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Hope Beckons on Ilara as Olufolarin Ogunsanwo Becomes Alara-Elect



Following the passing on of the immediate past traditional ruler of Ilara community in Epe Division of Lagos state, Oba Hakeem Okunola Adesanya, Alara of Ilara Kingdom, about one year ago, the stool naturally became vacant until recently that the living five out of the seven king makers, upon going through the required processes unanimously assented to the choice of Prince Olufolarin Olukayode Ogunsanwo as the man who will lead Ilara Kingdom as the next Alara, having been anointed as the Alara-Elect.

Alara- Elect, Folarin Ogunsanwo with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

Alara-Elect, Folarin Ogunsanwo with Late Alara, Oba Hakeem Adesanya

As a reputable and credible stool that is traceable to the source, Ile-Ife, there were clashes of interests in the bid of who ascends the throne from which Ogunsanwo emerged victorious. This development naturally would not go down well with everyone, hence, accusation of imposition of the new Alara-Elect from group backing other interests.

However, contrary to what is expected to be a reality of the accusation and mudslinging, the emergence of Prince Olufolarin Ogunsanwo as the Alara-Elect, has brought about a visibly exciting atmosphere in Ilara, as all and sundry in the ancient town believe emergence of Ogunsanwo will usher in a new dawn and that once again, hope of development has beckoned on the town and its people.

Alara- Elect, Folarin Ogunsanwo with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Alara-Elect, Ogunsanwo (Far left) with Oba Elegushi and oba of Ikorodu

He’s known and described as one of the best brains and a thoroughbred professional as far tax administration is concerned. This is understandable, because Ogunsanwo tended the now towering image he kicked off with a brief stint in the banking sector before moving to government establishment where he plied his trade in tax administration for twenty six years and rose through the ladder to the top.  An otherwise great and humble personality, his essence can be said to be ensconced in the kind of philosophy that speaks directly to life, beliefs and professionalism, which   is anchored on service to the people and patriotism to the country.

Alara-Elect, Ogunsanwo with Chief Afe Babalola

Alara-Elect, Ogunsanwo in handshake with Ooni of Ile-Ife

According to findings, Olufolarin, despite being a Prince who is eligible to the throne, he never thought or set his gaze on becoming a king, but for the recognition his outstanding success in his field as a tax administrator, his passion for the development of Ilara as well as his people which he had demonstrated over the years, irresistible pressure from all quarters begun to mount on him to give a shot at the throne before fate eventually paved way for him and he emerged victorious in the contest for the throne of Alara.

As a guru in tax administration, Ogunsanwo rose through the ranks up to the top of the ladder that he became the Chairman Lagos state Inland Revenue Services and he didn’t fail to write his name in gold even as he left enviable legacies in the agency.

As the executive chairman (Sept 2015 – Aug 2016), Ogunsanwo recorded landmark achievements as well as put in place mind blowing innovations. Some of them include the following;  

  • Achieved the highest internally generated revenue of 24.5 billion (Jan – Feb 2016) of the targeted 25billion for the period.
  • Introduced Electronic filling of tax returns to ease filling of returns by employers of labor.
  • Redesigned the assessment form from a 6 pages form to 2 pages to encourage voluntary compliance in tax payment.
  • Member of The Joint Tax Board (September 2015 -August 2016)

Speaking stricto sensu, what more social recognition would anyone have needed other than the one that made it possible for Ogunsanwo to genuinely support many people in his community by regularly handing out scholarships to indigent students and helping in providing social amenities to the community. It is on record Ogunsanwo has eased power challenges by doling out couple of transformers to areas and church, among many other interventions to ensure all is well with his people. Beyond his community, Ogunsanwo has single-handedly facilitated job opportunities in the civil service for a considerable number of individuals from his community and beyond.

Alara-Elect, Ogunsanwo ( on the left, standing) with Former Commissioner of Commerce in Ogun State, Femi Otedola and Aliko Dangote

Alara- Elect, Ogunsanwo ( Left) being decorated with an award by the former Chairman LIRS now Chairman FIRS, Tunde Fowler

What has been on the lips of many of Ilara indigenes who are favorable disposed to the choice of Ogunsanwo as the next Alara is that, with such an impressive public service record, passionate disposition and great influence in the right quarters, and most importantly the cordial relationship he shares with the Governor of the state, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, it is only matter of time Ilara will become a place to be in Lagos state and as such rival other well developed towns in the state.

It’s worthy to note that all the traditional rulers in control around places like  Epe, Ikorodu, Ibeju preferred the candidacy of Ogunsanwo and  the choice of these traditional rulers, is believed may have been influenced  the traits of Omoluabi and Atobatele Ogunsanwo displays. Also, the entire political class preferred the former LIRS boss.

On another note, it should sincerely not be unexpected that opposition would take advantage of how Alara-Elect, was relieved of his duty as the chairman Lagos Inland Revenue Service by immediate past Governor of the state. As a matter of fact, it is a welcome idea for anyone to wonder how a man who had served meritoriously and armed with finesse and exposure would have found himself in a sleaze. It is however necessary to put the record straight the Ogunsanwo was given a clean slate by the committee instituted by the Lagos State House of Assembly to look into the allegations leveled against him, thereby established his innocence.

Institute of Directors, UK, trained – Folarin , is a professionally certified tax expert with over 27 years of work experience as a Tax Administrator and Practitioner. He’s confident and target driven individual with proven leadership skills that involve managing, developing and motivating teams to achieving set objectives.

Going by his creative, revolutionary and innovative capabilities, Ogunsanwo can hold his own wherever he finds himself in the world. He’s an alumnus of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Bachelor of Science (BSC) – Economics , Osun State (1988) Lagos State University, Master of Public Administration (MPA) Ojo, Lagos (1995) Public Finance and University of Lagos, Akoka (2003) Master of Science (MSC) – Economics.

Among other honors, in 2018, he was bestowed with Prestigious Leadership Award by Fight Against Corruption Organisation (FACO) while in 2008, he was decorated with an award of Recognition for Outstanding Performance by the Executive Chairman & Management of Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS).

It’s worthy to note that all the traditional rulers in control around places like  Epe, Ikorodu, Ibeju preferred the candidacy of Ogunsanwo and  the choice of these traditional rulers, is believed may have been influenced  the traits of Omoluabi and Atobatele Ogunsanwo displays. Also, the entire political class preferred the former LIRS boss.

As much as it is believed his emergence will bring about unprecedented development in llara, every other contestants who lost out in the race for the throne are expected to make development of Ilara a priority, thereby join hands with Ogunsanwo to move the community forward and help in bringing together sons and daughters of Ilara, home and abroad.

Alara-Elect, Ogunsanwo with Iyaloja General, Folashade Tinubu- Ojo

Alara-Elect, Ogunsanwo with former Ghana President, John Mahama

Alara-Elect, Ogunsanwo with Speaker Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa

Alara-Elect, Ogunsanwo with King Sunny Ade





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