The University of Ibadan (UI), Nigeria’s premier tertiary institution, has again honoured the Founder of FCMB Group, Otunba (Dr.) Michael Olasubomi Balogun by naming its modern and multi-purpose conference centre after him. On Thursday, September 6, 2018, the Center was unveiled and renamed Otunba Subomi Balogun Conference Centre.
According to the University, the decision is in recognition of Otunba Balogun’s numerous and significant contributions to the development of the institution, education and the country over the years. The University of Ibadan, in a letter to the FCMB Founder from the Governing Council and signed by the Registrar and Secretary to the Council, Mrs. Olubunmi Faluyi, said, ‘’we acknowledge with gratitude, your prayers and goodwill for the continuous progress of the University’’.
The Olori Omo-Oba Akile Ijebu, Otunba (Dr)Michael Olasubomi Balogun is said to be the first Board Chairman of UI Ventures, who brought his business acumen into play to transform the organisation into a full-fledged business group. Today, UI Ventures whose hotel arm has about 110 rooms of quality standard, is into printing, landscaping and horticulture, consulting, bakery products, has a computer training center, petrol station as well as a fast food business, among other interests.
Commenting on the naming of the architectural masterpiece after him, Otunba Balogun expressed profound gratitude to the University of Ibadan for finding him worthy of the honour. He stated that, ‘’I thank you for appreciating my services and commitment to the University of Ibadan by this recent honour that you bestowed on me. I feel honoured by and I deeply appreciate the long and personal relationship I have had with the University of Ibadan over the years. It is my prayer that the University will continue to retain the position of a primus-inter-pares among the tertiary institutions in Nigeria’’.
Otunba Subomi Balogun, Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), is the icon of the Nigerian financial industry. He is also a philanthropist par excellence and a distinguished leader who has devoted substantial part of his resources towards the care and service of humanity and the society. His impact on the University of Ibadan and other public as well as private institutions has been acknowledged as legendary. He was also the first in Nigeria, through First City Merchant Bank Limited (now First City Monument Bank, a member of FCMB Group), to endow a Professorial Chair in a University when at the University of Ibadan, he set up a Chair for Capital Market Studies in the Department of Economics and Finance.
Otunba Balogun, in 2014 totally donated to the University of Ibadan, the Otunba Tunwase Paediatric Hospital (the largest in Nigeria) which he built in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, a facility worth N4billion in current market evaluation. He was the first Nigerian to receive special training in Legal Drafting in Whitehall and the City of London with particular specialisation in financial legislation, instruments and agreements. The FCMB Founder served as a Crown Counsel in both the Ministry of Justice of the then Western Nigeria and subsequently as Assistant Parliamentary Counsel in the Federal Ministry of Justice in Lagos.
Okegbemi Olusoji Festus is an Editor/Creative writer at campustori.com, A digital media Executive and a known Social Media Enthusiast.