Garland For The Insurance Guru At 70
TURNING 70, Dr. Ahmed Olaniyi Salawudeen, an insurance expert and a philanthropist, had wanted to mark his birthday quietly in his home in Lekki, Lagos, amid a few family members, friends and business associates; but like the golden fish that has no hiding place, guests soon turned up from far and near to celebrate with him.
So, the celebration moved from his living room to his penthouse, where guests were generously treated to different spiritual and temporal delicacies.
Among those that graced the event were members of the Ansar-ud-Deen Society of Nigeria (ADSN) led by its Vice President, Alhaji Aare Ade Sanni, while State Missioner, ADSN Northern States, Sheikh Muhydeen Ajani Bello served the spiritual diet. The renowned cleric also spoke on the significance of birthday celebration.
The celebrant’s friend for 46 years, Engineer Olalere Adigun, Aare Ago of Ibadan, who represented the Olubadan of Ibadan, said, “the seed of their friendship was sown in Germany in 1969 and has cordially grown till date.
Speaking on behalf of Olubadan, he said: “The Olubadan wishes Dr. Olaniyi Salawudeen long life and prosperity. Salawudeen has contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of Ibadan. He contributed over 80 per cent of the money used for the work on-going at the Ansar-ud-Deen mosque in my area in Ibadan and has touched many lives in the town.”
According to the managing director of Sahara Engineers, chief Adigun, “Alhaji Salawudeen singlehandedly built a block of six classrooms for Ansar-ud-Deen school, Ibadan; sank bore-holes at different places in Ibadan and still engaged in many charity works in the town. Despite this, he has at several occasion turned down the offer of a chieftaincy title in Ibadan.”
Chairman, Northern States, Ansar-ud-Deen society, Alhaji Yusuf Adebayo Ibrahim commending the septuagenarian for adding value to humanity and propagating Islam, said: “Though Alhaji Salawudeen is a strong Muslim, he gives generously to people regardless of their religious or ethnic group.”
Other dignitaries at the ceremony included, President, Nigeria Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, Mr. Ayodapo Shoderu; Polycarp Didam of Guinea Insurance company; Mayowa Adeduro of Anchor Insurance; Alhaji Abdul Fatai Ademola, Rotimi Fashola and Sina Elusakin of IGI Plc; Sunny Uwagboi (Zenith Insurance); Folashade Famuyiwa and Hakeem Fasetire (Sterling Bank); Sakiru Oyefeso Staco Insurance Plc; Olaseni Alakija (Nigeria Ports Authority); and MD, Standard Alliance Insurance, Mr. Bode Akintoye.
Born in Iseyin, Oyo State on January 16, 1945, Alhaji Olaniyi had his elementary education at Ansar-ud-Deen Primary School, Igbo-Ora and later, Ayete Modern Secondary School, Ibarapa both in Oyo State.
His career in insurance took a definite dimension in the early 1970s when he registered for the Chartered Insurance Institute of London between 1973 and 1974 and emerged the overall best in the ‘Part A’ exams in Nigeria. Dr. Salawudeen later moved to College of Insurance Surbiton, London, where he qualified as a Chartered Insurance practitioner in 1976. He holds a doctorate degree in management, specialising in Insurance from the Commonwealth University, Belize.
He worked with the Royal Insurance Group, London; British Engine, Manchester, and the Royal Marine Insurance, Liverpool, before branching out to set up the Standard Insurance Consultant Limited.