The founder of the FCMB Group, Otunba Olasubomi Balogun, has described education as one of the critical drivers of development of any society.
He said this at the University of Ibadan’s 70th Anniversary Life Achievement and Honours Awards Night held recently in Oyo State.
The event was part of the programmes lined up to mark the 70th anniversary of the university.
In his lecture, Balogun called on well-meaning Nigerians and organisations to support the development of education in Nigeria with their resources.
He said: “It is incumbent on those of us that have been blessed with education, particularly higher education, to continue to give back, especially to those institutions that shaped us.
“Education can never be entirely funded by government or private fees”
He said many of the greatest institutions in the world had endowments running into hundreds of millions of dollars, saying it is with such funds that they have been able to fund research and build tomorrow’s leaders, innovators and change agents.
Chairing the occasion and represented at the event by the Group Chief Executive of FCMB Group Plc, Mr Ladi Balogun, the founder of FCMB in a paper titled, “Higher Education and Philanthropy,” sought the nexus between higher education and philanthropy.
Well known for his deep philanthropy in Nigeria and beyond, particularly in education, healthcare, children and women welfare, religion and culture to mention a few, he revealed that a lot of the charitable undertakings associated with him, had been deeply influenced by the higher education he was privileged attend.
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The banking icon posited that education has the capacity to stimulate a high sense of philanthropy in any individual who has benefitted from it.
He opined: “I would also add that supporting education is one of the most effective means one can contribute to the betterment of society and upliftment of the less privileged.”
Balogun, said as he grew up, he had a lot of influences which shaped his attitude to life generally and to his community. He said he became very concerned about his environment and the plight of people and institutions that had been close to him.
Besides the Chairman of First City Monument Bank Limited’s Board Chairman, Otunba Olutola Senbore, some of the distinguished Nigerians who received awards from the institution at this event were: President/Vice-Chancellor of Babcock University, Prof. Ademola Tayo; a former Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Adeniyi Osuntogun and the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Industry, Mr. Olukayode Pitan.
Also on the list of awardees were Ambassador Folake Marcus-Bello; Vice-Chancellor, Crawford University, Prof. Rotimi Ajayi; Prof. Aderemi Kuku; Prof. Babatunde Salako; Prof. Benedict Oramah; Prof. Timothy Tayo; Prof. Abdul Fattah Mabadeje and Prof. Saida Mabadeje, who was the first female PhD holder produced by UI in 1963; Prof. Folorunso Adu and Prof. Folarin Olawale Shyllon. Also included were Professors Bode Akindele, Grace Alele-Williams, Bolanle Awe and Akin Mabogunje, among others.