Former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Sarafa Tunji Ishola, is the next Ambassador of Nigeria to the United Kingdom.
Sarafa Ishola, a former Secretary to the Ogun State Government, is among the 43 Career Ambassadors and 52 Non-Career Ambassadors, whose postings were approved last Tuesday.
A distribution of the postings, sighted by The Point, also indicated that former Managing Director of The Guardian, Debo Adesina (Oyo State), would be the next Ambassador of Nigeria to Togo.
Others are Ademola Seriki (Lagos) – Spain; Dare Awoniyi (Kogi) – Venezuela; Zara Maazu Umar (Kwara) – Malawi; Kayode Laaro (Kwara) – France; Yusuf Tuggar (Bauchi) – Germany; and Eniola Ajayi (Ekiti) – Netherlands, among others.
The Federal Government had, last Tuesday, approved the postings and directed the Ambassador-Designates and their spouses to prepare for an induction course, which would hold very soon.
Ishola, the new Nigerian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, had amassed strong educational qualifications and professional experience to prepare him for his next role.
He attended the Chartered Institute of Marketing, England, between 1978 and 1981; went through the Principles of Investment Course, South West London College, in 1981; and successfully completed the Leaders in Development Course at Harvard University in 2009.
Born on November 25, 1960, Ishola holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.
The former minister started his career as a lecturer at the Department of Business Studies, Federal College of Education, Katsina between 1982 and 1983 (NYSC); and later, lecturer in Business Statistics, Marketing and Economics at the Federal College of Education, Katsina (1983-1986).
His experience cut across diverse career paths as he also served as Sales Executive, Commercial Services Division, Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation, between 1986 and 1990.
An astute politician of national and international repute, Sarafa Tunji Ishola was Chairman, Abeokuta North Local Government, a position he held between 1997 and 1998. During the same period, he was elected Chairman, Conference of Local Government Council Chairmen in Ogun State.
His outstanding leadership qualities singled him out for higher political responsibilities, as Special Assistant to the Honourable Minister of State
for Finance (1999-2003); Secretary to the Ogun State Government (2003-2007); and Nigeria’s Minister of Mines and Steel Development (2007 – 2008).
He is currently the Executive Chairman of Taist Nigeria Limited, Taist Merchants and Eshawller Investment Limited.
Ishola attended the First Consultative Committee Meeting of the Board of Governors, African Development Bank, (18 -19 November, 1999), in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire; Meeting of the ECOWAS Trade, Customs, and Immigration (22–23 November, 1999, Lome, Togo); and 6th Meeting of Afrexim Advisory Group on Trade Finance and Export Development in Africa (May 9, 2000), in Tunis, Tunisia.
He was also at the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting, in Malta (September, 2000); annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group, Czech Republic (September, 2000); among many other international assignments.