Publication in the Guardian newspaper of 28th March 2014 on outstanding professional in Nigeria of which our Managing Director – Surv Niyi Okuboyejo was one of the selected professionals recognised.
Those firms that have benefited from his technical competence, those professionals that know about his proven ingenuity and dynamism, the people that have been inspired and empowered by his astute management of resources and known him for his innovative contributions to manpower development in the country, jointly concede that Olaniyi Okuboyejo, Managing Director, Polaris Digitech Ltd, is one of the outstanding professionals in the Surveying and Geo-Information Systems (GIS) Industry in Nigeria today. Indeed, his achievements in the new profession of GIS are remarkable. Surely, his unwavering commitment in this regard has propelled him to succeed, maintaining strict adherence to professional ethics and global standards that have earned him a signature of value.
Experienced and hardworking, Okuboyejo’s decision to be a professional surveyor was largely influenced by the success and achievement of an uncle of his, a licensed land surveyor. Indeed, providence shows that he made the right choice. Speaking on this, he said: “When I was very young, we had several medical doctors, lawyers and engineers in our family, in fact my father was a pharmacist. We saw those professions then as the leading professions in Nigeria. However, there was this uncle of mine, who was one of the first licensed land surveyors, so he was a lone star amongst his peers in the family. He was very proud of his profession which was quite profitable at the time.
“During a discussion with him one day, I asked him how he rated himself with other members of the family who were in the “other” professions and his resounding response really impressed me. Thereafter, I started thinking of a future as a land surveyor. I told my father that I wanted to become a surveyor and we sought the professional counsel of my uncle, who recommended that I should attend the School of Surveying in Oyo to ensure I was properly grounded. Of course, land surveying then was mainly based on the science of measurement, but the profession has gone well beyond that today, and most universities now offer Surveying and Geo-Information Science, – GIS”.
With an experience spanning over 30 years acquired in both public and private sectors, the astute Surveyor and Geo-Informatics Manager has transited from old to new trends in the profession. Starting his working career from the Lagos State Civil Service, Okuboyejo attended the University of Lagos where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Land Surveying and later bagged a Master’s degree in Geographical Information Systems,(GIS) from the International Institute for Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation, (ITC), Enscede, The Netherlands. He is also an Alumnus of the Lagos Business School. Explaining what informed his progression from Land Surveying to GIS and Location Intelligence, the visionary manager said: “The latter period I spent in the public service boosted my career. We were trained under World Bank Assisted Projects. Questions kept coming up at that time on how we could better analyze and manage information at our disposal through information technology that was fast growing. I began to see this as the future of my career that had to be embraced, so when the opportunity arose to undertake further study abroad, I applied for an M.Sc. degree in GIS.
When he left public service to set up Polaris Digitech Ltd several years ago, not many people valued the services the new company was structured to offer through the efficient deployment of Geo-Information Management Systems, but today the firm has grown to become a leading Geo-technology and Land Surveying firm, spearheading the growth of a new phenomenon in the Nigerian Geospatial and Location Intelligence Industry.
Asked how Polaris Digitech has been able sustain its growth over the years, the Managing Director said: “Polaris was set up to provide solutions, but when we started it was very difficult for banks to finance our projects because they could not understand the unique services we provide. Whereas, we knew what we were offering and at that time a strategy to partner with the global players like Google, Oracle, Astrium, Pitney Bowes and others alike had to be adopted so that we could compete favourably, being that our industry is technology-driven. It is gratifying that our clientele base has expanded because we are customer-focused. Apart from this, we have continually trained and retrained our staff at home and abroad and have been building long-term relationships which are based on our core sustainable values”.
Advising younger professionals and CEOs of budding companies in Nigeria, the pragmatic pace-setter said: “The easiest way to build sustainable business is by surpassing clients’ expectations. This has enhanced Polaris Digitech’s growth and I know it will work for other growing firms. For the young professionals, it is important for them to know that what will sustain their careers will be more than just their competence. Hardwork, Diligence and Integrity are vital essentials required to build men’s careers”.