It is difficult, if not out-rightly impossible to read the story of his life and not be eminently inspired. This is for the simple reason that each chapter of that life leaves sundry lessons. It is all about the impact, visionary commitment to courses, transparent honesty in dealings with others, as well as diligent pursuit of purpose, human limitations notwithstanding.
In fact, say it that Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun (CON), the man they call the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians, is a lesson to life, and you would be stating the obvious. From the perspective of entrepreneurship, he is a front-liner, visionary leadership, he is there; manager of men and materials, he has a tall reputation; a philanthropist of note the same way he is an outstanding bridge builder.
For example, it was his great entrepreneurial foresight that saw to the birthing of one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, FCMB, at a time of seeming impossibility. An individual seeking and obtaining a banking license was unheard of at the time, but Balogun did not allow popular sentiments to smoulder his tall ambitions.
He envisioned, he prayed, but he also undertook shuttle diplomacy when it mattered, cried when the need arose and equally appealed where it was necessary. The point really, is that he has learnt to give to life, whatever is genuinely necessary to achieving the desired results.
Born on that auspicious 9th day of March in 1934, Otunba Balogun’s citation is like a scroll out of the hall of fame, gripping and intriguing no matter from which perspective it is told. Yet, it would remain incomplete without a reference to a few number of Nigerians who stood in support of this visionary’s mission to accomplish his ambition. In every interview, comment or discussion the Otunba Tunwase, who is also the Asiwaju Onigbagbo of Ijebuland, Dr Michael Olasubomi Balogun will always appreciate such people, eternally remaining grateful, sheer humility, virtue, rarely found in men of such exceptional worth.
At 84 therefore, Otunba Balogun is a portrait of very many treasured virtues. He epitomises principled living, genuine love, detribalisation, and the eloquent apostolic dictum that one good turn deserves another. His bridge-building antecedents are well known, and has lent tremendously to the quest for inter-ethnic cohesion in the country yet, Otunba Balogun’s life-story shows that nothing could be impossible to anyone who believes and that there is light on the lips of a nine-year toddler.
When frustrations came over obtaining needed resources from then existing banks, it had taken a seemingly innocuous rebuke from his nine year old to awaken his faith. The boy had innocently observed whether his father could not establish his own bank, if the one he had worked for denied him what ordinarily, should be his. That was the kick he needed to jumpstart a bank of his own. Today that modest idea has grown to a mighty oak, sheltering hundreds of thousands of people, covering the interests, needs and care for millions of people, offering direct employment and making available to them, resources to multiply their incomes and keep families running.
Ever so grateful to God for what his life has become, Otunba Balogun is humbled by the realisation that he is neither the biggest nor the smartest, yet, swims in a rich measure of divine grace. This is the reason behind his unwavering philanthropic gestures. He cites his ascendency to the stool of Asiwaju of Ijebu as example, affirming that this was given even when his mother was the Iyasuna of Muslims in Ijebu. According to him, “it is God who has been doing this that I was also made the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians So, it is in appreciation of what God has done for me and so I have thrown myself into the service of the people. I am always joyous to do good and to have people around me. And the good Lord has always been faithful to me”.
Having been accepted across philosophical, political and religious divides, he has thus far operated as a bridge builder of sorts, deploying resources as regularly as required. In fact, in the area of development of the town, he has played a sterling role, falling back on his being picked by the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Ijebu land and requested to rally round others to develop his people and the community.
A few years ago, he transferred the Otunba Tunwase Paediatric centre to the University of Ibadan, a project in which he had sunk billions of naira. That handover was on the auspices of his 80th birthday. On the spiritual plane, he is not just satisfied with the tag of Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians but is thrilled by initiatives that advance the course of Christianity. Part of this are the Annual Christmas Carols in December and Prayer sessions and Thanksgiving Services in January in his country home of which he is a convener. Reflecting on the prayer sessions recently, he observed: “The tradition I met when I took over from the first Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians was that annually Christians and even Muslims would kick-start the new year by going to offer prayers in the house of the Awujale and after that they would come to the house of the Asiwaju.
The significance is to give an opportunity for the Asiwaju to join everybody in thanking the Almighty God for what He has done for all of us in the year before and asking him to continue to guard and take care of us for the new year. I think that its significance is not just for Christians but for all people. The Yorubas say if you give thanks for the favour done in the past that you will receive more favours”. These sessions have grown in popularity with attendant extensive positive impact.
In fact, his reference to God is so well known around the town that it has become the tradition of local musicians to start playing the tune “Nipa ife Olugbala ki yo si nkankan”, (which means by the love of the Saviour, there shall be no evil) anytime and anywhere he makes his appearance. For the Baba Oba of Ijebu-Ife, it is the good Lord that has been protecting and guarding His people and it is only natural to sing back in appreciation.
“I genuinely worship my God. In every home of mine, I have a chapel and on my birthday, I go there first to thank God for mercy received and to pray for further mercy. The secret of it is that I throw myself into the hands of God trusting that He will do the best for me”, he says. Otunba Balogun may not be so much swayed by the tag of a politician as he appreciates the appellation of philanthropist. He is a living proof that it is in giving that one secures the channel of receiving. And that for Nigeria to remain, there has to be prayers.
“The first thing I will say to Nigerians is to be conscientious in praying and having faith that having prayed, the good Lord will answer our prayers. There is a lot that Nigerians expect from the country but my prayer is that the good Lord will guard everybody including our government, so that everybody will do the right thing. Between friends, family and universally, we should put God first and seek His face and everything else will be right”, he admonishes.
A holder of the 1959 LLB Honours, of the London School of Economics (LSE), he was called to the English Bar in December 1959. He was trained as a Parliamentary Counsel by the Government of Western Region of Nigeria at Whitehall and the British Parliament in London, and started his Civil Service career in February 1961 in the Ministry of Justice, Ibadan. He was later transferred to the Federal Ministry of Justice as the Assistant Parliamentary Counsel of the Federation, where he remained until July 1966.
For nine years, between 1966 and 1975, he was the first Principal Counsel and Company Secretary to the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB). During this period, he received extensive training at the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), otherwise known as the World Bank, and its private sector affiliate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) both in Washington DC. He also received extensive training from leading stockbrokers, investment banks and merchant banks in London and New York.
There were other outstanding moves within, but Otunba Balogun was seconded to Icon Limited (Merchant Bankers), as an Executive Director following its establishment. During this time, he represented Icon on the Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and he distinguished himself in the handling of many capital issues on the Exchange. He resigned in December 1977 to set up his own company, City Securities Limited, which became the first institution in Nigeria to combine Issuing House and Stockbroking businesses under one roof. In less than two years of the establishment of City Securities Limited, he was cited as “a most distinguished and leading Baron of the Nigerian Capital Market”.
The Asalu-Oba of Ijebu-Imushin, Otunba Balogun in 1979, single-handedly set-up the first wholly Nigerian owned merchant bank, known as First City Merchant Bank Limited. Under his leadership as Chairman and Chief Executive, First City Merchant Bank Limited (FCMB) in its first twenty years of existence, experienced unprecedented steady and un-interrupted growth, earned national and international recognition as a market leader in investment banking and capital market services.
Otunba Balogun was the first in Nigeria as at 1987 to endow a Professorial Chair in a University, this at the University of Ibadan. He has equally donated to several altruistic causes in a number of institutions such as the Olabisi Onabanjo University (formerly Ogun State University), Yaba College of Technology, African Leadership Forum, etc.
Otunba Balogun took over, reconstructed, refurbished and perpetually endowed the maintenance of The Children’s Emergency Unit in the University Teaching Hospital, Ibadan which has now been named after him, the “OTUNBA TUNWASE CHILDREN’S EMERGENCY UNIT”. He has donated to the Ijebu-Ode General Hospital a newly built and fully equipped air-conditioned 40-bed Children’s Centre, made provision for the perpetual maintenance of the Children’s Centre, and actively provided financial assistance to various local institutions, individuals and other charitable organisations.
To date, he has awarded over 300 scholarships to many Nigerians at secondary and tertiary levels; established an umbrella organization known as “Otunba Tunwase Foundation“ to cater for all his philanthropic endeavours and services to the community. Under this Foundation, and on his 60th birthday, he commenced the construction of a special gift to the nation – the “OTUNBA TUNWASE NATIONAL PAEDIATRIC CENTRE.” Otunba is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management, a holder of the Degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) University of Ibadan and a Merit Award holder of several organisations. In terms of traditional titles, he is the Baba Oba of Ijebu Ife and the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians amongst others.
In November 2000, he was conferred with the National Honour of “Commander of the Order of the Niger” by the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Otunba Balogun as an author, a prolific writer and a distinguished opinion leader was also at one time a member of the National Presidential Advisory Committee on the Recovery of the Nigerian economy.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, the Nigerian Institute of Management, and the Chartered Institute of Bankers, a Former Deputy President now Life Vice President of the Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce, Council Member of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chairman, Primrose Investments Limited; Chairman, Bluechip Holdings Limited; Chairman, Swiftdrill (Nigeria) Limited, Chairman, Primrose Properties Investments Limited and Director of a number of other companies.
MTN shareholders have made approximately N1 trillion since April 2020
Shareholders of MTN Nigeria gained close to a trillion naira in less than 7 months.
MTN Nigeria shareholders have gained N986.58 billion since the first trading session in April 2020.
This was uncovered by calculating the difference in the telecommunication giant’s market capitalization of ₦1.832 trillion at the open of trade, for the first trading session in the month of April 2020, and the market capitalization of ₦2.646 trillion at the close of trade in the first trading session in the month of October.
This gives a whopping N814 billion increase in market capitalization, and this with the dividend the company has paid to shareholders on two occasions between this time period, brings the total gains both realized and unrealized to approximately N1 trillion.
Hence, the N814 billion increase in market capitalization translates to the joint gains MTN investors have made from the increase in the shares of the company, as the share price of the company has increased by 44.44% or ₦40.00 between April 1, 2020, and October 2, 2020, with the share price of increasing from ₦90.00 to ₦130.00.
However, the gains MTN NG investors have made from their investments in the telecommunication company, is not limited to the gains driven by the increase in the price of the shares.
Recall that the company declared payment of dividends to its shareholders on two occasions, as investors/shareholders of the company, whose names appear in the Register of Members, as of the close of business on April 17, 2020 and August 14, 2020 were paid a cumulative dividend per share of ₦8.47, for all the outstanding shares of 20,354,513,050 held by the shareholders, and this translates to a total dividend payout of N171 billion by the company to its shareholders.
It is noteworthy that the realized and unrealized gains MTN investors have made from holding the shares over this period stands at N986.58 billion.
LASACO Assurance Plc Chairman, Aderinola Disu resigns from the Board of Directors
Aderinola Disu resigned her position as a Director on the Board of LASACO Assurance.
Lasaco Assurance Plc has announced the resignation of its former Chairman, Mrs. Aderinola Disu, as a Director on the Board. The resignation took effect from the 8th of September, 2020.
The following information is contained in a press release made available to the public, signed by the company Secretary, Gertrude Olutekunbi, and verified by Nairametrics.
The notification also revealed that, the aforementioned firm has received a provisional approval from the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to appoint two other directors.
The two newly appointed directors are; Dr (Mrs.) Maria Olateju Phillips, and Prince Jamiu Adio Saka, both appointed to a Non-Executive Director role.
Profile of the two newly appointed Directors
Chief (Mrs.) Teju Phillips, is a successful Chartered Accountant, who holds an ACCA from England and Wales. She is multilingual and has extensive experience in Management/Consultancy services, that spans across many years in both the public and private sectors. She has served as a Director in Keystone Bank; Director, Lagos State Lottery Board; Honorable Commissioner for Special Duties & Inter-Governmental Relations in Lagos State; Managing Director of Alma Beach Estate Ltd (a subsidiary of Rims Merchant Bank Ltd); Managing Director, Maridot Ventures Ltd. among others.
Prince Jamiu Adio Saka, is an accomplished Insurance professional, having practiced in Canada and Nigeria. He brings to the board over 30 years of experience as a Broker.
Lasaco Assurance Plc, is a listed Nigerian firm that provides life and general insurance services, which includes motor, bond, contractors-all-risk, fire, burglary, aviation, marine, general accident, life, pension schemes, engineering, and oil and gas. The company has a market capitalization of about N2.05 billion and it share price currently trades at N0.28 kobo.
MTN: Data subscriptions triggered surge in Q2 2020 Revenues
Data revenues jumped from N56.7 billion to N79.9 billion in the period under review.
Analysis of the MTN’s results shows that revenues surged, due to increased data usage, aided by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (MTN), reported revenues of N638.1 billion in H1 2020, relative to N566.9 billion recorded in the same period in 2019 – a 12.5% increase.
MTN Plc is Nigeria’s premier provider of connectivity, communication, and collaboration solutions. From the very first phone call, made at Maritime House Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria on May 16th, 2001, MTN Plc has been facilitating connections in Nigeria.
The COVID-19 related lockdown affected businesses worldwide, including businesses in Nigeria. This resulted in most business activities being conducted virtually, in a bid to salvage businesses from collapsing. With social distancing rule, came an increased utilization of online mediums for meetings, weddings, social interactions, and everything that couldn’t be done physically. Consequently, people consumed more data compared with the pre-COVID-19 periods.
According to the latest data available on the NCC website, MTN Plc’s market share of internet subscribers is 42.54%. Its revenue-generating segments include Voice, Data, SMS, Interconnect and Roaming, Handset and Accessories, Digital, Value Added Service, and Other revenues. Aside from SMS, revenues from the other seven segments increased in H1 2020 compared with the previous period last year.
Data revenues jumped from N56.7 billion to N79.9 billion in the period under review. The number of port-out subscribers almost doubles port-in subscribers in the period under consideration, so this does not confound the analysis conducted, which revealed that COVID-19 lockdown boosted data revenues.
The Earnings Per Share (EPS) of the company declined by 4.70% in H1 2020 from N4.89 to N4.66 compared with the same period last year. A 4.68% decline in distributable profit to N94.88 billion in H1 2020, relative to N99.54 billion contributed to this decline in H1 2019.
MTN Plc’s shares were listed on the floor of the NSE on 16th May 2019. The shares currently trade at N129 per unit. The highest price for a unit of share in 52 weeks was N132 and the lowest N90. A total of 51,885,740 units was sold in the last seven days trades. Shares outstanding is 20,354,513,050 units and its market capitalization is N2.63 trillion.
Airtel Africa Plc operates in the same sub-sector as MTN Nigeria Plc – Telecommunications Services. Airtel Africa Plc’s share price is N380. The highest price for a unit of share in 52 weeks was N380 and the lowest N298.90. A total of 15,972 units was sold in the last seven days trades. Shares outstanding is 3,758,151,504 units and its market capitalization is N1,428,097.57 trillion.
On the 30th of September 2020, Telecompaper reported that MTN has added MusicTime playlists to its Ayoba app. MTN’s Ayoba platform and MusicTime announced a partnership deal to bring free music to Ayoba app users. MusicTime in Ayoba is now live in Nigeria and some other African countries, including South Africa and Ghana. The app offers users free access to ten playlists with twenty songs each.
Ayoba is an instant messaging app powered by MTN. With Ayoba, it is possible to chat with anyone, regardless of whether they have the Ayoba app or not. Users who do not have the app, but receive an SMS from an Ayoba user, will be able to respond via SMS, and it will display within the Ayoba user’s chat in the app. Ayoba is available on Android devices (iOS to come later).