In this exclusive interview with Funsho Akinwale of Happenings, former General Manager of the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA), Olayinka Fashola, explains why she rejected Ambode’s reinstatement offer as GM of LASRRA among other things.
Ms Olayinka Fashola is the former and pioneer General Manager of the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA). It is a body created under her elder brother’s administration, former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, to handle the registration of Lagos State residents with a view to creating a demographic database for government to ensure effective planning and efficient resource allocation to meet the needs of the people of the state.
Olayinka, a graduate of Washington State University, United States, with a Bachelor Degree in Economics, moved to the United Kingdom where she joined the Employment Department of the United Kingdom Civil Service. She worked in all the major departments such as IT Data Base, National Statistics, Ministry of Justice, including courts in Scotland and Wales for eight years before she returned to Nigeria a few years back to head the agency where she gave account of herself.
In this interview with Funsho Akinwale, Olayinka speaks on her life as the former head of LASRRA.
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Ms Olayinka Fashola. I was the former General Manager of Lagos State Residents Registration Agency. I became the head in 2010 and moved to another ministry by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in 2015.
As the former head of the agency, can you tell us the benefits of LASRRA to Lagos residents?
If you look around now, there are lots of changes in the state in terms of infrastructural development and this has continued. I’m not talking politics here. This has nothing to do with politics. As pioneer manager, one of the agency’s aims is to uncover communities that are not within the government’s reach. This exercise will lay the foundation for economic growth and create more employment to the citizenry.
Can you give us the figure of data collected before you left?
We collected so much before I left but I would not like to give out figures because there is a process called verification, where confirmation is made in terms of accurate information to ensure that a candidate has not registered more than once. As at the time I left, we were able to verify 2 million Lagos residents and, of course, you know I cannot give the latest figure now because I am no longer working there
Can you tell us why you rejected Ambode’s offer to be reinstated at the agency?
No comments on that. It’s a decision best known to me. I don’t want us to dabble into that.
You are a mother, wife and boss here, how do you juggle all these roles?
By the grace of God, I’ve been able to strike a balance. And don’t forget that I’ve been working for a long time and I have learnt how to prioritize what I do. I’m not about 10,15 years on the job. I am close to 30 years working so I have learnt how to strike a balance over the years.
Outside the job, how do you relax?
I’m a computer person so I can sit down on it for 24 hours. I play a lot of computer games and I read a lot on the system. I like brain challenges, something that makes you think and I’m not much on the social scene. I would rather go swimming or go to the beach to enjoy myself.