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How Funmi Olotu’s industry experience is changing Lagos lottery board, gaming system

By Idowu Abdullahi

Despite limitations on professional aspiration of female gender  across Africa, particularly in Nigeria, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Lagos State Governor on State Lotteries, Funmi Olotu, has continued setting the pace and shattering glass ceiling by deploying her industry’s experience to change state’s Lotteries Board and its gaming system narratives.

Aside from changing the board and gaming system narratives, the 38-year-old who specialised in strategic management of human and other resources have worked assiduously since her appointment to upwardly drive the board’s revenue following several reforms she introduced into the system for effective service delivery.

Olotu’s trajectory and successful reforms in the Lagos Lotteries board, it was gathered, cannot be divorced from her over 15 years of industry experience that saw her becoming a lead strategic management professional following her proven track record which stood on tripod of resilience, hard work, and excellence results.

Tagged as a rising star in the feminine galaxy, the special adviser’s inspiring profile as brilliant, energetic and youthful Amazon whose exploit in private sector and public service presents classic story of resilience and hard work.

“The chemistry of Funmilola Olotu radiate spectrums of leadership that shine to their full wavelengths. Youthful, focused and highly energetic, the 38-year-old has consistently exhibited high spirit of resourcefulness which has propelled her personality from the humblest rung to remarkable stairs of distinction,” her profile read in part.

After her Bachelor’s degree in Economics at the University of Ibadan in 2005, she proceeded to the University of Lagos (UNILAG) for Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with specialty in Strategic Management. Meanwhile, her exceptional exploit in Business Intelligence, Strategic Management and Revenue Management became her selling point and also projected her to professional limelight.

“Barely experienced in 2006, after she completed the mandatory National Youth Service in Cross River State, Olufunmilagos, as she is often called, took a plunge into the corporate world, deploying only her talent and certificate to launch herself. By dint of hard work, resilience and knack for results, she rose from a humble beginning to become a lead strategic management professional within 15 years of industry experience,” the profile read further.

Is her appointment as SSA her first shot at public office? In 2018, Funmi braced the odds and took up the gauntlet to contest representational position in Lagos politics. She aspired to represent Ikeja Constituency II in the Lagos State House of Assembly on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), but the ticket was won by an opponent during the primaries.

A believer in team-playing and sportsmanship, Olotu canvassed support for the party candidate in the 2019 general election, leveraging her robust relationship with the millennials to mobilise votes for the party’s victory in her constituency and in Lagos State at large. She has worked with top party leaders contributing her quota towards the development of the party. She is, no doubt, one of the young women to watch out for in the Nigerian political space.

Like the proverbial golden fish, her accomplishments fished her out for public service. In 2019, Funmi was appointed as a Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on State Lotteries, one of the under-40 women plucked from the private sector to play key roles in the current administration.

In this special public assignment, Olotu has assisted Lagos Government in solving key regulatory issues challenging the gaming sector and works with the Lotteries Authority management to reposition the agency in improving revenue generation for the State.

An unrepentant social entrepreneur, the special adviser is certified in Social Sector Management from the Enterprise Development Center (EDC) of the Lagos Business School (LBS) – a programme funded through scholarship from African-American Institute and Coca-Cola Foundation.

Her work experience spans 15 years with stints and key roles in telecommunication sector, public service, and NGO. Her expertise includes Project Management, Business Intelligence, Tax Administration and Business Consultancy. She is a strategic thinker with proven record of hard work and integrity.

Bold, audacious and focused, Olotu clings to her faith in God. She is a life coach to youths and young adults, and one with ardent belief in raising responsible youths. Pursing this passion, she set up a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) through which she reaches out to the less privilege and alleviates poverty. She is the founder of Focus Initiative Concern, a social enterprise focused on youth development and education and has sponsored several projects across Lagos State.

She is also an associate member of the Institute of Directors, Nigeria (IoD) as well as an associate member of Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ). Her years of work and industry experience reflect her passion to create, build and sustain people and businesses. Recently, she was chosen to participate in the African Civic Engagement Academy supported by the Government of the United States of America in partnership with the University of Georgia.

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