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Former Minister and Ex-First Bank chairman Ajibola Afonja dies at 82

A former Minister of Labour and former Chairman of First Bank Nigeria, Ajibola Afonja has died aged 82.

The Oyo-born Prince passed away on Sunday night, May 19 at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State.

Confirming the passage of the former Minister in a statement, the Oyo Global Forum (OGF) through its Chairman, Taiwo Adebayo described the late Afonja as a unifier.

“On this dark day in Oyo, we mourn the loss of Ajibola Afonja, former Labour Minister and Chairman of First Bank Nigeria, who passed away on Sunday night, aged 82.

“Although, a national figure with tremendous influence, he was particularly light for the Oyo community where he made pioneering efforts as an industrialist. His legacy of generosity and open-heartedness touched countless lives, and his presence will be profoundly missed.

“Until his last month, Daddy IDS, as he was affectionately known, as a reference to his manufacturing company, remained hardworking, dedicated to realizing one of the most transformative business visions for the country’s economy. It was the E-Customs project.

“His absence leaves a void that will be difficult to fill, but his spirit of generosity and leadership will continue to inspire us. For all of us that he inspired, we shall honour his memory by carrying forward the values he embodied and continuing his legacy of service and compassion, the values that guide OGF, which he supported during his lifetime.”

Afonja was Chairman of the Board of Directors of First Bank Plc and was appointed as Minister of Labour under the interim government of Earnest Shonekan.

He was the chairman of Integrated Dimensional System and many other companies. He attended Kingston University, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, United Kingdom where he bagged a degree in Accounting in 1970.

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