Olesegun Ojo an Associate of the African Centre for Disaster Studies, North West University, South Africa. He is also the managing partner of the African Centre for Environment Development and Information Network in Nigeria, an NGO with focus on disaster risk reduction and urban sector development. He holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc Geography of the University of Ibadan, a Ph.D. in Urban Travels and Land Use at the University of Ibadan, and a Masters’ degrees in Urban Development Planning from the Universities of Ibadan and Development Planning Unit, University College London. He has been a lecturer at Oyo State College of Education, and briefly thought urban and regional planning at the Obafemi Awolowo University. In between, he served as a Senior Town Planning Officer at the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Lagos. He was Assistant Director of Relief and Rehabilitation of the National Emergency Management Agency from 2001 to 2005, Deputy Director from 2005 to 2009 and Director from 2009 to 2010. Dr. Ojo has embarked on many activities in disaster risk reduction, including mainstreaming DRR into the national education curriculum and establishing a Masters programme in disaster risk studies and development in six federal universities across Nigeria.
Olesegun Ojo, former director of Nigeria’s Relief and Rehabilitation of the National Emergency Management Agency, is now Managing Partner of the African Centre for Environment Development and Information Network in Nigeria, an NGO with a focus on disaster risk reduction and the urban sector.
“In Nigeria, the first thing that people will tell you is that they need better infrastructure. Infrastructure decay is very high. The cost of doing business is very high because you don’t have constant electricity and need to buy your own gas. It leaves entire cities very vulnerable. In turn, most municipal officials lack the capacity to address urban problems,” said Dr. Ojo.
After being appointed champion, he helped to create an action plan on urban resilience. “We had to work with organs that have the network and legitimacy. We found it in the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, the focal partner for UNISDR. It has the resources and legitimacy to call the stakeholders together. I approached NEMA in November 2011 to form a national action committee to work on an urban resilience campaign.”
“I see the possibility of a national workshop to call attention to urban resilience including relevant people from the private sector, civil society and elsewhere. I would want that national action plan to be presented to a national workshop so people can make further input before the plan is put up for adoption,” he said.
His other activities in urban resilience include mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into the national education curriculum and establishing a Masters programme in disaster risk studies and development in six federal universities across Nigeria.