Dimeji Bankole believes that character, when combined with skill, intelligence, faith and resolve is the key trait necessary to ensure that Nigeria lives up to its huge economic potential, jobs are created throughout the country, and threats to our security and way of life are eradicated.
“As today’s leaders, we have a moral responsibility to design a credible agenda for leadership renewal, this is our prime duty. We must have the values to realise that our most important role is to train and equip the leaders of tomorrow.”
Dimeji Bankole is the youngest Speaker to have been elected to the Nigerian House of Representatives. He is a politician, a businessman, a proud father and a philanthropist.
The 7th generation of the Bankole family to serve his country, Dimeji is widely known for his unrelenting stance on corruption, the plague from which Nigerian politics so much suffers. In public office he initiated an unprecedented crack down on the misappropriation of government funds and widespread nepotism. Dimeji also championed the rights of Nigeria’s young people, striving for equal access to all forms of education whatever a person’s religion or origin.
Dimeji’s “We Stand upon the Threshold of History” speech, delivered when elected to Speaker, is still celebrated for the stark but sadly accurate assessment of Nigerian politics. It was a rally cry to all Nigerians who feel the need for change, calling for “an independent house that Nigerians will be proud of, this is my first task.” Dimeji battled with dignity and diligence for this objective, recognising the need for Nigerians to once again have faith in their elected officials.
Dimeji didn’t just talk about bringing change to Nigerian politics. He created a level of financial transparency that was revolutionary in its scope and success in Nigeria. Aspects of his policies are once again being looked at by the current administration.
During his tenure he ensured that the House of Representatives massively stepped up its financial oversight function. This resulted in Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) returning approximately 1 trillion Naira in unspent funds. He also doggedly insisted that a 64 billion Naira Airport runway contract in Abuja be investigated. Eventually the Federal Government agreed and the amount was found to be grossly inflated, after which the contract was swiftly terminated.
During his time away from public office, Dimeji has grown and run his family’s business, stressing the importance of employing Nigerians, enhancing their skills and creating opportunities for them and their families wherever possible. He has challenged himself with further education with several post-graduate programs including a Mason Fellowship at Harvard in the United States, juggling the demands of being a father, businessman and community leader, while always keeping one eye on Nigerian politics. African politics runs in his blood and his passion to see Nigeria and her people thrive is unrivalled.