About Gbenga Ashafa Career
Public Service & Private Enterprise
Ashafa completed his National Youth Service between December 1979 and December 1980 at the Federal Ministry of Health – Malaria Control Unit. He served as an epidemiology assistant under Dr. Abimbola Fari.
In 1981, he was employed as an Administrative Officer into the Lagos State Unified Local Government Service Commission. He started his career as a local government administrator under the tutelage of Chief M. A. Kotun, a legal luminary of note. He also worked with experts on local government administration such as Chief Rasheed Olu-Ajayi, Alhaji Babatunde Rotinwa, Reverend V.O. Dansu, Alhaji R.O. Ojikutu and Chief S.F. Odulana.
In 1983, Ashafa was transferred to Lagos Mainland Local Government with its headquarters on Herbert Macaulay Road, as an Area Officer. As Area Officer, he was in charge of the departmental Tenders Board and the Finance & General Purpose Committee. He also served as Area Officer in Ikeja, Agege and Ojo local government areas (LGAs) from 1985 to 1989. During this time, he was instrumental to the upgrading of Alaba market to a modern market.
By 1990, Ashafa had completed nine years of public service and decided to challenge himself by taking on some private sector ventures. He left the public sector for French-Calahan Ventures Limited, which held majority shares in a state controlled cocoa processing plant. He worked as Purchasing Manager at the processing plant for six years until 1996. In 1996, Ashafa founded Beverage Specialties Limited, manufacturers of Choco-Vita (a liquid vitality drink) and Cocoa-Vita (a powdered vitality drink). He sold the business in 1998 and began another phase of his career.
Political Campaign & Governance
In 1998, Ashafa worked with a political group towards the emergence of then Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the Alliance for Democracy (AD) gubernatorial candidate for Lagos State. He also worked on Senator Tinubu’s successful campaign for Governor of Lagos State, as one of the campaign coordinators for Kosofe LGA. Subsequently, as a co-opted member of the Governor-Elect’s transition team, he provided the blueprint for the local government reforms of the Tinubu administration.
At the start of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic, Ashafa joined the Tinubu administration in September 1999 as Director of Planning, Governor’s Office in charge of local government administration. In this role, he effectively co-ordinated the activities of local government areas in the State; acting as the liaison between the Governor’s Office and local government chairmen across the State.
In January 2001, Ashafa was appointed Executive Secretary, Lagos State Land Use and Allocation Committee. In this role, he was responsible for land allocation and management in Lagos State. He ensured efficient allocation of land in the State, transparency in land transactions and the timely release of title documents to land owners.
Ashafa was appointed Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Lands Bureau in February 2005. He led his team to execute the computerization of documents in the State Land Registry, the creation of the Land Regularization Directorate and the implementation of the 30-day Governor’s consent policy on land transactions. The computerization of documents in the State Land Registry created a digital database of all land title documents in the State, making it infinitely more efficient to conduct land transactions in Lagos State. Notably, he laid the foundation for issuing electronic certificates of occupancy to land owners and oversaw the pilot scheme before he left office. While at the Lands Bureau, Ashafa re-started several stalled housing development schemes such as: Lekki Phase II, Ijanikin Rose Garden, Ipaja New Town, Imota Residential/Industrial, Agbowa Residential/Industrial, Obanikoro/Oke-Ira, Oworonshoki Residential, Gbagada II and Ibeju Iberekodo mixed development schemes. He also led his team to develop new housing schemes such as: Ikorodu GRA Scheme III, Odo-Nla, Ijede GRA, and Millenium Model Scheme Igbogbo – Ikorodu.
Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Senator Gbenga Ashafa was elected to the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the ACN candidate from Lagos East in April 2011. He won the election with 222,439 votes, 69% of total votes cast. He was sworn in as a senator on 6th June 2011. It is noteworthy that Senator Ashafa’s district is one of only two senatorial districts in South-West Nigeria, that the ACN won in the 2011 Presidential elections.
Over the course of his term at the Senate, he has implemented several community development projects such as the ICT Training Program, which has trained over five hundred youths in the Senator’s district since 2011. Senator Ashafa has also implemented the Youth Energy Career Program, a six-month internship designed for graduates. Attendees are trained on power and energy systems at the Siemens Power Academy, in collaboration with the Lagos State Electricity Board. This program is designed to equip mid-management officers with the skill set required to drive the emerging independent power sector in Lagos State. Another program, the Education Enhancement Program provides scholarships to students at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education. The Senator’s office also implements a monthly health screening program free of charge, in several local government areas.
Senator Ashafa has sponsored twelve bills at the Senate:
- Income Tax Holiday Bill 2011
- National Agency for the Preservation & Promotion of Local Languages in Nigeria Bill 2011
- Treaties (Making, Procedures, etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill 2012
- Criminal Code Act (Amendment) Bill 2012
- National Directorate of Employment Act (Amendment) Bill 2013
- Harmful Waste (Special Criminal Provisions, etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill 2013
- Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill 2013
- Minerals and Mining Act (Amendment) Bill 2013
- Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act (Amendment Bill) 2014
- Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (Amendment) Bill 2014
- Advertising Practitioners (Registration etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill 2014
- Bank Employees etc. Declaration of Assets Act (Amendment) Bill 2014