Owodunni Opayemi was born in Ikenne-Remo, the origin of Awoism, on January 22, 1957 to late Chief Olutayo Opayemi (a.k.a ‘ikan nnu boys’ meaning, one of the boys), and late Mrs Esther Adebola Opayemi popularly referred to as either ‘Ye Olubukun’ or ‘Iya Olobi’, was a kolanut merchant at Sabo Sagamu, where she was well loved by the Hausas in the community. Opayemi is the grandson to the very powerful Apena of Ikenne who died at the age of 110years in the 90s.
He attended St. Saviors School, Ikenne for his primary education, Remo Secondary School (RSS), Sagamu and later, King’s College, Lagos for his HSC/A’level. He gained Admission into the University of Lagos (UNILAG) to read Architecture with the Federal Government Scholarship. While in UNILAG, he applied for the Ogun state Scholarship during the tenure of the first Executive Governor, late Chief Victor Olabisi Onabanjo and was given the opportunity to complete his university education to Master’s level, in architecture in any university of his choice, home or abroad. He chose to go to the United States of America.
After the completion of the programme, he came back immediately to serve his fatherland via NYSC orientation at the Yaba College of Technology. After his youth service year, he worked briefly at the Federal Ministry of Works, Onikan, Lagos. Afterwards, he began practicing with Plancom Association at Ilupeju while he hoped to gain employment in the Ogun State civil service. He has since been doing his business in the private sector.
Proud to be one of the first 1000 registered architects, and the first to merge design with construction services in Nigeria, in 1986, he registered an architectural firm called The Doopa Partnership and was able to acquire majority shares in Beton Bau Nigeria Limited, formerly owned by Nigerians and managed by Israelis. Upon acquiring Beton Bau which was at the stage of delinquency and bankruptcy, Arch. Opayemi, rejuvenated the company into a profit making firm within 3 years with an annual turnover of N6Billion and over 600 workforce.
Today, the company is a success story, standing at number five (5) in indigenous construction companies in Nigeria. OPA presides as the Executive Chairman/ CEO of Beton Bau till date. Under his leadership, the company has handled projects for NNPC, Shell, WAEC, (home and abroad), Central Bank of Nigeria in more than seven (7) states. Beton Bau has handled several projects for individuals, private companies and some states in the country.