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Meet John Obaro; entrepreneur, technology guru and founder of SystemSpecs




John Tanimola Obaro  is an entrepreneur, technology guru, public speaker, writer and founder of SystemSpecs Nigeria Limited. He is widely known as 'The Consummate Innovator'. He was born on April 19th, 1958 to parents from the Okun tribe in Kogi State, Nigeria.

Obaro grew up with an uncle of his, Mr.Ayo Omolokun who was the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry Of Education in Kwara State. 

He attended Baptist Primary School and Government Secondary School, both in Ilorin, Kwara State. During his secondary school days between 1970 and 1974, Obaro wasn’t initially good in mathematics because the teachers he had then were not exciting. However, in his form four, a young man called Dr. Raphael Awoseyin propelled his interest in the subject. 

After much deliberations, he opted to study computer science and mathematics at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, beginning in 1976 and he graduated with a second class upper degree in 1979. After his undergraduate studies, Obaro earned an MBA from the University of Lagos in 1981. He also earned a Chief Executive Program (CEP3) at the Lagos Business School.

During his MBA at UNILAG, Obaro got a full time job at the College of Education Surulere, Lagos (now in Ijanikin) to teach mathematics. He was employed as a level 8 staff and taught a maximum of eight hours a week. Thereafter, he worked with International Merchant Bank (IMB) where he had a successful career.

Obaro is married and has two children - a boy and girl. His daughter works as a consultant neurologist in the United States while his son studies in Los Angles, California. He lives in Ikoyi, Lagos State and his role model is Dr. Christopher Kolade.

In 1992, Obaro founded SystemSpecs as a West African Partner to Systems Union, UK, offering the SunSystems suite of solutions. 

The company soon started developing its own proprietary Payroll and Human Resource Management solution, Human Manager, which has become the preferred choice for many leading public and private sector organisations in Nigeria and West Africa. 

Over the years, the company has become a leader in the Nigerian e-Payment space with its Remita solution, which enables efficient and easy payments and collections of funds for Individuals and Corporate Organisations (both public and private) on a single Inter-Bank platform. 

Remita is currently the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) adopted payment gateway for the facilitation of the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) project. Remita processes about $6 Billion worth of transactions on a monthly basis.

Obaro has served at various times on the Boards of the Ministerial Advisory Council on Information and Communication Technology, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), Governing Council of the National ICT Incubation Program (iDea), and many more. He is a fellow of the Center for African Policy Development and Research, Glasgow, Scotland; a Fellow of Nigeria Computer Society (NCS); an ex-member of the Governing Council of Computers Professionals (Registration Council) of Nigeria (CPN) – the highest industry practice regulatory body; and the 1st Vice President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON). 

Obaro was awarded Nigeria’s IT Personality of the Year at the National Information Technology Merit Award (NITMA) in 2013.

In 2015, he won the Simeon Agu Prize for Best Software Entrepreneur' at the National Information Technology Merit Award (NITMA). He was recognised with the honour of Leadership in Technology at the 2016 African Achievement Awards in Scotland.

He was also recognised as the ICT Software Personality of the Year 2016 at the Beacon of ICT (BoICT) Award