Tuesday, January 26, 2021 4:23 pm
The N5 billion Otunba Tunwase National Paediatrics Centre (OTNPC), located at Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, was built by Otunba Olasubomi Balogun (CON), the Founder of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Group. Now, the place has a new owner. Thanks to Otunba Balogun, CON, a philanthropist who formally handed it over to the management of the University of Ibadan and the University College Hospital (UCH). Otunba Balogun did this as part of making sure that Nigerians, especially kids, would not lack world class healthcare facilities and specialised treatment services.
This process started on 1 October last year in Lagos with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties. The document contains in clear terms how the facilities would be managed. The handing over proper took place on 19 January 2021 on the premises of the hospital. At the occasion were the Group Chief Executive, FCMB Group and Board Chairman, Otunba Tunwase Foundation, Mr. Ladi Balogun; the Group Head, Corporate Affairs of FCMB, Mr. Diran Olojo; the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Adebola Ekanola, who was represented by the Provost of the College of Medicine, Professor Yinka Omigbodun; the Management of University College Hospital, led by its Chief Medical Director, Professor Abiodun Otegbayo; the Interim Transition Management Committee of OTNPC led by the Chairman, Dr. Adeyinka Hassan, as well as other eminent personalities.
In his address, Ladi Balogun, who represented the Founder, Balogun, revealed: “The inspiration by Otunba Olasubomi Balogun to build this great establishment started when he took over the children’s hospital at the UCH Ibadan, where he was exposed to the true plight of sick children and the high demand for world class facilities to cater for their needs in a sustainable manner. An interaction with the then Minister of Health, late Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, further propelled Otunba Balogun to do more in terms of the provision of world class medical facilities. The exposure and interaction later became the brainchild of this N5 billion establishment, credited as a prototype of the Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London, United Kimgdom”.
Speaking on the Banking icon’s decision to hand over the control and management of the Centre to UI and UCH, Mr. Balogun disclosed that, “at the end of its construction, some institutions requested to manage the hospital, but Otunba Balogun strongly believes that the University of Ibadan and University College Hospital are in a better position to do that effectively and further raise its status, considering their respective pedigrees.”
He added: “following the signing of the MoU last year by all the concerned parties, the resolution is that while the University College Hospital has been mandated to provide clinical services, the University of Ibadan will engage in research and other academic works, whilestudents from UI would also be involved as part of the training”.
Professor Otegbayo, responded: “We at the UCH are grateful for this opportunity to contribute to the well-being of residents in Ijebu community, Ogun State and Nigeria at large. We promise that as soon as all the legal nuances are sorted out, we shall fully move in and continue with what UCH is known for; unequalled provision of health care services, research and training”.
He added: “The UCH is not just witnessing the generosity and benevolence of Otunba Balogun now. Many years ago, he endowed the Otunba Tunwase Children Emergency Ward in UCH and he has been funding the Ward since then. A lot of children have been saved there, whiletraining and research in Paediatrics have been going on unhindered.”
Professor Omigbodun also expressed appreciation: “We are extremely grateful to Otunba Subomi Balogun for this generous contribution to the medical sector. This Centre would certainly contribute immensely to the training and research activities carried out by our academics. It is our hope that other Nigerians who have achieved greatness in their various fields would emulate him”.
This is one of the good gestures of Otunba Subomi Balogun whose philanthropic activities also include areas of education, capacity building, youth empowerment and others.