The University of Ibadan (UI) has honoured the founder of FCMB Group, Otunba (Dr.) Michael Olasubomi Balogun, by naming its modern and multipurpose conference centre after him.
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, in a letter by its 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.” Otunba Balogun was 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, a computer training centre, 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: “I thank you for appreciating my services and commitment to the University of Ibadan by this recent honour 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 Balogun is an 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.