The Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre (OTNPC) at Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State built by the doyen of the Nigerian banking and finance industry, Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun, valued modestly at N3.7Billion, has been wholly donated to the University of Ibadan.
The multi-billion naira OTNPC, which now has specialist consultants in most medical areas, is a tertiary referral centre for teaching, research and health care delivery for infants, children and by extension their mothers.
It was solely built from scratch by Otunba Michael Subomi Balogun as a gift to humanity, Nigeria and the world. The formal handing over and signing of the Deed of Total Gift of the centre, which was built under the aegis of Otunba Tunwase Foundation took place on Friday, June 7, 2013.
Speaking at the ceremony, Otunba Balogun explained that the gesture was in fulfilment of the promise he made in 1994 to build a world class health centre to cater for children, “as part of my contribution to Nigeria’s health sector”. He added that the determination to construct the centre was informed by his experience after touring the children’s emergency wards/wing of the university’s College of Medicine where he saw children in various health conditions and was emotionally moved to establish the institution to save lives of children and mothers in Nigeria.
Otunba Subomi Balogun who is also the founder of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc recalled that, “I have seen so many children suffering due to lack of adequate healthcare delivery in the nation’s health sector and this was what prompted me to establish this hospital. Today, I am delighted to hand it over as a total gift to University of Ibadan and I urge you to make it one of the best in the world”.
Balogun further encouraged the authorities of the university to continue with the services being rendered at Otunba Atuwanse National Paediatric Centre which have already gone beyond children care.
In his response, the vice-Chancellor of University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said the formal sign-off of the hospital as a total gift by Otunba Olasubomi Balogun was a milestone in the history of the country’s health sector. He expressed the gratitude and joy of the university to receive the gift and promised to improve upon the standard.
“We are all overjoyed because this is the first time the university is benefitting this kind of largesse from an individual. What Otunba Balogun has done is unique, unparalleled and unprecedented”, he stressed. Professor Adewole pledged that the university will provide top grade services at the centre and sustain the ideals for which it was established.
Also speaking, the President of Otunba Tunwase Foundation, Mr. Ladi Balogun, disclosed that the decision to donate the health facility to the University of Ibadan was because of the need to ensure effective management. The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of FCMB expressed optimism that the paediatric centre would live up to its mission of becoming the very best in all activities related to the survival of infants and children.
The ONTPC is renowned and often referred to as the largest paediatric medical centre in sub-Sahara Africa. The centre, seated on a 50-acre land on the Sagamu-Benin Expressway, has facilities for clinical, medical laboratory and community health services as well as an institute of child health. In the clinical services section is the operating theatre suite, paediatrics surgical ward, adolescent ward and a reception/outpatient clinic all equipped with modern facilities. The centre also has a 1000 capacity auditorium as well as conference rooms. With very comfortable accommodation for over 90 post- graduate students and over 120 beds for admission available at every point in time, the medical centre is said to have in its engagement, specialist consultants who handle all manner of complex medical issues with patients coming from all over the federation as well as neighboring African countries.
Over the years, Otunba Balogun has continually impacted on the lives of people in all segments of the society. Apart from building the OTNPC, he financed the construction of a 40-bed Children Hospital, known as the Iye Subomi Child Care Centre (named after his late mother) at his home town of Ijebu-Ode as part of his philanthropic activities. In November last year, the Hamstrings Club (Doctors-in-training) of the University of Ibadan presented him an award on account of his philanthropic works and the donation of the paediatric centre to the University of Ibadan.