. Until my appointment with Niger Delta Power Holding Company on September 1, 2016, I was the Managing Director of Matcom Limited, a very successful construction company which I set up and I’ve been running since 1992. I have also been actively involved in Politics as a Political Organiser and Canvasser, exclusively for parties and candidates that share my sentiments and visions for Nigeria
Recently, City People’s Adeola Shittu was at his Abuja office where he spoke on his life, political career among other issues.
As a successful Electrical Engineering at what time did you decided to join politics?
I don’t think I decided to go into politics, like I said have always been an Activist student during my school days. I’m this kind of person that hates injustice from any quarter, I hate oppression and I have always participate in any decision or process that can lead to taking best decision for the group. I have always been nominated to represent my people in any group I belong to.
I was part of the group that led the formation of Gateway Front Foundation by former Governor Gbenga Daniel. Despite my absence at the creation of Yoruba council of elders, I was nominated to represent them at Ibadan and that was how I found myself among the Yoruba council of elders and I was made the pioneer Assistant Secretary General of Yoruba Council of Elders, I draft the properedium that’s guideline for the group and I gave it to late Justice Adewale Thompson.
I was part of safe Nigeria group among other groups, you see am never shy to speak the truth and that is what led me into politics. I was one of the supporters of President Mohammed Buhari because at as last election in 2015, the issue of Nigeria and PDP was happening and we need someone with a difference and PMB was miles ahead in terms of integrity which was very important and I have no regrets supporting him. So I will say I started politics in that manner. I became BOT board member of APC and the rest today is history.
Do you have any plan to contest come 2019?
I will say no, as we speak I have no ambition of sort. I leave myself open to my God to lead my feet step and wherever he leads me, I will go because I don’t know were he want to take me to. And if he says my journey in politics is over, am ready to call it quits but if he says go and contest for a councillor position, I will do it gladly. I have learnt to obey him without questioning because God knows the best and I have summit myself totally to him.
In 2014/2015, few of us agreed that I will be the DG, Campaign for General Mohammed Buhari Campaign long before he became the APC candidate but a decision was taken in my absence and I was told that I was not going to be the DG rather former Rivers state Governor, His Excellency Rotimi Ameachi was going to be the DG and the General said I should accept to be his campaign coordinator in Ondo state. At first I felt bad and as I was about responding to the conversation the call line cut off and it took me time that is between Ikeja to Surulere and I couldn’t get across to him but as I was about entering my house.
When Gov. Ameachi call came in but as at then I had had an encounter with the Holy Spirit and I heard the voice “who do you think you are” and I was like woah, I thought I was a big man, a DG for that matter, so when his call came in, he was like Oga sir, General said will you like to be his coordinator in Ondo state and I said, if all what the General want from me is to sweep the campaign floor, I am ready to do just that. You see my attitude to office and position is different and I have chosen to follow God’s leading without question.
What do you do to unwind?
Well, these days, I don’t have enough time for sports any more, I used to play golf and I play golf very well but now I play golf once in 3 months now but you know what I enjoy whatever I do, it will interest you that I relaxed even at work, I’m not the social type but I love to be with my family. I take them out to watch films, I listen to news. In a nutshell I will say I enjoy every bit of my life either when I’m working or reading or whatever I’m doing, I just enjoyed life.
Put us through your growing up years?
I attended 7 different primary schools because my mother was a classroom teacher and in those days teachers were always transferred from one place to another. I attended L.A. primary school in Okitupupa L.A primary school Ode Aye, L.A. primary school Ikoya, L.A primary school, Akotogbo, I also went to Ebenezer African Primary School, Oke Ado in Ibadan and from there I went to government college, Ibadan. I will say life was very interesting and with all humility I will say I come from a very privileged background.
You see in those days, we have men of integrity who spoke the truth, men of high standard in the society, these are people I regarded as privileged people. So, my late father was a man of substance in the community. In the western region as at that time, he was conferred with the prestigious honour of the member of the British Empire in those days (1956). You will understand what that meant being a Civil Servant Officer before he retired in 1974, a year before his death. He was appointed as the commissioner in the civil service commission in the old western state. When the western state was subdivided into three states, he was moved to Ondo State in the same position and he finally retired in the 1980.
So if you are privilege to have a father who was educated as at then, who could pay your school fees and you need not to do odd jobs before fees are paid, then I will say it was a great privileged, I went to a secondary school that was second to none as at then, Government College, Ibadan. We were properly brought up as perfect gentlemen and we were impacted with solid educational background and proper training and from there I went to Ibadan Polytechnic when it was still Ibadan Poly. I was there for just a year before I moved to Obafemi Awolowo University (University of Ife). During my days in the polytechnic, I was very active in student activism and I also left University of Ife after a year to move to University of Lagos and I was very active in student activism. I choose that word deliberately “Activism” because I was the secretary general, University of Lagos, Engineering society.
I was the governor of my hostel; I was a member of student representative council. I even acted as the speaker of the student representative council. You can imagine in those days for a student of Engineering to be involved in student activities was something note worthy. So, I enjoyed my life as a young man then, a lot of partying, reading and I also moved with children of similar background. As a young man, I was very active in sporting. In government college Ibadan, I participated in all sport activities, cricket like hockey, football, athletics and among other sport activities. But today, I play long tennis, table tennis, hockey, back then there was no sport I didn’t participate in at competitive level. So, in a nutshell that is the story of my life.