Former CBN, Mr. Ola Vincent
By Obinna Chima
Broad Street, Lagos, virtually came to a standstill yesterday as Nigerians from all walks of life trooped to the African Church to pay their last respects to former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Ola Vincent, who was being buried.
Vincent, 87, had passed on in a Lagos hospital on Monday.
His family members were joined at the funeral service by the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola; Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu; Deputy Governor, Operations, CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo; representatives from Ogun State government, among other eminent Nigerians.
In his sermon, Bishop I.A. Falana, described the late Vincent as a brilliant and humble man.
He said: “I pray that God will raise many more pillars like Pa Vincent for this nation. He was a family man par excellence and walked the path of justice. He was a man of service, even in the house of God. Pa Vincent was a humble man.”
Moghalu, who represented the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, described the demise of Vincent as the loss of a mentor by the apex bank.
He said: “Today, we have gathered to celebrate the life of an icon of banking industry, a great family man and a true patriot. To each and every one of us gathered here today, Pa Ola Vincent represents something positive and enriching
“We all will look at his life from our own perspective and we at the CBN will remember him as one of the great leaders of our dear institution and as an eminent personality who helped in achieving our mandates.
“In the CBN family, we have lost a father, a mentor and a great colleague. We celebrate his life even as we mourn his exit; even as we rejoice in the realisation that a man like Pa Ola Vincent was one of us.
We are comforted by the way he lived his life. He showed us how one can speak his mind in quiet conviction and still achieve solid results. In life, greatness is a word that should be used sparingly for its true meaning to be appreciated.”
For the Chairman, Honeywell Group, Mr. Oba Otudeko, the former CBN governor had clarity of position founded on respectable values, “yet he was an epitome of humanity and pragmatism, ready, at times, to bow to superior counsels, if and when advanced.”
Similarly, the President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mr. ’Segun Aina said: “Pa Vincent was an epitome of humility, simplicity and a role model, not only to his peers but also to the younger generation.”
The Executive Vice Chairman of Industrial and General Insurance Plc, (IGI), Mr. Remi Olowude, also described the late Vincent as “an extraordinary economist who was comfortable with micro and macro-economic issues that touch on the well-being of the people. His perspective remains that economic principles are meaningful only when they address humanity and the greater good of the people.”
The late Vincent was the CBN governor between June 28, 1977 and June 28, 1982. He attended CMS Grammar School, Lagos between 1936 and 1939.
He also served in the Nigerian Armed Forces between 1942 and 1946, and then worked in the Financial Secretary’s Office, Lagos between 1946 and 1956.