By Tosin Ajirire and Ayo Lawal
Founder of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians, Otunba Subomi Balogun, has expressed gratitude to God for being the oldest and most relevant banker in Nigeria today.
Speaking at his Otunba Tuwase Court, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, shortly after the New Year Prayer programme held on Tuesday January 3, 2023, Balogun said it’s not easy to attain the age of 89 and still be relevant in today’s banking sector.
“It’s not easy attaining such feat. But it’s been God’s grace because not many who founded financial institutions are still alive and relevant today. So, it’s been God’s grace all along,” he stressed.
Recalling how his journey into the banking profession started, the octogenarian said: “I started working as a banker 60 years ago. I served for 15 years and I have been running mine for 45 years. Thank God, because at 89, I am still relevant as far as the financial sector is concerned. Many are not that lucky.”
Asked to give his opinion about the Nigerian banking industry, Balogun declined but said he would rather talk about FCMB, his bank.
“I don’t want to speak about other banks but FCMB, which has been on the accession level despite all odds. Though, the years 2004, 2005 and 2006 were very turbulent for the industry, we survived through the amazing grace of God. Many thought that my bank would be wiped off, but thank God I have professionals. God did a unique thing in my life. In fact, it’s been God all the way,” he enthused.
Despite the challenges, the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians, vowed to continue being good to people. “I will never change my attitude; I’ll continue to be nice to people, because people assisted me on my way to the top. I had a degree in law, went into banking as a company secretary/legal adviser, and something happened 20 years later through the inspiration of my nine-year-old son, Jide. Today, the rest is history.”
While thanking God for sparing his life, Otunba Subomi Balogun prayed to attain “the Methuselah age because being alive today is by His grace.”
Present at the prayer session, which was put on hold for two years because of COVID-19, were former Ogun State governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, clerics from Ijebu Ode and its environs, traditional rulers, friends and well wishers.