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.
In 1979, he single-handedly set up the first wholly Nigerian owned merchant bank, entirely conceived and promoted by him and this he christened “First City Merchant Bank Limited”. Under his leadership as Chairman & Chief Executive, First City Merchant Bank Limited (FCMB) in its first twenty years of existence, experienced steady and uninterrupted growth and earned national and international recognition as market leaders in investment banking and capital market services.
Among other national and international awards, in November 1989, the University of Ibadan awarded him the Degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) in recognition of his outstanding achievements both in the field of Law and his contributions to the socio-economic development of Nigeria. In January 1994, the President of the Republic of Italy conferred on Otunba Balogun the prestigious honour of “Cavaliere” dell’Ordine “Al Merito della Repubblica Italiana” which means, “Knight of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy”. In October 1995, he was installed The Olori Omo-Oba Akile Ijebu by His Royal Majesty, the Awujale of Ijebuland. Otunba Balogun is an author, a prolific writer and a distinguished opinion leader. In these capacities, he has contributed remarkably to the formulation of several and impactful economic policies in Nigeria.
The newly named Otunba Subomi Conference Centre has five halls altogether. It can accommodate between 3,000 and 5,000 guests in the main auditorium and up to a total of 7,000 guests in the entire complex. The parking lot that can accommodate about 700 cars is also a major value added. The interior of the conference rooms are tastefully decorated. The Center comes equipped with varied facilities and a high standard of service to complement its relaxed and friendly atmosphere. It offers an extensive range of modern facilities and services. Such facilities include presentation screens, projectors and individual highly sensitive microphones that can be used independently in each of the halls or in all the halls simultaneously.
Please see pictures from the event below:
AfDB, GGBI partner to strengthen Africa’s green bond market
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, has signed a declaration with the coalition of development finance institutions to promote green bond markets in Africa.
AfDB’s Group Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Ms Hassatou N’Sele, said this in a statement issued on the bank’s website.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Africa’s engagement in the green bond market currently represents less than one per cent of the more than 2.2 trillion dollar community green bond issued in 2022.
N’Sele said the institutions in the Global Green Bond Initiative (GGBI) comprised the European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.
Others are the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, Green Climate Fund and Germany’s KfW development bank, while PROPARCO of the AFD Group act as consortium of European development finance institutions.
The AfDB’s chief financial officer signed the declaration with representatives of the coalitions’ institutions on the sidelines of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
N’Sele said the engagement was to tap from the Global Green Bond Initiative technical assistance programme announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in June 2023.
”The Initiative will help private capital flow from institutional investors into climate and environmental projects in EU partner countries, increasing their access to capital.
”Providing technical assistance to green bond issuers in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs), and crowding in private investors through a dedicated de-risked fund.
”This will act as an anchor investor in green bonds issued in EMDEs.
“The anticipated impact can be up to 15-20 billion euro in green investments,” she said.
N’Sele said the partners supported the origination of green bonds, development and identification of pipelines of green projects, and the development of credible and coherent green bond frameworks.
“This joint declaration among us to collaborate on technical assistance on green bonds in Africa is our commitment to work together and it is significant and impactful.
”There cannot be impactful development in Africa without vibrant local capital markets,” the AfDB official said.
N’Sele highlighted the AfDB’s engagements in the green bond market, including issuing over 10 billion dollar worth of green and social bbondsin 2022 to support sustainable progress across Africa.
“Let’s help Africa fully leverage the power of green bonds, and we can contribute together towards a sustainable future for Africans,” she said.
Mr Stefano Signore of the European Commission’s partnerships directorate, described the partnership with the AfDB as an important milestone in efforts to mobilise green bonds in emerging developing economies.
Also, representative of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) expressed hope that the partnership would contribute to the intensification of climate and environmentally relevant projects.
”We hope to also contribute to pipelines that can set off the mobilisation of the global green bond initiative.”
NIS opens passport office in Ikorodu
The Comptroller- General of Nigeria Immigration Service(CGI), Mrs Caroline Adepoju ,on Friday assured Nigerians that they would get their passports within three weeks of submitting their applications.
Adepoju gave the assurance while inaugurating a new passport office in Igbogbo community in Ikorodu, Lagos State .
Adepoju said passports would now be processed and issued speedily provided applicants submit all the required details in their applications.
She advised the public to ensure that they renew their passports six months before its expiration to avoid problems while applying for visa to some countries.
Adepoju thanked the people of Igbogbo for their support and for providing all that was needed to start operation in the area.
“I thank the traditional ruler and the people of Igbogbo for their support and for ensuring the realisation of this project.
“This is my first assignment after my confirmation as the substantive Controller General of Nigeria Immigration Service.
“I want to advise the public to ensure they renew their passport six months before expiration to avoid being denied visa by some countries,” she said.
Speaking, Gov. Babajide Sanwoolu said the establishment of the passport office in Igbogbo would improve service delivery i to Nigerians and save the people of Igbogbo and environs the stress of traveling far to obtain tbeir passports..
Sanwoolu, represented by Mr Ibrahim Layode, Commussioner for Home Affairs, said the role of Immigration in any country could not be over- emphasised.
He said that the establishment of the passport front office in Igbogbo was a testament to Federal Government’s commitment to providing world -class immigration services in line with global standard.
Also speaking, the council Chairman of Igbogbo Baiyeku Local Counvil Development Area(LCDA) Mr Olusesan Daini, urged the CGI to consider expanding operations at the new passport front office .
Daini said the council would synergise with NIS to ensure the edifice was maintained.
“We will also improve our security architecture to ensure the office is secure.”he said.
He said that the new passport office was a welcome development as residents would no longer have to travel far to obtain or renew their passports.
“The establishment of this passport front office in Igbogbo will improve commercial activities.
“The council will also improve its security architecture to provide adequate security in the area,” he said.
Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba Orimadegun Kasali ,who spoke on behalf of all the traditional rulers in Ikorodu Division , said he was very happy that the passport front office was established in his domain.
He added that it would go a long way in improving commercial activities in the area.
Adeboruwa commended all those who facilitated the establishment of the passport office in the community.
“I cannot say how happy I am today, infact ,this office will put Igbogbo community in world map.
” I appreciate everybody that has contributed in one way or the other to make this a success,especially the family that donated the land .
“I am glad that Igbogbo passport office has come to stay,” he said.
Nigeria, Germany sign Siemens power project accelerated implementation agreement
President Bola Tinubu and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz were witnesses to the signing of an accelerated performance agreement in Dubai on the Siemens power project in Nigeria.
The agreement was signed on the side-line of the on-going 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28 by Mr Kenny Anuwe, Managing Director of FGN Power Company on behalf of Nigeria.
Ms Nadja Haakansson, Siemens Energy’s Senior Vice-President and Managing Director for Africa signed on behalf of the German company.
Speaking after signing the agreement, Anuwe highlighted Siemens Energy’s effective delivery of crucial equipment worth more than 63 million Euros to Nigeria since the commencement of the project.
This includes 10 units of 132/33KV mobile substations; three units of 75/100MVA transformers, and seven units of 60/66MVA transformers, currently being installed by FGN Power Company at various sites.
The Dubai agreement was signed to expedite the implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) to improve Nigeria’s electricity supply.
The PPI, formerly known as the Nigeria Electrification Roadmap Initiative, was the outcome of the visit by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Abuja in August 2018.
An agreement was signed between the governments of Nigeria and Germany in 2019 to improve Nigeria’s power sector.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, stated on Friday in Abuja that since assumption of office, Tinubu had advocated the accelerated realisation and expansion of the PPI.
To achieve this, the project has been a major focal point in three rounds of bilateral discussions at meetings between President Tinubu and the German Chancellor in New Delhi, in Abuja and in Berlin.
The Dubai agreement will facilitate the modernisation and expansion of Nigeria’s electric power transmission grid with full supply, delivery and installation of Siemens-manufactured equipment within 18 to 24 months, Ajuri stated.
It will ensure project sustainability and maintenance with full technology transfer and training of Nigerian engineers at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), he added.
The project will also focus on identified load demand centres with particular emphasis on economic and industrial hubs nationwide and the execution of new 330kV and 132/33KV substations in target load centres with economic priority.
These are in addition to thousands of kilometres of overhead transmission lines to connect new substations with existing ones, Ajuri also stated.
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