June 1938 – February 2017
The Olisa of Akure Kingdom
Engr. James Olusoga was born on the 11th of June, 1938 into the families of OLISA OLlKlMl and Apogodoola family of Akure in Akure South Local Government of Ondo State.
He started his Primary School Education at Native Authority Primary School, Akure and then Methodist Primary School, EgoerkItl now llupeju Ekiti and ltapa Ekiti between 1944 and 1950. He also attended St. George’s Catholic Primary School Ado Ekiti and Sacred Heart Primary School, Akure. He later proceeded to Aquinas College, Akure in 1953, where he obtained his school certificate in 1957 with distinction.
ln 1959 he Gained Admission to Technical Institute Yaba (now Yaba, College of Technology, Lagos), where he obtained the Yaba Diploma in Civil Engineering. Soon after, he had an opportunity to study overseas and he proceeded to Bolton Institute of Technology, Bolton, Lancashire England where he obtained a degree in Civil Engineering.
It was during this period that he made arrangement for his fiancée, beautiful MISS FLORENCE AGBABIAKA to join him and they eventually wedded on the 22nd May, 1965.
In 1967 he had obtained his degree and had been blessed with two sons, Simbo and Wole. It was time to go home. He returned to Nigeria with his family and joined the Ministry of Works and Transport as Executive Engineer Grade ll. He was seconded to Ove Arup and Partners on the lfe -Ondo Road, a World Bank project where he served as an Assistant Resident Engineer.
He served there till 1969 when he was posted to ljebu Ode as Divisional Engineer. In 1974 he proceeded to University of Salford in the United Kingdom where he obtained a master’s degree in Transport Engineer and Planning. ln1974, he returned to the Ministry of Works and Transport as Divisional Engineer for Osogbo where he was given the executive responsibility for the construction and maintenance of Government Buildings and Roads. His projects including the Design of RC box culverts and Osogbo Stadium.
Between January and March 1976, he became Superintending Engineer, Ministry of Works and transport, Abeokuta with responsibility on all Government Buildings offices. By ftpril 1976 on creation of Ondo State he was transferred to Ministry of Works and transport, Akure as Deputy Chief Civil Engineer Coordinating interim reports and design of highways by consultants.
He became the Chief Resident Engineer, Project office in 1977 with the responsibility of supervising road and water ways contracts of about 120 million naira in value. He also supervised the design and construction of the 7km four-lane Oba-Adesida Road, Akure.
In February 1978, He became the Chief Planning Officer and Head of Division. It is worthy to mention that during this time he initiated the design, commencement and construction of the Akure Airstrip by direct labour.
He left the Public Service in 1978 and became Managing Director of Luscenco Nigeria Ltd, a Civil Engineering firm. He has had affiliations with Heberger Nigeria Ltd, a building and civil engineering company with German partners.
Engr. James Olusoga has served in various capacities including: .
- Member, Board of ‘Directors of Ondo State Sports Council. Served also as Technical Adviser to the Council on infrastructure. (1976-1978)
- Member and later Chairman of Board, Aquinas College, Akure (1979-1983)
- Member, Board of Governors, Ondo State Polytechnic. (1 979-1 983)
- Chairman, Board of Directors Central Packages of Nigeria Ltd, a Federal Government owned company. (1 984-1986)
- Chairman, Ondo State Housing Corporation. Two terms appointment, the 2nd term ending in May, 1990 with his joining politics. (1987-1990)
- Member, Panel of Inquiry into the organization and Activities of NEPA. (Jan-June, 1994)
- State Commissioner of Works, Transport, Lands and Housing, Akure, Ondo State. (1994-1995)
- Member, Judicial Commission of inquiry into the Fire incident at the Murtala Mohammed Airport. (May-Sep, 2000)
- Chairman, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Akure Branch. (1981-1982)
- Member of Council, Nigerian Society of Engineers, National Council (1981-1986)
- Member, interview panel for NSE/COREN Professional Examinations for Akure Centre. (1985-1992)
- President, Rotary Club of Akure: (1986-1987)
- Two terms Chairman, Akure SDP and State Vice Chairman for Ondo State SDP (1991-1993)
- State Deputy Chairman, UNCP Ondo State (1997-1998)
- State Chairman, All People’s Party, Ondo State. (1998-1999)
- Chairman, PDP Fact-Finding Committee to Ebonyi State. (2000, February)
- Former Special Adviser on infrastructure to the Governor, Ondo State. (2003 to 2008)
Engr. James Olusoga has presented about 14 technical papers on varying topics in the engineering field. He is widely traveled, but remains an avid supporter and crusader of our native traditions and customs.
Engr. James Olusoga was installed as the Olisa of Akure Kingdom in 2012.
He is a great philanthropist. He enjoys various forms of music including classical, gospel and hip-hop. He loves to watch football and athletic generally. He is blessed with wives, children and grandchildren.