It was an afternoon of accolades and honour when the University of Lagos Microfinance Bank team held a send-forth party for the outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin T. Ogundipe, FAS on Saturday, October 29, 2022.
The event, which took place inside the banking hall, was a platform where the many accomplishments of Professor Ogundipe as the Chairman of the Bank’s Board were shared.
Speakers at the event included the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics and Research, Professor Bola Oboh, who attributed the success story of the bank to the vision conceived by the Vice-Chancellor even before his assumption of office as the University helmsman in 2017, and the support of some of his close allies who planned towards the establishment of the idea.
Professor Oboh, who served as the Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Establishment of the Bank, spoke about the daunting challenges that trailed the Bank’s early days particularly with respect to paper works such as delayed formal declarations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), before the bank got its operational license.
She ascribed the current status of the bank to the exemplary virtues exhibited by the Vice-Chancellor as a dogged, resilient and determined individual wanting to succeed despite the odds.
Similarly, in their speeches, the Managing Director of UNILAG Microfinance bank, Mr. Tunji Jaiyeola and a member of the Bank’s Board,Mrs. Osifeso expressed gratitude to the Vice-Chancellor for his commitment and dexterity in promoting the UNILAG brand despite the odds.
The incoming Vice-Chancellor, Professor Folasade Tolulope Ogunsola joined the other speakers to extol the virtues of the Vice-Chancellor whom she described as a goal-getter and a purpose-driven individual. She congratulated the Vice-Chancellor for the height he has taken the bank.
Prof. Ogundipe while savouring the celebratory moment, corroborated Professor Oboh’s account of the Bank’s history, and thanked the Bank’s founding team, management and staff for also aligning with his vision even after his emergence as the Vice-Chancellor. He said the trouble behind the scenes after the creation of the bank were not so apparent for people to see as he trudged on unperturbed while the whole brouhaha lasted, putting his mind to work instead of moping.
Quoting late Professor Jelili Omotola, who was the seventh Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Ogundipe noted that, “It is only a tree with sweet fruits that people will throw stones at. In other words, I am used to such unsavoury gestures”.
The ceremony was also an opportunity for the Professor of Palynology to also appreciate the staff of the bank for their relentless commitment of making the institution a trusted financial house for both the university community and the general public.
Dignitaries who witnessed the event included: a member of the UNILAG Governing Council, Dr. Aminu Ahmed; Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Management Services, Professor Lucian O. Chukwu; Director, Academic Planning Unit, Professor Mopelola Olusakin; as well as some internal and external shareholders of the Bank, members of the Management Team and staff of the Bank.
The University of Lagos Microfinance Bank is a major component achieved under the core objectives of the Professor Ogundipe-led Administration. The bank commenced full operations on July 1, 2020, after being awarded a licence by the Central Bank of Nigeria.