Chief Kola Daisi
Chief Kola Daisi, an illustrious son of Ibadan, the Bashorun of Ibadan land, a respected elder-statesman, lawyer and businessman, was born on September 14, 1932, in Ibadan. He had his elementary and secondary education in Ibadan and later studied Economics and Law at the University of London after which he was called to the bar. He had an early rise in life as he became a legal celebrity shortly after he was posted to Ibadan by the law firm of Ayo Rosiji and Company following the victory he had over a legal icon in a celebrated case. He worked with Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) for 11 years during which he became the Chief Executive. He also served as Executive Director of the Nigerian Association of Chambers Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA). He co-founded the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce and served as its first Executive Director.
Working with LCCI and by extension NACCIMA was the game changer for Chief Kola Daisi and that experience turned him into a thoroughbred businessman. While with LCCI, he interfaced with many local and foreign businessmen and by the time he left the organization, he had been so thoroughly schooled in the art and science of doing business that he was so sure he would make his mark in business. He started many business organizations, including Ibadan Civic Centre, all of which have grown by leaps and bounds. He invested in real estate and blue chip companies and has never had any cause to regret such actions.
As a businessman, he deploys his resources to the good of the people. He uses his means to help the poor out of their poverty, relieve the sick of their pains and aches and give hope of a better future to the downtrodden. To ensure proper coordination for his philanthropic activities, Chief Daisi established the Kola Daisi Foundation (KDF), a non-government, non-profit, non-partisan and non-sectarian organization in 1993 to “help Nigerians in the areas of health care, poverty alleviation and children education.” Since its establishment, the foundation has made serious impact in the three core areas of its intervention. In fulfillment of its education mandate, Kola Daisi Foundation, in 1998, donated a two storey Computer Centre to the University of Ibadan. The building consists of a lecture theatre, several tutorial rooms, many offices for lecturers and administrative staff as well as a computer laboratory.
In 2016, the Federal Government granted a license to the Kola Daisi Foundation to operate the Kola Daisi University, Ibadan. The university, which boasts of state of the art facilities, will, according to Chief Daisi, “concentrate more on vocational education and skill acquisition in order to reduce unemployment in the country” and this is already in motion. He also noted that his interest in establishing a private university stems from his desire to offer the present generation of young people and those coming after the level of quality education he was exposed to as a young person. He is concerned that the quality of education, especially at the tertiary level has witnessed a decline over the years. So, he intends to replicate in Nigeria the kind of education he received in the University of London, the kind of education that makes the products wealth creators, not those who will be waiting on the government for handouts.
Consequently, he further states “that the university will not shut its gate against indigent students as the fees are considerate and affordable, Kola Daisi University is not a business venture, if it were, I would not be doing it at this age, it is an opportunity to inculcate in our young men and women the value and virtues that will enable them to birth the Nigeria of our dreams, it is people that build great nations but only built people can build great nations. So, our vision at Kola Daisi University is to build the people that will build Nigeria into a great nation”