Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has approved the appointment of Prince Gbolahan Lawal as the Oba-elect of Iruland. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said the State Executive Council ratified Lawal’s nomination for the position at a meeting yesterday, after satisfying all legal requirements.
Lawal succeeds former Oniru of Iruland, the late Oba Idowu Abiodun, who passed on in 2019 at the age of 82. Born on July 24, 1970, to the late Chief T. A. Lawal- Akapo, the Ojora of Lagos (1977-1993) and Olori M. A. Lawal-Akapo, Lawal is a Lagos prince from the Ojora, Aromire, Shokun and Abisogun branch of Oniru Royal families of Lagos State.
He is a seasoned administrator with over 25 years postgraduate experience with an in-depth knowledge of the workings of the public sector. He is driven, focused, steadfast and passionate. Lawal’s excellent leadership, communication, collaborative and organisational skills have over the years sharpened his ability to identify, analyse and proffer strategic transformational change.
He holds an Executive MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He also obtained an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in 2008; a BSc in Botany from the University of Port-Harcourt in 1992 and a product of the St. Gregory’s College, Lagos.
In addition, he completed several courses and programmes among which are the International Housing Finance Programme (IHFP) in 2018 and Advanced Management Programme (AMP) from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA, in 2015. He is also a product of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the World Bank Institute, Washington D.C. In the last eight years, he has been on the board of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund.
Prince Lawal started his career as a Scientific Officer with the Raw Materials Research and Development Council at the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology in 1994. He later joined The Nigerian Police Force and was commissioned as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent. While in the force, he held several duty posts among which was serving as an Aide-de-camp [ADC] to the former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He retired voluntarily from the Nigerian Police in 2008 as a Superintendent of Police.
Lawal was a Senior Special Assistant on Special Projects to a former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN). In this capacity, he coordinated the Agriculture-Based Youth Empowerment Scheme (AgricYES). The success of the innovative AgricYes paved way for his appointment as Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives in Lagos State in 2011.
His impeccable public service record and his ability to address urban challenges also led to his appointment as Commissioner for Housing by former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State in October 2015, a position he held until May 2019.
A lot of programmes and landmark projects were achieved under his watch as the Honourable Commissioner such as the Rent-to-own home ownership programme, Master Craftsman programme, Lagos Affordable Public Housing (LAPH) and The 4-IN-14 days bungalow housing development. In 2019, Lawal was re-appointed as Commissioner for Agriculture by Sanwo-Olu.