Remilekun Banigbe, The Round Peg In A Round Hole: The Story Of Kwara Environment

It is an open secret that every leader, especially in a democratic setting needs dedicated and hard-working hands to push their policies for the good of the ordinary populace.

This means, a key factor to every successful governor in any state in the federation is having vibrant and dedicated
people in the executive council.


It is not hyperbolical when we say the success of an administration depends on the tenacity and competence of the governor’s appointees why? They are the tools that fashion out the master’s agenda.

No wonder, the progressively minded governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State appointed the workaholic Oluwatobi Remilekun Banigbe from Ijara-Isin as the Commissioner for the Ministry of Environment.

Questions may arise as to the wisdom in choosing a woman to head such a sensitive and pivotal ministry. However, the trusim that “what a man can do, a woman can do better” is evident in this scenario as Banigbe has not only excelled in keeping the state, especially the metropolis, clean and tidy but has also ensured that staff of the ministry remain motivated to put in their best at all times


The environment is the natural world. We have everything in it because it is our abode. Infact, all other ministries are related to the ministry of environment in one way or the other, hence the need for someone with an endearing character and good human relations to paddle its ship successfully. All thanks to the governor who saw the need for a Banigbe in a crucial ministry at a crucial moment.

As a Linguist and a mass communicator cum banker, one may be tempted to suggest her for another corresponding ministry because for real, she would perform excellently well in any ministry she is posted to but we must give it to the ingenuity of the governor once again through the divine guidance of God Almighty who placed her in the capacity to turn around the Kwara environment for better and make great impact that would stand the test of time.


Remilekun Banigbe came on board at a time the state had lost her glory in neatness as people had chosen to dispose their waste on the roads and medians thereby constituting nuisance everywhere. Surprisingly, under a short time, in response to the mandate received from the governor, she was able to put an end to indiscriminate dumping of waste and presently, the lost glory is restored because the once littered environment has actually wore a new look.

This is a commissioner who resumes to the streets everyday sensitizing the people from shop to shop, house to house, in a friendly and appealing manner on how best to dispose their waste and have a clean and tidy society.


A woman who would choose to be in the sun as against her air conditioned office, supervising the evacuation of waste on the streets even to the final dumpsite at Sokoto Ayekale.

I could remember sometimes in the month of May, how she celebrated her birthday with the sweepers at Challenge down to Post Office and on October 1st, how she stood from morning till night to ensure Oja-Ipata is ‘independent’ from refuse even on Independence Day.

Banigbe in her passion to get the work done and achieve sustainable success, led the ministry to collaborate with the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, both of Kwara Command to help uphold environmental laws, and the idea has indeed yielded positive results on the environment.


For adequate disposal of waste, she also oversaw the deployment of roro bins and the galvanized bins at strategic locations in the metropolis, a development which has helped make the market places and the streets clean and green.


To achieve a 100 percent dirt free society, the government through the ministry also recruited men from the community into the Environmental Corps at various locations who would be on ground 24/7 to stop those who dump refuse on the road medians overnight.


Unlike what was obtainable in the past, the commissioner ensured the monthly sanitation is not only observed in the capital city by extending the activities to other communities in the state for larger participation and general cleanliness.

Her impact on the environment so far is so meaningful and numerous that I can only mention just a few leaving the rest for other days.


I am not passing by like Bisi Kristien the perpetual passerby so, I can write from within and attest to the fact that Banigbe is actually a round peg in a round hole and has truly changed the story of Kwara environment for better.

She has done so much that the Olusin of Ijara-Isin, Oba Ajibola Ademola Julius and the entire people of the community are proud of and on that track, we know the New Year will be better.

Agreed, we are not where we want to be but even the blind can see and the deaf can hear that we are no longer where we used to be. And that is what success is all about; a gradual progression to the desired destination.


Every activity of the Honourable Commissioner in the ministry since her assumption of duty in May till December 2021 goes to prove that
her appointment, is purely based on quality and ability rather than politics. Kudos to the people’s governor for making this happening in Kwara.

Opeyemi Adeoti, journalist writes from Ilorin.

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I am a journalist based in Ilorin

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