2019: Never too late

Image: Blaise Aboh

My eclectic abilities jump from Hillsong to Ayinla Omowura Anigilaje, conversations on Marlian Culture, to the life and times of famed pugilist, Joe Louis in comparison to that of Muhammed Ali, a sit-down for hours for football tactical breakdown or the legacy of Abdulkareem in NBA. As someone who tries to offer something new, I see new ideas as mostly a combination of old ideas, fed in the subconscious, and that find new meaning again. So, I am constantly hunting for varied knowledge.

 However, I don’t get it all. If there is a place that I know too little about – the movie industry. I might have heard of Game of Thrones on the sidelines but who sits to start a show that he won’t finish? I have a short attention span and a very summarizing mind, and to sit with a movie for hours, how do I do that? But,  I did. In 2019, I went on the movie binge – Greenleaf, The entire eight seasons of Games of Thrones, Sex Education, Ozark, The Crown etc. I intentionally watched Game of Thrones and ended it with long prose on leadership.

It was very funny but the real scenario of life was to see me argue like a pro with those who started watching GoT in 2011. I started in January 2019. It might have taken years for a few, it took me days and we ended with same hurried conclusion of the series.

I have seen enough to know that the cause of one’s life is a big unknown, firmly in our Creator’s hands and Asa mentioned: “ as the river keeps moving, I keep moving on”. I have seen enough to know that one should never look down on anyone in its current state because the future is a mystery. Who would have imagined a turnaround that could lead a newspaper to nominate me as a Nigerian of the decade? Sometimes, I really pinch myself.

Some fly high right now, drive the best cars or on that privileged life that we deeply wish, but everything in life is of time and chance. As someone wrote, we overestimate what we can do in a year but underestimate what can be done in a decade. 

2019 was more for family and less about a new idea or chasing BudgIT in breakneck speed. A large chunk was spent during my Obama Foundation program that ended in May but also included several shuttles to Maryland, where my wife and children lived. My wife, a pillar and rock, has borne a lot of burden raising two kids and also doing most for our second daughter, Ireoluwa.

After my program, I felt out of place and as stated in the well-chronicled story, I joined the government as a technical advisor but partisan vuvuzelas in and out of government asked that I take my bow. I did so gracefully.  My sense of purpose just got a notch higher. I am so thankful for everything. I am facing the reality that my family wants more stay in the US, allowing me to roam around as I try to do my part for Nigeria. I am spending two consecutive New Year celebrations in the US. The times are a-changin’.

I am also thankful for my wife, children, parents, my siblings and friends. The amazing backbone that I received this year from my Oluwaseun, Mum, Mrs Ezekwesili, Steve and Niyi, the assistance of siblings, Iyanu, Dr Kole Shettima, Ory, Vishal, Deji, Lisa, Zack, Emily, Funmi and the burst of new energy from Baba Agba, Kehinde, Damen, Mariam, Abel, Gabriel, Seyi, Hannah, Ireoluwa, Victoria, and Elvis.  I am grateful for my Lions family, BudgIT team, Obama Foundation cohort, Tutu Fellows and friends from around the world. 

2019 was for stability to align focus and the beginning of another new race,  a new decade. I want to try new things, push new heights and this brings me back to “Kwikly” and the great work that’s being crafted. My book did not happen in 2019 but believe me that I am closer than I was in 2018. Watch out in October 2020.

 I don’t have a New Year goal for 2020. I decided to do a two-year plan till 2021 with firm faith in God for a healthy and prosperous family, a new vista of ideas that brings wealth and opportunity and a new sense of purpose to transform the society. While the lands (Deuteronomy 11: 10-12, Hebrews 11:10) that I dream might look so far in current horizon, I seek for divine acceleration, like I flipped through GoT seasons in one sitting.

May the Lord keep up strong, well and steady till His glorious appearing. 

All the Glory: God

Friend of the Year: Baba Agba (he could have been so busy but always looking out for me. A key player in taking the government role. I never regretted the experience). 

New Friend of the Year: Opeyemi Olugbemiro (I like his consistency and how we found an intersection. He’s always close but with spaces to breathe. I believe we have great things to do)

Book of  the Year: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Facebook Friend of the Year: Adeola Ogunkoya (her burst of energy to see complexities of my life – the energy, the naivete & passion – warms my heart) 

Tweep of the Year: @AishaYesufu (a paragon of courage who reminds us to we did not elect a king nor an emperor. Her thick skin wears out partisans and leaves them gasping in their wake. She is a gem)

Person of the Year: Femi Falana (I am grateful for his consistency over the years and the tenacity on Yele Sowore’s case. He is a national treasure. I aspire)

Happiest Moment of the Year: Speaking at the Daystar’s Excellence in Leadership Conference. What a moment!

Saddest day of the Year:  Professor Pius Adesanmi’s passing (Ikú lóró. This really hurt me and I was graced to deliver a piece in his honour. It pained so much. May his memory be blessed)

Song of the Year:  Reckless Love ~ Cory Ashbury

Bible Verse: Open your mouth for the mute, For the rights of all who are unfortunate and defenseless (Proverbs 31 vs 8) 

#34 C’est la vie

I hope nothing about this piece trends because this has been a ritual – a reflection post, since my 25th birthday .

I am just sick of hearing my names blowing up in the media, radio stations humming it and TV stations rolling it in bulletins. Social media, I could not even keep up with the copious messages. 

I have been reached from far and nigh, the unexpected and the forgotten and I have also been touched by the congratulatory messages. To be congratulated by a leader from my  alma mater, that really warmed my heart. Some messages came too late when the smoke had already been put out.  I still received all in grace. Stretching the blood pressure of my Mum by notches has not been helpful and hear her hop around prayer mountains, puts me in a fit. What exactly is the meaning of this? 

Sometimes, one is in that valley – a trough of uncertainty.  One feels a battle had not been won and reins had been handed over for others to take on, as the spirit gradually lacked the spark that rose the flame. So one longs for that new shining city, the one that Amplified Bible refers to in Hebrew 11 verse 10 – a city whose builder and architect is God. 

Coming back from the Obama Foundation Program, put me in another step of asking what’s really next. We have a team and a leader that I fully believe in, what’s the point of hovering around when I can still sit in my office as an active citizen, pursuing new ideas?

Since August, after my return US, I worked on the definite quality assurance guide for BudgIT known Standard Operating Practice (SOP) – some crazy folks in the office called it “soapy”, basking in words of viral Naira Marley’s song.  What exactly was on my mind was something new. A direction that I has been laying up has been a simple weave of Artificial intelligence and Data Visualization. When we found no name as I kept interrogating the market opportunity, I took the profane path and codenamed it “Kwikie”. My wife did not like the name that at all. We had a logo for placeholder, hoping to launch in March 2020 under a more pleasing name. 

But what do you get in the midst of the valley? You hear new voices like Leo Tolstoy wrote in “How much land does a man need”. You are approached that there’s a rough patch in a far city that can see a green leaf, if you can bring torrents of water. Before you firmly sit in and lay the hoses, after two weeks of work stomping the ground, you see thorns and thistles all around. C’est la vie. Such is Life.

I like being challenged and possibly I have found an existential one again. Like when a lady touched my dark skin in the University, asking if this sooty face would have stained her immaculate light skin. I swore to myself to reach new reins when this colorist appeal just does not pause my stride.

 So, here is a new challenge to something bigger since it is clear that few words here and there, laced in emotions & naive expectations of someone I “almost beheld like a glass”, would roll me into newscycle, making last five days, a quick lesson that everyone wrote hot takes. One day, we will tell our stories. In full.

How do I feel now? Peace, Energy & Optimism. That in the next one year, by the Grace of God, in good health, it has to count for BudgIT in its expansion plans and for “Kwikie”, as we dream into a global space. 

I am glad that a complex personal conundrum is resolved. I am responsible for my father-in-law and I can still do that. My immediate family – Oluwaseun, Ire & Wuraola – will see more of me.  I can still hop on a plane to see new dreams, made from seven seas, in the bright lights of New York. I can see Mummy Oby in Berlin and cheer her up on the new fellowship. I can also go to Ido-Ekiti and lead a community project meeting. A rush of freedom after counting all that I have staked. 

I am very thankful for Ireoluwa Grace Onigbinde who clocks 1 in two days. Over 60 days in Intensive Care Unit, without any element of hope, to the eternal glory of my King, Ireoluwa is alive and smiles when I say – “Baby What, Baby Ire!!!”

Last year, I said we were happening, it is time to evolve. And as we move in the direction of His Grace, we accept the twists and turns, with firm trust that in the end that this is our life, our beautiful life. It is not just the counting it in annual pieces, by His Grace, we have a duty to make it further count. 

2018 Review: Unlike the Barrel of a Gun


I have been writing yearly reviews since 2009. This is the tenth version of expressing thoughts around the world, Nigeria and myself. From starting in First Bank in 2009, the glorious hope in Green Acts (my failed (or hibernating) start-up) in 2010 & 2011, resigning from First Bank in 2012, BudgIT in the steamrolling days in 2013, losing my father in 2014, getting married in 2015, welcoming Hannah in 2016 & the largely uneventful 2017, to closing the curtains of 2018, here are trips that flew by.

In 2018, I would accept that growth is happening. I am left with no choice. I am reaching the mid-thirties and a sprinkle of grey hair, tucked around my head is alarming. Life is happening. I also accept that life isn’t a straight line. You set all your plans in motion, but life happens and bends along the way.  The Yoruba idiom sums it well –  life is not that straight like the barrel of a gun.

In 2018, my family would welcome Ireoluwa, my second daughter. I have come to learn how to revel in God’s abiding grace, day by day. Once a while, another stuff pops up from the doctor’s lips but I am firm in the faith that this is my own gift, perfect from God. I was in Amtrak, waiting for the train to roll from New York to Maryland. I could not wait as my wife wailed that the baby was nigh. A second call to check up on her left my jaws open. She had delivered the baby.  That fast? It was a pump of excitement, I grinned all through the three-hour trip like a fool. Getting to Maryland popped it in full glare. Ireoluwa would spend 77 days in the hospital, with over 65 days in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. If anything took a toll on my spirit, it was springing in hope, on a daily basis.

In 2018, I felt the spring in my step. Twice, I listened to Barack Obama and I also had the famous hug with his wonderful wife. When I told my wife of the Obama Foundation Scholars opportunity, she encouraged me all the way. She wanted me to do it but I was reluctant. I was fellowship-weary with over a basket of 8 titles.  I remembered sitting in a pub in Joburg for the interview. However, God was plotting the line. Think of the plot of my wife having a baby in the US, the initial complications and myself being just 300 miles away not 6,000 miles (in Nigeria), it is God that writes those lines. I have come to cherish school again and also unlearning the “cram & pass” life; to learn that seeking knowledge is meant to open our minds, not regurgitate the lecturer.

I knew I would have to step aside from leading BudgIT and this is why Gabriel Okeowo (our new CEO) in the picture matters a lot. I have not been able to fully look away from BudgIT. I have played a minor role in defining standards and a ramp of courses in Oxford beamed my face on my missing points in leadership. BudgIT is poised for new things but before we take on that journey either in expanding our African footprint or taking new causes, we need to refix the culture. What started as an assembly of friends, brothers, cousins would not scale without the right culture. I am deeply committed to this and I am thankful for the support of my colleagues on this road. 

In all, I am happy that I was able to fix a part of my life – domestication. You know that stuff with a well-paid house help and driver in Nigeria can condemn you to just a man in the house with benefits. With the cost of living in the US and paying a nanny for $550 per fortnight, I had to assume some housekeeping duties. We are seeing the renaissance of strong women voices and how barriers of patriarchy, that sits in the living room cross-legged and waiting for a bowl of amala, is being shattered. I am trying to be part of that new flight.

I am equally grateful for family (especially a father-in-law that sailed through the year), friends, sound health, provision and also being able to donate a new coding centre to my secondary school, an initiative that has crystallised to The Proximity Project.

I am still filled with regrets. I never published that book, did not complete fundraising or BudgIT building and the new skills in playing piano or swimming failed to happen. 2019 beckons with few big dreams.

I will keep it simple – Faith (I need God more to keep the lines straight), BudgIT (I will need to reset the culture, raise new funding,  rebuild a new three-year sprint to 10-year anniversary), a new business (a side hustle is a need, BudgIT is proving inadequate for my needs) and book (I must not give the same excuse in 2019, be my reminder). I will leave the rest in hushed lines as worldly possessions deserve no vain mentions.

Looking forward to an amazing 2019. It is to keep focus, accept growth, and live in faith, wrapped in the rap lines of Rooftop MCs “things don’t happen to us, they happen for us”

Influence: God

Friend of the Year:  Iyanuoluwa Bolarinwa (he’s my assistant but he hears it all, always willing to help, that’s friendship but a great mention to Niyi Agunloye & Steve Okeleji)

New Friend of the Year: Baba Agba (incredible friend and we would gist on everything – APC, PDP and life)

Book of  the Year: The Rise and Fall of Nations by Runcir Sharma

Facebook Friend of the Year: Ademola Adigun (His incredible opinion still tells why Facebook is still a gem)

Tweep of the Year: @NaijaFlyingDr (an entrepreneur, evolving economist & brilliant medical doctor, a father of daughters won’t accept less )

Person of the Year: Segun Awosanya (I won’t accept his political views but you can’t deny his voice on EndSARS. He is a reminder that we must see humans as a permissible spectrum, not perfect entities)

Happiest Moment of the Year: Ireoluwa Onigbinde’s birth

Saddest day of the Year:  Kehinde Shote’s passing (his death left me with a lot of questions and reaffirmed that we are just extensions of God’s mercy)

Song of the Year:  Telli Person ( I just loved the rhythm, it made me dance)

33. From Bill to Barack


The clock keeps shifting and I am here only flowing with waves, transiting from a year to the next. It always looked like yesterday when I took a bow at First Bank building and walked into the sunlight. Recently,  I realized that I was 27 when I made that shift. The big 30 came, with amazing grace of Christ, I have topped that with 3 more years. I am growing, we are growing. Paraphrasing Dami Oyedele in her tweet, “there is no other future that we are waiting for, this is the future that we are living”. Our future – family, community, work, church, and friends –  is right here before our eyes. Someone calls me “Daddy”, a husband, a few see their inspiration in me, some found a leader, the church I longed to support is happening and I meet idols from Bill to Barack. We are surely happening.

I will dedicate this piece to my buffet of international fellowships. I am tempted to call it “a vanity collection” but believe me, it is much deeper than that. The fortune of leading BudgIT has endowed me with families around the world. I can count 9 fellowship and associations that I have participated in. I have considered retiring after the current one but there’s a genius award that I long for, a brew of TED fellowship and Young Global Leaders that I won’t mind. But what is the point of this fellowships programs if the learning is not shared? Let me share three evolving thoughts with you:

  1. The Venn Diagram

This is inspired by meeting a former US President, two weeks ago. He sets a plot that I fully formed in my mind. This comes from how the current work can be frustrating because it is evident that the wheels of change grind too slowly. However, I got plug – the world is governed by compromise. There are two circles. One circle is the ideal world in your head and another is the world as it exists. You will have to ensure that you bring the two worlds together to claim progress. The question is how large should the intersection be? I am talking of how do we combine realism with idealism. The challenge is if the circles are to close, you lose your value and momentum. Let accept that the Nigerian electorate is highly uneducated, prone to ethnic bias and does not really understand the right standards of living. How do you navigate in that world and win an election? I am learning that you need to mash up your idealism with the realism but be close to the side of idealism at all times. This means on the road to our progress, we will make compromises but never make that which destroys the ideals or crumbles your character. Buhari learned this in 2015 after serial failures but his capacity to use the wind for his sails is a lesson right before our eyes. It leaves me with the giant question, can the road be mildly crooked to reach our glorious destination? Would one be friends with Alao-Akala and still keep values that public treasury must be transparent and one dare not steal or waste public funds? This excludes the idealism of the civil society that the society must always strive too:  I have pondered on this especially the words of Churchill in his Neville Chamberlain’s oratory:

“The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however, the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour.”

  1. Leadership

If there was a fellowship that I suffered to be chosen, it was the Tutu Fellowship. I was encouraged but it came so right in end. It was an amazing class, the right expression of “all the stars are closer”. Let me put this on leadership and its revelation in my spirit. A leader is really a light, an element of inspiration. A leader is at basics a nurturer/mother, then a creative/visionary person, an action person and finally an element of order. This is the sequence that I have found. I had this 30-min long voice note with my team last week. I explained that in any system, the most fundamental word is trust. A leader nurtures in trust and allows the rhythm to be creative. A leader understands that deliverables must be met and when people are straying from the vision, he throws the order card. The two words that resonate in all is trust and listening. I can even put it as listening in trust. A leader must encourage a space of listening and allow immediate feedback on issues within the organization. It is not by piling up things just to spite people, it is vanity. A leader encourages dialogue on issues until it is clear that the order card is the only tool left to be applied. I am learning this badly and applying it. Learning in trust, allowing the rhythm, keeping an eye on the follower, giving space vulnerabilities and errors in the creative process but with an eye for action. Finally, for those who stray after the repetitive conversation (listening) in trust, apply the order to keep focus. It is still an evolving state of mind. I hope this gets clearer.

  1. Proximity

I have always longed to attend the Skoll World Forum. I did this year. The opening speech was by Bryan Stevenson who spoke on the power of proximity. There is a tendency that with our new bourgeoisie life, we really forget the context of our society. We can be lost in our charts and graphs, privileged living sustained by the charitable support that there is a society out there that needs help. We can sit in Lekki and hop around cities across the world in search of resources and networks but we can never be as strong until we stay close to the problem. I am trying to make an intentional approach to stay close to the communities. I mean to do more in Ogbomoso, visit the environment more often as well as FUNAAB and be a community organizer to fully imbibe the act of service. Being proximate is meant to stir up our empathy and allow dynamic thinking on why the work is never done. Because it is in proximity that we understand that 33 is not just a number; a lager that has served three generations of bricklayers since 1979.

“It is in proximity to the poor, the excluded, the neglected that we understand things that we can’t know from a distance” Bryan Stevenson

I am leaping into another year, anchored on God’s mercy. Believe, we are engraced people but if there is a reason why see the next second, it is because we are wrapped in the mercy of God. I am still working on giving it my all to my family, to the purpose and to our Lord. I am getting seriously interested in education, community service and creating a solid financial base and strong culture for BudgIT.

I am still on the road. This is my journey. May God keep you and I steady till His glorious appearing.

Illustration by Kenny Omotosho 

2017 Review Note: The 731st day of 2016



My wife randomly asked me, “how will you score yourself this year?”  Somehow, I feel 2017 did not really complete the 365 days or more importantly 731 days of 2016 just happened.  In my final 2017 note to my team, I moaned that we did not complete a single new fund for BudgIT in 2017 and it was mainly on tending the past and the ongoing strive to deliver the right value for stakeholders. It happens. I accept the disappointments and I have the lessons. Stepping back from operational issues has to be one, so my last event for today was a final meeting for a new personnel with the potential to transit to Chief Operations Officer.  An organization with our kind of mission has to accept it’s beyond the person of Oluseun Onigbinde.

I did not go penniless in 2017  but a lot of missed investment decisions left me scratching my head. All that cryptocurrency surge and I could not even drop a dime in it? I  have never won a lottery and maybe this elite MMM is waiting for me, to sap my money. Even the exchange gains of the early years got me on the wrong side after a tardy approach to seize the sails.  In a very timid way, I failed to lead a huge grant proposal that we tagged along as a coalition partner, it left me with multiple complaints. My assistant, Iyanuoluwa, is tired of listening to my wailing.  I have to move on and take on the bullish mode for 2018.
But, I am grateful. Grateful to God for life, safety, provision and amazing family. I traveled less, worked to spend more time with family, for this I am grateful. I watched Hannah grow into the amazing girl that mumbles “Dandi” and now mocks me with our anthem in an uneven scream“Baby, what a baby, big baby”. My younger brother got married, you can imagine the responsibility but I am glad to shoulder it, keeping my father’s’ memories steady lightens me up. BudgIT on the steady roll with the Civic Hive Project, now the fund-raising mode for a six-storey HQ and that groundbreaking work with the State of States, I was so glad. Chelsea won the league after an uncharacteristic slump, Shooting went to relegation. 

The world accepted Donald Trump and he has taken it all with errors, infantile tweeting and throwing tantrums around the world. Buhari is still Buhari, clearly showing that if we are really honest, he doesn’t have the intelligence to run the country in this age. I hope he gets the right signal to pass over the baton in 2018. I

I am increasingly getting fed up asking for changes in government, at what point do we throw in the hat and make a plunge? Going in alone will that change anything? Didn’t lot have to excuse Sodom and Gomorrah when it was no longer habitable? What is really the way forward? The advocacy is booming and I am that guy not surprised that I need to be introduced.  The rational thing is to make BudgIT better but where is the irrational one that meets my interests that the Nigerian citizen deserves everything that equalizes opportunity. If you see my campaign poster in 2018, a dry run for a more larger interest in the year ahead, don’t be surprised. If it goes back to expanding the fold of active citizens, I take it forward that I am staying on my calling.

I want to learn three things – riding a bicycle (always ashamed and stranded in Stanford), playing the piano and swimming.  It can’t always about data, it is time to find those skills that make life diverse. I am hoping to read more, finish my book and more importantly more time with my God and family. I look forward to a year in good health for friends and family, most especially my father-in-law. I look forward to a year I conquered my mobile phone and immerse into deeper thinking.

It all seems we overvalue this moment as tomorrow (January 1) seems just like another roll of the script. Maybe I bumped in 2017 with so much euphoria of the amazing 2016, drawing up a long list. Now, I will take a step at a time, work deeper within and triple my work ethic and dedication. I am really looking forward to 2018 and I pray God keeps us all safe. It going to be a big board on the wall,  crafted a step at a time.



Influence : God

Friend of the Year:  Steve Okeleji (Top man, always there, with Niyi Agunloye, we create an amazing trio)

New Friend of the Year: Kehinde Agbaje (joined BudgIT this year, part of our creative team, always lit up to see his dedication)

Book of  the Year :  Love Doesn’t Win Elections (Ayisha Osori’s book is illuminating on the depth of work needed to salvage Nigeria.

Facebook Friend of the Year:  Jen’witemi ( He works in government but never afraid to bare his mind, such is made of steel)

Tweep of the Year: @Ugodre (his work with Nairametrics is underappreciated)

Person of the Year: Ayobami Adebayo (for writing a debut novel, making a hit with it)

Happiest Moment of the Year: Seye’s wedding day

Saddest day of the Year:  Samson Abioye!!! 

Song of the Year:  Rara by Tekno (He mixed the crisis in government and the Nigeria quagmire into beautiful rhythm)

Bible Verse: Psalm 119: 37 “Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.”

Image Source: Daily Express 


In Remembrance of Olatunbosun Onigbinde

Screenshot 2014-11-04 13.57.02

 King James Music Illustration presented by M.I Abaga

I knew my Daddy in three curves of life – a sinusoidal one. The one I grew up knowing him as the wealthiest man in the world since he took us to beaches, Trans Amusement Park and could afford a costly school in Lagos. I also saw him lose his job, forget everything including “friends,” come to Ibadan seldom, but he never lacked the goodness in him. The final was when he got his job back, and if he did not reach the previous height of perceived wealth I thought he had, he had more than enough at every season.

Here is another remembrance of a very good man, a great father, who left this span of life. These days, remembering my father, Mr. Iyiola Olatunbosun Theophilus Onigbinde comes with more of lessons than grief. The grief does not end because a day like this brings back all that could have been. Like, allow him to sit back in that reclining chair share another rehash of Akintola and Awolowo crisis, and our grandfather’s role in it, his simple luxuries of wristwatches and cars, eat “eko and ekuru” on Saturday evenings and also the final transition to owning a printing press. My father always wanted to have a printing press, a decision he did not make and built a chair/table/canopy rental business – Mercy Rentals died slowly when he could not keep up with new designs. The chairs and tables were picked in the neighborhood for personal houses. Always amused to find his chairs in people’s living rooms.


I will take three lessons from his life:

Giving: My father was a giver, and he did it even in abundance and in want. I grew up learning a small sobriquet of the man “Presi, the Chair, Baba gbogbo aiye”. He would arrange the entire street ( I mean the entire street) and wheel us to the beach. I know we did this in Badagry and Eleko beaches. He had no restraint in how much he could give, and I doubt anyone who met him would make a contrary statement. Till he lost his Michelin job, he brought us Christmas cloth with crisp labels, and that was so cherished in our childhood. When he got on his feet back with another job at Milan, he was back to his best, his responsibility. If Baba at 3.55pm tells you to go to the bank, certainly, he will not fail you. Even while I worked in First Bank, I never stopped asking him for money due to my debt-ridden life. He came naturally to him, giving. Seye, my younger brother, when he appears back with 1,000 note will say in smiles, “Baba sure”

Faith: Daddy always had faith in me. Through that aborted Special Gift School dream, going through that tortuous journey to change my course from Petroleum Engineering to Electrical/Electronics Engineering and finally for standing firm with me when I left First Bank for BudgIT. He believed in the whole idea, and it comes with great pain and memory when my mortal self-thinks I could have done more to keep him alive. I could feel the pride in him when I arrived in his office and introduced me to his bosses, the Indians – “that’s my son.”

Duty: I grew up knowing Daddy as someone who cared and gave his all – family, work and every responsibility. It was not just about money, but it was also there. I knew how he traveled almost every weekend to meet his wife, my mother. I remembered how he chided me for not attending the funeral ceremony of his sister, Iya Oyo and I could not even give him a kobo. He just hated people who cared too little, and for him, it is an essential duty of man. He did this knowing that people cared too small about his needs when he was financially down, he was never in want of being a good man.

As a man or husband, he had his flaws, a painstaking reminder of his choices but he was a perfect father. I would not have chosen another. He would have been sixty today, and you can imagine how grand it could have been. I am trying to keep his memory through rehabilitation of a technology workshop in my alma mater and a token to the few persons around him when he left us.

Olatunbosun Iyiola Theophilus Onigbinde

November 4, 1957 – May 14, 2014
My good man, Rest in Peace

32. Dedication


In the past few reflections in my birthday posts, I have always stuck on the depth of God’s grace over my life. I mean as years keep racing, I encounter the faithfulness of God which always keeps me wondering, am I so worthy? It was just five years ago when it looked like life cut too little meaning. Now, I live it like a loaded gun, bursting at every opportunity in sight.

This post is for those dedicated to the craft, edging out excellence at every point, blooming where they were planted. Nothing more represents that in my life than to peer into the 35 years of duty of my mother. She retires at the end of this month after a glorious work, teaching primary school students. In fact, the pay is so basic, less than what the domestic servant of the National assembly leadership earn but believe me the work has been glorious. The influence of being a stern teacher robbed on my siblings and I. The least was a cane – always the abundant gift of primary school students -, an automatic reset button. I have to admire her dedication to the family too in the times of want and challenges; her sacrifice stands tall.

A lot of times we don’t seize the present. We wonder too much in the future that’s unknown. Our fixation on the fortune to come robs us of the joy of the present. I have looked into the things I do, and I am so grateful for the present. Though we lost our patriarch years ago, I am glad at how the puzzle of siblings, mother, wife, and daughter is fitting into places. But, I still have multiple questions on my mind.

Education in a competitive way spread across our public spaces is always on my mind and will be a fitting memory to the years of service of my mother. It is always painful to see Nigerians carry banners and sharing heart-wrenching pictures of citizens who desperately need emergency care. How many times will we crowdfund for the sick or ones who need education badly? How many times will ASUU go to strike in our lifetime? Health and Education have always been the bedrock of equalizing a society regarding the right to life and opportunity. We have a political class that cares so little about these issues because of what benefit will it be to them? They will prefer to build inflated roads and railways, backed by expensive public bonds – Nigeria’s biggest wealth transfer and private sector destructive fleece going on.

I share these plans for the future, and I know it is underpinned by the poor governance that we all suffer from. If we can deliver universal health care mostly to the gravely sick amongst us, give quality education to students that allow them to compete globally, open up large skill-up centers that push Nigeria to a global outsourcing hub, that’s a step ahead in fulfillment, but that’s always hard for our political class. It is very possible to park a plane for the President for 130 days but will be impossible to improve the working conditions of doctors.

As seen in technology growth, Nollywood booms, Nigerian viral music, in all, the government has always played catch up. So it is important that I begin, but that’s the future. While I ruminate on the questions, I must seize on the present – BudgIT. The work is still not done, but we stay on the questions, dedicated to the cause that every Nigerian is informed on how public funds are spent and they must take action on such basis.

Like Albert Einstein said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” I must remain on the question, sow it, watch it sprout and let it bloom. That’s what humanity and living have to be about, and leading BudgIT is just the beginning of the chain. The probe into multiple questions that confounds us and keeps me awake all the time. For now, let be remain dedicated to that I have been committed to do.

God bless you for all your messages and kind prayers.

2017-18 Season: Tactics and Reflections


Chelsea-3-4-3-conte-blues-EPL-Defense-1024x722After the UCL win by Chelsea in 2012, I slowed down my interest in club football. I can say it paled in that 2015-2016 season when Chelsea ended up mid-table. The euphoria of last season was so sweet and charges me for another. In this world of work, the Premier League has been a great ally to relieve stress. Maybe this might be the back-up job to BudgIT’s life – a PL manager. Who knows if I try a coaching badge? Am I being Gary Neville here? Fair pundit and woeful manager? Don’t judge me yet. Allow me some reflections on the coming season.

The 3-4-3 formation: It worked and spread like wild fire that Wenger, Mourinho, Pochettino and others tried the new sensation. Interestingly, Conte still bossed them. However, does 3-4-3 always work? I have watched Chelsea’s game against a decent midfield like Spurs and team strugggled with possession. 3-4-3 works for me when the play is against small teams or big teams with shoddy defence – Manchester City on both legs, the tactic comes short . 3-4-3 is a weapon captures the opposing team lacking in relative creativity to rise to the final third.

Conte should pick the lesson that 3-4-3 as midlfield of two persons will be too small to manage a strong opposition – a Dembele/Wanyama/Eriksen or Casemiro/Krooz/Modric.  When the midfield is lost, no matter the defence and its number, it will still crumble. The Juventus-Real Madrid last UCL final is the evidence. This why 4-3-3 works for me.

Memories of a Makalele & Essien as rock and a Lampard, Eriksen, Fabregas, Modric-type magicians left create chances. A 2-man midfield provides a dilemma for Conte. With Fabregas pairing Kante, he is shorting the chances for defensive work and with a Kante/Bakayoko, he is possibly going to “orphan” the attack like Chelsea did against Arsenal in the FA Cup Final. He should try 4-3-3 for big games. That’s a Bakayoko-Fabregas-Kante  midfield. It is the Madrid formation with Casemiro, Modric and Krooz. I like 3-4-3 because of wingbacks runs and the power of attack it unleashes but when it is a strong side, it comes very ugly with the the entire team in defence.


WingBacks Obsession: Chelsea is looking LWB and the 54 Pounds offer for Sandro is too much. The challenge has been there since the exit of Ashley Cole. Bertrand would have come close but Chelsea FC and its characterisitic impatience. Why not swap Rudiger (at least he costs 32m Pounds) for Azpi and let Azpi return to his role in a left-wing back. This also resolves the “height challenge” between Moses and Azpi on the right side of the defence, the loophole found by Dele Alli to bang two goals last season.

Alonso’s attacking quality is great but his recovery pace is worrisone. Alonso is great fit for 4-3-3 with the runs but it has been proven that his defensive capabiliities are so weak.



Cesc’s back-up is a handicap: It seems every role can be adjusted to but Cesc Fabregas has no back-up. Here is where the main proplem is. I think this is where Chelsea will struggle in the season. A Cesc Fabregas absence proves the team will lack creativity in the midfield. This is why a Barkley as a shadow CB will be good or 25-year Emil Forsberg of RB Leipzig who had 21 assists last season. Though Emil ain’t moving this season but not a single link from Chelsea. 

Academy boys: The exit of Chalobah is a very painful stuff. We looked ready to play a huge part but buying Bakayoko showed lack of faith in him. You can’t blame Chelsea for looking out for players with UCL experience. I am up for keeping Christensen and Lewis Baker.  I believe there’s a Dele Alli in Baker if Chelsea is patient to see it. I see folks taking Musonda over Boga but it seems team can only keep one as a backup to Hazard. I will go with Boga and allow Musonda find his flair in a mid-table PL team. He will back as a better player rather than rot on the bench when Hazard is back.



Learning from Mourinho: In the end, Conte will have to raise his tactical awareness in big games. He is known for not winning domestic cup and those games need tactical ingenuity and flexibility that produces results for the day. Mourinho is the king of this and also showed it in the Old Trafford win against Chelsea. The opposing teams have improved squads. Manchester teams with almost £200m in defence spending and Liverpool with Salah (my bet as season’s revelation). It is another battle of managerial excellence. Conte will have to be pragmatic especially in the last stages of UCL to snatch anything tangible.

P.S I am that fan of Lukaku, his raw energy and box presence puts him in the line of Drogba and Costa. I have my fears on Morata but I will wait. This is another £58m striker in a crazy transfer world. Once again, I wait. 

2016 Review Note: The trimuph of the underdog

Muhammad Ali Knocks Out Liston

Source: Getty Images

You might have seen the picture above and  assume this was one of those fantastic nights of Muhammad Ali, who after receiving multiple blows, stung his opponent, like a bee. If we can’t properly imagine the biblical upset when David flung a stone to the Goliath’s forehead, this picture is a close analogy. This is Ali’s major fight after proving himself at the Olympics and no one imagined a loquacious 22-year old would throw out  heavyweight champion on the canvas  in six rounds. The underdog prevailed.

In 2015, Leicester were hinging close to the top, it was dismissed that they would go cold in late winter. Leicester shamed the overpaid ballers, winning the Premier League. If that was not terrifying, right across the Atlantic, Chicago Cubs won the World Series after 108 years. Jonathan Schooling, a school boy fan of Michael Phelps, in eight years, went ahead to beat the same Michael Phelps in an Olympic swimming final. How did that happen?

The double whammy that left the earth nearly losing its tilt have been Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. I was addicted to fivethirtyeight, watching the polls ring the inevitability of a Hillary Clinton Presidency. What a morning, New York Times was predicting a 90% chance of a Trump Presidency. Most of the polls put forward the “Remain” vote but the swing went to those want a pause to the globalized liberal march.


Pollsters final projections – New York Times, 538 & Huffington Post.  

The Nigeria politician has always looked in fit as the unquestionable, treating citizens with irritation. This is how without any restraint or push from their conscience, security funds were tossed into private accounts of politicians. Though without a well known successful prosecution, one can see the Nigerian elite, the powerful, either lost in silence in London or pleading for leniency from gaol. Saraki and Ekweremadu stood in the dock in bowed heads, Patience Jonathan talks of making her sleepless, Tinubu told to keep his cool within his Lagos perimeter and the Almighty PDP splits into factions, losing the brag that formed in its wake. The soiled lordships were not spared as the bench got ramped into the dock after a gestapo drive by dreaded DSS. Oil price was in shambles and gold,  the safe asset, nearly lost its allure as its price spiraled down.

My life amused me this year but a “black and white” world won’t leave one without pauses. It feels so good to be a father to Hannah Wuraola Onigbinde. What a bundle of joy from God through the womb of an amazing wife, Oluwaseun Agbelusi-Onigbinde. After reaping a long list of the high, low, fashionable, classy and beautiful, taking my mother-in-law was a tough one. Nigeria was tough for most people as the economy tipped into the recession and  to survive must be nothing but gratitude. 

BudgIT keeps jamming forward and  I clocked so much flight miles than I could imagine, shopping around the world looking for funding. With support from Gates Foundation and Omidyar Network, the underdog in me fought into the realm that cross a major milestone. Here is our chance to birth new ideas and take new landmarks. 

What will 2017 hold, can the underdog keep dazzling us? With Chelsea in firm control of the Premier League, Donald Trump appointing a billionaire cabinet, Saraki and Buhari are in the bromance, oil subtly  on the rise again, Ibori is out of prison, can we make another guess?  Another high along the sinusoidal curve? Is the establishment  back like it never left? In 2016, life took flight from the strong, strength disappeared from the mighty and wise second-guessed their understanding of the deep. Bookmakers, analysts, data-drunk activists and pollsters lost the plot in 2016. Data as we knew it was humbled and left a lot of introspection. 2017, we assume nothing but fully hopeful of joy.


Influence : God

Friend of the Year: Adeniyi Agunloye (he could have given up, top man, always been there)

New Friend of the Year: Baba Agba (a delightful personality, who always finds a chance to share memories)

Book of  the Year : The Fishermen – Chigozie Obioma (a very sad book but every page is priceless)

Facebook Friend of the Year:  Victor Asemota (an interesting Senior Man)

Tweep of the Year: @BukkyShonibare (for reminding us everyday that there is no closure when it comes to Chibok)

Person of the Year: Yemi Kale (for your commitment to the craft & strive to be put out the data in  your courage)

Happiest Moment of the Year: April 18, 2016. (Hannah Wuraola Onigbinde appeared in beauty)

Saddest day of the Year: Burying mother-in-law.

Song of the Year:  Mama by Kiss Daniel (His album is a major milestone in music industry)

Bible Verse: Isaiah 14:27

“For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?

Re: The End of History & The Last Man

Stanford Professor, Francis Fukuyama, who taught me last summer, wrote a seminal book titled “The End of History and the Last Man” in 1992. The West and East (read USSR) have been locked in a battle of ideas for years – Cold War –  and the Berlin Wall and the USSR just crumbled. Francis advanced that we have come to the end of history; Western Liberal government was the only way ahead. This is the end of history. The Last Man is here to distribute the ideals of freedom and globalizations to the world. It was not wrong for a period. Russia moved into democratic systems and China liberalized its trade with the world.

It is clear that we have not seen the end of history, we are actually accepting the “interesting times” that lie ahead. There is a roll-back to nationalism and regional power balancing and we are going to witness another set of “men” opening new chapters of history.

When I thought Brexit was unbelievable, believe me it was the trailer to the epic episode that would become of Donald J. Trump. I have limited Trump’s win to four things and I hope we take the lessons again. Let’s go there:

The “R” word: A lot of people have openly spoken this was just the “white-lash”, I just think this point is just too simplistic. Hilary is also white, why did they not warm up to her? Hillary lost votes not of those in white male but also the white female category. In fact, the places where Obama thrived, – Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin – Hillary lost such demographics. We might sniff it but the bigger issue lies in the next points.

The Outsider Narrative: I have been studying to the American elections. Who actually gets the elections? Whoever poses himself as the outsider. Start from Jimmy Carter mopping up the Nixon Era as a decent Baptist parishioner, to Reagan sticking it in that “government was the problem”, to even Bill Clinton from a small town in Arkansas. You would have bet that Albert Gore would lead the US after Clinton balanced the books, but enter George W. Bush. Even Obama came from across from that point –a good speech at a US election and a one-term Federal Senator. It was always a question of who could place himself as the anti-establishment. Most Americans feel the “Washington” is broken. People always come forward with the messianic thinking that they could resolve the issues. Sadly, the issue at stake here even in Europe with Brexit and US has been the unrestricted move of migrants. Donald Trump played his card from the blast. He kept saying it – “this is not a campaign, this is a movement”. It was a fight against pluralism and it comes to which candidate whipped that line so hard.

A tide that does not lift all boats: When you look at the Brexit map, the people who mainly voted “no” are just between the London and the Scottish axix. The folks who voted Trump also mainly belong to the middle – The Rust Belt. Most of us assume globalization works for all. We forget that it wrecking a constituency that we are yet to address. The Romanians and Polish in UK, the Hispanics and Africans in US, putting the “natives” in pains. There’s a tide that has not lifted all boats and we think these are shining cities on the hill. The anger has been lashed at the immigrants. This class that has found its voice risen through the ballot, it is the year of rebellion.



Source: BBC

Hillary was not just perfect: On every moral stand, you will not place Hillary and Trump on the same stand. Never. However, check the momentum for Bernie Sanders movement. Same anti-establishment thinking around US tuition and an economy that works for all. Hillary could not conquer their email issues reinforced with the deletion of emails after been subpoenaed, the speeches to Wall Street that Democratic Party idealist loves to demonize and the quick cast as the establishment candidate. You could Trump weaving his last line as “Drain the Swamp”.

In end, US did not surprise itself. The issue that prevailed was of immigration and Donald Trump promised to bring the jobs from China, talked of how China gamed the entry to WTO, spoke undocumented immigrants, ending the NAFTA and budding TPP bids. Globalization has been stopped in its tracks, the nationalism mast is pushing higher. Everything you could fear in Trump has taken a back seat to make a room for this. The anger of the left-behinds has been fully pushed in the polls. Will Trump fix this? I won’t bet that there are quick solutions. Time will tell but another politician just rode on the message, he will be the 45th US President.

Maybe we can pause and reflect more. I really looked forward to Hillary as President. There are new lessons and insights for today. Only if we pick them.