Razak Adebisi Lawal Turns 80
RAZAK Adebisi Lawal was born in Ijebu-Ode on February 8, 1935 to the late Pa Lawal Data and the late Madam Sefinat Data and was one of many children. He obtained his primary school education as St. Saviours’ School, Italupe in Ijebu-Ode and from there he proceeded to Ijebu Muslim College, Ijebu-Ode for his secondary school education. He was admitted into Ijebu Muslim College, Ijebu-Ode in 1950 as a pioneer student and “Zak”, as he was called by his classmates, was a top student in his class. After five years at Ijebu Muslim College, he graduated with honours from the school and was one of the candidates who passed the last Cambridge Overseas examination held in December of 1954.
After obtaining his first school leaving certificate from Ijebu Muslim College, Ijebu-Ode, he proceeded to work as a clerk at the Ministry of Education in the old Western Region of Nigeria, from 1955 – 1961 and on July 9, 1961, he married his namesake and sweetheart , Musirafat Adebisi (nee Odusoga). Together, “Bisi” (as his wife called him) and his new bride moved to Lagos as man and wife and they were blessed with many children, both biological and adopted.
After moving to Lagos in 1961, he gained employment with the Central Bank of Nigeria and rose to become the Deputy Chief of Banking Operations under Governor Clement Isong. Subsequently, he was appointed the first Chief Accountant of the Central Bank of Nigeria and he held that position from 1975 until his retirement in 1977 at the young age of 42.
Upon his retirement, R.A. Law, as he is fondly referred to by his friends and colleagues, decided to explore new territory when he became the CEO of CTB Stockbrokers. Stock broking was new for him but R. A. Law is not one to shy away from adventure and his love for challenges made him excel in his new role as a stock broker.
After his stint in stock broking, he was convinced to go back into accounting by the late Chief Adekunle Osindero and in 1981, he became a partner in the International accounting firm of Arthur Young & Osindero, which later became Ernst Young & Osindero. In 1990, R. A. became the Finance and Admin Partner of the firm and he later retired as a senior partner in 1996.
He has had the priviledge of being on the Board of the former African Continental Bank, the New Nigerian Bank, the West African Glass Company, Port Harcourt and Union Merchant Bank Limited. He is also a former president of the Lagos Doyen Lions Club and was, for many years, a member of the Ikoyi club, Ikoyi. In his younger days, R. A. was an avid golf player and a member of the Ikeja Golf Club where he enjoyed playing golf with his professional colleagues.
R. A. Lawal is known to be very disciplined and full of wisdom and his wisdom is easily conveyed in his many proverbs. He is a very articulate man and a prolific writer and his counsel, which is sometimes seemingly difficult, has always been found to be extremely objective and without malice.
R.A. is a man of integrity whose word is his bond and who does not make commitments lightly. He is very hard working and will always see a matter to its logical conclusion, no matter what it takes. He is committed to excellence and will settle for nothing but the best and these are traits that he has passed on to his children and many others who have had the priviledge of working with him in the course of his career.
His parents called him “Debisi”, his late wife called him “Bisi”, his classmates called him “Zak” his friends call him R.A. or R.A. Law but we call him Daddy and we could not have asked for a better father than the one God gave us. As a father, you have impacted the lives of your many children and you have taught each of them diligently as you walked the paths of life with them.
Daddy, as you turn 80, we thank God for blessing us with a father like you and we want you to know that we love you very much and we appreciate you for all the things you taught us and for the wisdom you imparted to us through the years.