Prof K S Adeyemi

Professor Eddy Omolehinwa and I first met in 1981 at the Library of the Manchester Business School, Booth Street, Manchester.  At that time, he was a PhD student at the Manchester Businss School while I was also a PhD student at University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. Both Schools were two of the three Colleges of the University of Manchester, the third being the “Owens College”.  Unknown to me at the time, Eddy was observing my daily routine at the MBS Library clocking in, in the morning and out in the night and out of his genuine concern, he thought that he had to intervene and warn me not to overdo my study, lest I inadvertently hurt my health.

Therefore, one day he came and introduced himself to me and started interrogating me with personal questions about my bio-data and immediately he discovered that I was a Nigerian, our friendship, bonding and fraternity started and quickly blossomed.

Without any exaggeration, Prof Eddy Omolehinwa is a rare gem and he is one of my best, closest and enduring friends of more than four decades.  And the friendship and mutual respect have grown so much that colleagues see us as childhood friends from the same roots.

Professor Eddy’s life is full of challenges which to the glory of God, he was able to turn most of them into opportunities that benefit mankind.  From a very humble and financially oppressive beginning at that old city of Okitipupa, Ondo State, Eddy went to the prestigious premier secondary school in Nigeria – Kings College, Lagos.  He performed so well in the Higher School Certificate (A’ Level) examinations in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry that all his colleagues naturally thought that he was going to study for an engineering degree at the University.  But by share providence, fate and God’s direction, my friend opted to study Accounting at the University of Lagos. Although Eddy did not study accounting in the secondary school, he finished his B.Sc. (Hons) Accounting as one of the best graduating students which qualified him to be recruited immediately as a Graduate Assistant in the Department. From here, he went on the University of Lagos scholarship to an Ivy League Institution in the United States - Columbia University, New York for his MBA before proceeding to another world-class university, Manchester Business School for his PhD.  This marked the flourishing beginning of a very successful academic career.

Prof Omolehinwa is the encyclopedia of Public Sector Accounting in Nigeria and he is incredibly and inseparably attached to good governance, accountability and “accounting for people’s money.”  Eddy has abhorrence for dishonesty, lack of transparency and all forms of shenanigans.  Although, I share many of these virtues with him but I always wonder and worry that his level of concern for societal ills might take its toll on his health.

Eddy, “for the redeemable masses”, has made so much contributions to the “teaching of accounting” and the “accountancy profession” in Nigeria, that culminated in the conferment on him, of the “Merit Award of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN)” in 2014.  Prof Omolehinwa has produced numerous accounting graduates majority of who have gone further to qualify for their ACA, ACCA, CPA, CFA, ICAN, et cetera.  And this is in addition to helping to produce many Accounting Professors in Nigeria and diaspora.  He was also a Fulbright Scholar at the Texas Southern University, Houston in the 2006/2007 session.

Prof Omolehinwa is a man of many parts with incredible capacity for work and meeting people’s specific needs.  He has served on so many national, international and institutional/corporate committees some of which he chaired and too many to enumerate for lack of space.  In spite of his tight schedules, my friend, Eddy, still has time to attend to people’s problems and I am a beneficiary of his humanity, emotional intelligence and empathy.  To him, every problem has many feasible solutions from where to select the most optimal; that is Eddy for you!!!!

I have studied Professor Eddy Omolehinwa for more than four decades and admire him for his close attachment to his children and his late wife.  He was always concerned about the education of his four children.  The undisputable testimony to this, is that not only did all of them have their University degrees, they are all Chartered Accountants as well. Consequently, Prof Omolehinwa’s house is “a house of chartered accountants”.

Prof Omolehinwa is also a prolific writer having contributed so many articles in learned journals. Because of his concern not just for the ordinary masses on the street but also the specific masses in his constituency – the academia, he has concentrated on writing textbooks for students of accounting and the accountancy profession. Therefore, he has written so many textbooks in accounting and related disciplines. He has also written a few, albeit controversial ones in the area of politics and political economy, the most vivid example being his latest publication titled “The Unrealised Gains of Nigerian Independence”.

My Dear friend Eddy has touched many lives. On this occasion of your 70th Birthday which also marks your official retirement from the University of Lagos, I wish you a very happy birthday and a happy retirement life in good health, sound mind and prosperity

Congratulations!!!  From your bosom friend,

Prof K S Adeyemi