The President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Saturday, rued the exit of the late founder of First City Monument Bank, Otunba Subomi Balogun, who he described as a giant among men for his trailblazing role in Nigerian investment banking.
The consummate banker and philanthropist, renowned for his royal and sartorial elegance, died in London on Friday, according to his family.
In a condolence message issued in Abuja by his media officer, Tunde Rahman, the President-elect mourned his transition.
Tinubu said his death would create a vacuum that will be difficult to fill in the banking industry and among his Ijebu people, where he was a symbol of unity and traditional values.
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In his tribute, the former governor of Lagos State noted that the FCMB founder achieved what many considered impossible when he pioneered investment banking in Nigeria, adding that through his vision, he changed the financial services sector of the economy.
He said, “The news of the death of Otunba Subomi Michael Balogun in London yesterday was indeed a sad one. Even though he lived to the advanced age of 89, we didn’t expect that he would leave us at this time.
“Otunba Subomi Balogun lived a life full of many accomplishments and for this, we are grateful to God. He was a giant among men who changed the course of history and lived life on his own terms as a reputable investment banker. He blazed the trail for others to follow.
“From a lawyer who joined the Western Region Ministry of Justice and later as Parliamentary Counsel at the Federal Ministry of Justice, he moved to Nigerian Industrial Development Bank to start a banking career that blossomed into pioneering merchant banking in our country. What started as First City Merchant Bank in 1979 transformed into First City Monument Bank, one of the most admired banks in Nigeria today.
“While we mourn the exit of this great man of purpose, we cherish and celebrate his great achievements, his philanthropy and the many lives he positively impacted. We appreciate and commend his huge contributions to the growth and development of our country.
“I commiserate with the immediate family of this illustrious son of Nigeria, Governor Dapo Abiodun, His Royal Majesty Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebuland, the government and people of Ogun State and the entire Christian community in Ijebuland. May God grant Otunba Subomi Balogun eternal rest.”