The Parliament Diary


Task of nation building collective responsibility – Odole of Ipe-Akoko

Task of nation building collective responsibility – Odole of Ipe-Akoko

Chief Prince Ayeni Ajayi Clement, a construction expert, in an exhaustive interview with The Parliament Dairy, expatiate on his career, life philosophy and the need to galvanise collective effort towards national cohesion and advancement.


Who is the man Chief Prince Ayeni Ajayi Clement?

Ans: Chief Prince Ayeni Ajayi Clement was born to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Ibitoye Ayeni on April 22, 1975, in Ipe-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria. I began my primary education at St. John’s African Church Primary School, Ipe-Akoko, in 1981 and continued schooling at the Government Secondary School Tunga-Maje, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria. Thereafter, I proceeded to study Building and Quantity Surveying at the Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa, Nasarawa State, Nigeria, where I obtained a National Diploma in 1998. I obtained a Higher National Diploma in Quantity Surveying from the Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti, Nigeria, in 2005 Intent on advancing my education and improving my expertise, I progressed to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria for a Post Graduate degree in Building Technology, which I concluded in 2023. After my undergraduate studies, I began my professional career at Nijak Engineering Company, where I undertook my National Youth Service in 2005. My professional work experience spans both the private and public sector. I worked in Dantata & Sawoe Construction Company Nigeria Limited, the Federal Ministry of Finance (Maintenance Units), Henry and Nick Associate Limited, S & M Nigeria Limited, Setraco Nigeria Limited, and Ciba Construction Limited. Having acquired valuable firsthand experience from various firms by working in diverse roles and capacities, a deep-seated passion for a more ubiquitous level of impact in the Construction space motivated me to pioneer my own company, Rubbaj Construct Ltd. From a staff strength of four (4) – God, the Senior Partner, Prince Ayeni, my Wife, and Youth Corper Femi – at inception in 2019, Rubbaj has grown quickly over the years and now has a staff strength of over fifty (50) and is still expanding. I Prince Ayeni is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Rubbaj Construct Ltd and Rychclems Integrated Ltd. As a Quantity Surveyor and “Engineer,” it has always been my goal to build roads, bridges, buildings, etc. The saying that, “the beauty of construction is watching vision come to life,” underpins my drive. I am drawn to hard work and honesty, I also find playing tennis and watching football pleasurable. I am a practicing Christian who has served God and His Church in different capacities such as Choir Master, Youth President, Pastor’s Warden (African Church, Suleja, Niger State), Assistant Pastor, Sunday School Teacher, Sunday School Coordinator (RCCG Abundant Grace Parish, Kubwa, Abuja), Committee Member (RCCG The Master’s Place Utako, Abuja), Committee Chairman (African Church, St. John’s Parish, Ipe-Akoko) and lots more. There is a saying that behind every successful man, there is always a woman. My story will be incomplete without mentioning my beautiful wife, Mrs. Racheal Olubunmi Ayeni, to whom I got married in 2008 and we are blessed with wonderful children.

What is your life philosophy?

Ans: Do unto others as you want them to do unto you.

How has it been doing business in Nigeria given the unstable economic policy, epileptic power supply and other perennial problems bedeviling the nation?

Ans: It has been very tough; we are only living by the grace of God. What can we do? It’s our country, we manage it the way it is and pray? that God makes things better for us in the nearest future.

As a construction expert, what legislation would you suggest to put an end to the incessant building collapse in Nigeria?

Ans: Everybody knows what it should be. The construction experts should be allowed to do the work rather than giving their work to politicians and quacks in the name of party members and the rest of them. Most collapses you are seeing are buildings mostly given to quack contractors who are not experts in the field and who are ready to maximize profit at the expense of quality leaving a token for the main contractors or expertise to do the job. In the course of doing that, fake materials are bought and all of that. What I will advise as a professional is that let building projects or civil engineering projects be given to civil engineering experts and to be supervised by them. Let nobody play politics with it as it is in Nigeria.

Nigeria will attain 63 in October, though still crowning, what do you think sir, is the best solution to revitalizing this nation? and making her join the comity of technologically developed nations in the world?

Ans: Discipline, when I say discipline I mean discipline. Discipline in all ramifications, discipline in all sectors, discipline of our political elites, discipline of our civil servants, discipline of me and you to make things work. Rule of law in this country is nothing because those who have the power get it all. If rule of law is allowed to play, all sectors allowed to do their work as it is, in the next 4-5 years there will be a turnaround; our case in Nigeria will be like that of Samaria, you wake up overnight and discover that everything is in good shape… that is my advice.

What is your relationship with His Royal Highness, the Olupe of Ipe Kingdom?

Ans: My relationship with him first, he is my king and then growing up as a child in the village, he is someone everyone in the village wants to be like. He worked with customs, he has money and fortunately for me, his house is by the road to my school so I see his house on a daily basis; I have admired him and had always wanted to be like him, build the kind of house he built that was where the love came from. When eventually he became His Royal Highness, I wasn’t close to him because I am not a fan of those who follow big men around. I always want to be myself but one way or the other our paths crossed of course we worship in the same church and then he noticed me. The journey began when I invited him for my in-law’s burial, he came and graced the occasion; and the relationship started. Luckily again we were put in the same committee which I chaired in our local church. So from there we worked closer and he now knows my personality and said, if I can do this in the church, he thinks he needs people like me in the community and I’m made to understand that he investigated me deeper even before the letter came. It’s not my personal relationship with him that earned me this, it’s because of what he has found me doing in the community and felt I deserved to be honored, that I can work with him to achieve good success.

How do you feel being conferred with the Odole of Ipe-Akoko chieftaincy title?

Ans: I feel great but I must tell you that am not a fan of such things but when it came, I couldn’t reject it, I think through it, I prayed over it and I had to even goggle the meaning of ‘Odole’, what is expected of the bearer of the title and even people that have been conferred with such titles both past and present, the likes of Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo (Odole of Oduduwa Land), Chief Godwin Olusegun Kolawole Ajayi SAN, Chief Adebutu Kesington a foremost business man. Looking at their personalities, I felt honored to be counted worthy to be conferred with such a prestigious title in my community. It is a great privilege, a rare one because all the people who held this title are all great men and I want to be associated with greatness that is why am happy that my name is being written in gold among the Odoles’ in Yoruba Land.

Looking at your company’s CSR, can you beat your chest and say that you have given enough to the society that contributed in making you?

Ans: Very well because the little we have, with the little we are doing or available for us for now, we have been able to touch lives, we have been able to put smiles on faces and the testimonies are there. We don’t draw for ourselves but then I believe that posterity will thank us for doing the right thing.

Lastly, what is your message to the good people of Ipe Kingdom?

And: My message to them is that let’s put our hands together. Let’s work together giving peace a chance or even embrace peace more because it’s a peaceful community and let’s not allow intruders bring problems into our community. Let’s work as a team and we will get there. To the young ones, they should learn to respect the elders and do to others what they want others to do to them. Finally, Education is key.

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