Prof. Oladapo Afolabi: A Scientist as the New Head of Service

The new Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Prof.Oladapo Afolabi, who is a professor of Biochemistry and Applied Chemistry has challenged civil servants to take advantage of training opportunities available to them to build their capacities so as to enhance their productivity, saying that he is putting in place plan to give training access to every category of civil servants.


Prof. Afolabi said that while he desire to build the capacities of all categories of civil servants, the cost of logistics, for instance, to train level 08 – 17 would require more than 20 billion Naira per  annum. Therefore he said, other ways to make this more less cost effective would be considered, either making all civil servants have computers so as to do their training electronically, and or allowing civil servants to do some consultancy services, which will boost their skills and bring such to bear in their careers in the service. Describing civil servants as change agents, he charged them to always add value to every issue that passes through their tables, saying by so doing they are helping their career.

He also promised that his Office and the Federal Civil Service Commission will continue to play their complimentary roles with the aim of providing effective service delivery in Nigeria. He said that whatever differences that existed between the two establishments should be resolved. According to him the two Offices should continue to play their complimentary roles, build on the gains of the relationship, emphasize the positive aspects and seek to eliminate at the shortest possible time the negative ones.

Born on 3rd October, 1953, Professor Oladapo Abraham Afolabi attended the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife where he acquired the following degrees: B.Sc (Hons) Biochemistry (1975), Msc. Biochemistry (1978) and PHD Applied Chemistry (1981).

He is an Applied Chemist/Biochemist who has specialized in environmental and food/nutritional chemistry. He began his academic career in 1976 as a Graduate Assistant at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and where he rose to the position of Reader in 1990.  In November 1990, he was appointed Professor and Head of Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso.

His Career in the Federal Public Service commenced when he joined the defunct Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) in 1991 as a Manager where he served in various capacities before the Agency was dissolved to form the Federal Ministry of Environment in 1999.

On creation of the Ministry of Environment in 1999, Professor Afolabi was absorbed as a pioneer staff. Subsequently, he was appointed as the Coordinator of the Department of Pollution Control and Environmental Health and later as the Director, Department of Pollution Control and Environmental Health, effective 1991.

On October 20, 2006, Professor Afolabi was appointed as a Permanent Secretary of the Federal Civil Service of Nigeria.

As a Permanent Secretary, Professor Afolabi has served in various ministries including Federal Ministry of Labour, June 2007 – November, 2007; Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, November 2007 – February, 2009;  Cabinet Secretariat, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, 2009 – August 2009 and Federal Ministry of Education, August 2009 – November, 2010.

It was on Thursday, November 18, 2010, that Professor Oladapo Afolabi was appointed and sworn-in as the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation by President Goodluck Jonathan.

He holds the National Award of the Officer of the Order of Niger, OON conferred on him by the Federal Government on 21st July, 2010.


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