News People

Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo: Meet Nigeria’s new Interior Minister

Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, born May 1, 1982, is an accomplished Nigerian politician and entrepreneur widely known as BTO.

Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, born May 1, 1982, is an accomplished Nigerian politician and entrepreneur widely known as BTO. Originating from Okeagbe Akoko in the Akoko North West Local Government Area of Ondo State, he has made significant strides in business and politics.

At 24, he founded Matrix IT Solutions Limited, a thriving indigenous consulting company in Nigeria. Married to Abimbola Tunji-Ojo and father of two, BTO’s political career began at age 37 when he was elected to represent the Akoko North East/Akoko North-West Federal Constituency of Ondo State in the House of Representatives under the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the 2019 general elections.

As a first-time member of the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly, BTO quickly proved his political acumen by aligning with influential lawmaker and Speaker of House Reps aspirant, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila. His unwavering loyalty and strong “Omoluabi Yorubaness” values earned him influential committee appointments in the House.

BTO was pivotal in rallying over 200 lawmakers to support Gbajabiamila’s successful bid for the Speaker’s position. This loyalty was rewarded when he was appointed Chairman of the House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). He also served on various other committees, including Housing, Gas Resources, Local Content, National Security and Intelligence, Solid Minerals and Pilgrims Affairs, FCT Area Council and Ancillary Matters, and North East Development Commission (NEDC).

As the NDDC committee chair, BTO led a probe into the alleged misappropriation of over NGN80 billion in NDDC funds, working alongside Upper Chamber committees.

After his first term, BTO was re-elected to represent the Akoko North East and North West Federal Constituency in the National Assembly in February 2023. He continued to display political loyalty, supporting Hon. Tajudeen Abass for the position of Speaker of the House of Reps. As the Director General of Abass’s campaign team, BTO’s efforts paid off when Abass was elected Speaker.

During this intense political period, BTO’s political godfather, Gbajabiamila, was appointed as Chief of Staff to the President by the Tinubu administration.

Despite facing allegations of discrepancies in his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate, as reported by PremiumTimes, a leading Nigerian investigative online publication, BTO was nominated as Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, the first to head this new ministry.

BTO’s impressive academic background is as notable as his political career. Starting his education at Ansarudeen Primary School, Oyin Akoko, he later attended Hakda International School, Kaduna, and completed his primary education at Universal Primary School, Akure. He then attended FUTA staff secondary school, Akure, where he was a senior prefect. He began studying Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, before transferring to the University of North London (now London Metropolitan University) to complete his Electronics and Communication Engineering degree in 2005. He earned a master’s degree in Digital Communication and Networking from the same institution in 2006, at just 24 years old.

A certified ethical hacker from Royal Britannia IT Training Academy in the UK, BTO holds certifications in 18 professional qualifications in ICT, including CompTIA Network Plus Engineer and Britannia Hardware A+ Management Certificate.

After returning to Nigeria, he consulted for various organizations, including The World Bank, PTDF, JAMB, NCDMB, NHIS, NSIA, and Nigeria Gas Company, as stated in his official campaign biography. He has received numerous awards, including an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), Ikeji Arakeji, Osun State.

BTO’s career is not without controversy, as his NYSC certificate came under scrutiny during the Senate screening process. His NYSC record showed participation at age 37 when he was first elected to the House of Representatives. The certificate’s issuance date was February 2023, conflicting with his claimed participation from 2019 to 2020. BTO joins the list of Nigerian politicians with alleged NYSC certificate forgery, following the case of former Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun, who admitted using a forged NYSC exemption certificate.

Despite the controversy, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo was appointed as Minister of Interior of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in August 2023.