In fulfilling the long-time dream of late Isaac Olusola Dada, the past District Governor, District 4041A of Lions Club International, which was aborted as a result of his sudden demise, members of the club along with dignitaries from all walks of life recently converged on the foundation-laying ceremony for the construction of a state-of-the art dialysis centre in Lagos, being built in his honour. Mary Nnah writes
On Thursday March 28, 2019, government functionaries, medical experts, family members as well as members of the Lions Club from far and near came together to lay the foundation for the construction of a state-of-the art dialysis centre at the Lagos
University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Surulere, Lagos.
The dialysis is being built by the Lions Club International in honour of the departed member of the club and past District Governor, District 4041A, Lion Isaac Olusola Dada, who died died on July 16, 2017, at Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on his way from the Lions Clubs International Convention Chicago, US where he was sworn in as Distrcit Governor, Lions District 404A1, Nigeria.
Among the dignitaries present were late Dada’s wife, Omolola; Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole who was represented by the Chief Medical Director of LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode; Dr. Teslim Sanusi, Lion Adediji, Lion Oyekanmi, Chairman, Board of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Alh Isa Bello Sali; Past International President, Lion Club , Dr. Naresh Aggarwal; Special Guest of Honour, Chief Tunde Afolabi amongst others.
According to Lions Club, the organiser of the foundation laying ceremony, the facility named ‘Lion Isaac Olusola Dada Dialysis Centre’ is like fulfilling the dream of the late accountant, who was also a great man of service.
“He saw the need for a world-class renal dialysis facility at LUTH after assessing the many needs of the hospital as well as the high costs of overseas treatment renal patients are subjected to as there are limited number of such facility in Nigeria. After his assessment he had proposed the center during his time as the District Governor to be his legacy project in the hospital and in Lagos State to serve special health needs of the people.”
After the demise of the astute finance expert, his family, friends and Lions in Nigeria continued to push for realisation of his dream. That efforts led to the foundation laying ceremony of the centre which is estimated to cost N210millionn and is expected to be completed within a period of nine months with funding for construction to be sourced from family members, friends, Lions in Nigeria as well as grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation, the charity arm of Lions Clubs International.
Speaking at the event, the minister of health thanked the family of the deceased, the club and everyone that contributed to making the ceremony possible, saying: We’re gathered today to honour the goodness of one man, whose clarion call is reaching us from the paradise where he is now. His loss was a big tragedy to us, his family and the community as a country.”
Stressing on the benefit of the dialysis centre, the minister said: “In Lagos, with over 20 million persons, there is a paucity of many critical care needs. One of them is the fact that we have very low numbers of dialysis centres where people, who are critically ill with kidney diseases can go and readily get care.
“So, this has come as a great benefit to, not just LUTH, but to the whole of Lagos and Nigeria. We need more of this not only in Lagos but all over Nigeria.”
Commenting on the project, the US-based Chairman of Lions Club International Foundation, Dr. Naresh Aggarwal, expressed his pleasure over the commencement of the building of the health facility in honour of Dada.
According to Aggarwal, with such intervention in the health needs of Nigerians, the club is making a mark in history. Recounting his lovely experiences with Dada when he was alive, he said: “I never knew that I was going to lose a brother but when I came back from a trip, the sad news came. But I’m very happy. We’re living a mark in the history. Winners don’t do different things, they do things differently.
“When he was likely to be the governor, my friend had talked to me that he had a dream to build a dialysis centre. This dialysis centre is one of the six major projects of the Lions Club. I can share with you that nothing gladdens my heart than that I see the project completed. I need this to be one of the state-of-the-art dialysis centre in the world.” Aggarwal also appealed to good spirited Nigerians to donate to the project as part of their contribution to caring for humanity.
On her part, wife of late Dada, Lion Chief Omolola Dada, described her late husband as one who “was always driven by the desire to make the world better than he met it”.
She added: “Naturally, he found in the Lions Club International a good platform which will complement his huge personal contribution. His philanthropic gestures led him to join The Victoria Island Lions Club. He rose to become a Zone and Region Chairperson, Chairperson of many District committees including Lions Day with the United Nation’s, Lions International Convention.”
Born on June 6, 1941 in Osogbo, Osun State, Dada was educated at both the University of Indian and University of Lagos where he obtained BSc. Degree in Economics and Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 1970 and 1976 respectively. He was conferred with Honourary Degree in Business Administration by the All Saints University of America (ASUA) Manhattan Ville Station, New York.
He spent his early career as a teacher and later went into Federal Civil Service and rose to the enviable position of Director of Finance and Supplies in the Presidency and Director, Political Affairs. He was appointed as Executive Director of NAL Merchant Bank.
He co-founded Anchria Investment and Securities Limited in 1996. He also served in the Board of many companies including BUN plc., Nigerian Wire & Cables plc. as well as Chairman of Great Nigeria Insurance Company Plc.
The late Dada served as member of so many Chambers of Commerce and professional bodies including, Nigerian-American Chambers of Commerce and Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He was a President of Institute of Directors of Nigeria, Member of Ekiti State Economic Council, Member of Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, President, Nigerian-Spanish Association as well as Member Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers of Nigeria.