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General News of Thursday, 11 November 2021


Tributes as Nigeria’s first Surveyor-General turns 90

Photo of Surveyor-General, Daniel Omoigui Photo of Surveyor-General, Daniel Omoigui

The First Surveyor-General of the Federation, Daniel Omoigui, on Wednesday, November 10 clocked 90 years.

His birthday celebration, which was held at Aso Hall, International Conference Centre, Abuja, was attended by family, friends, and well-wishers who paid tributes to him.

The festivity was done in three phases – a thanksgiving service at the Catholic Church in the morning, a medical mission in the afternoon, and a reception in the evening.

Medical mission as part of the activities to celebrate the birthday, the foundation he chairs, DAGOMO, which was set up by the retired public servant and his family offered free general medical services such as checks for blood sugar, and high blood pressure with treatment administered to some elderly persons in Abuja.

According to the Chief Programme Officer of DAGOMO, Dan Uhimwen, the medical mission was also to mark the existence of the foundation for the last 10 years as it was launched on Mr Omoigui’s 80th birthday in 2011.

“Now that he is 90, we cannot but just thank God for how God has kept him in health and soundness of mind. That is what we are celebrating today, to thank God for preserving him and keeping the foundation in the last 10 years,” Mr Uhimwen said.

The idea behind DAGOMO Foundation Nigeria was an inspiration from the inadequate treatment and care the celebrant’s wife received while she was aged.

It seeks to make life better for the aged in Nigeria and to promote ‘intergenerationality’.

Tributes at receptionMeanwhile, family members, friends, former work associates, and mentees have expressed gratitude for how the nonagenarian positively influenced their lives and careers.

His only daughter and former Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Ifueko Omoigui Okauru, narrated how her father had always supported the family.

“Dad has always been the one to use his salary not for himself but for the education of his children. Whatever you see today, that manifested in each of the children comes from the foundation that my father and my mother put together,” she said.

She disclosed that at the start of her tenure in federal civil service, her father advised her to always be fair and respect everyone particularly staff at lower levels.

His son, Eghosa Omoigui, said his father taught him the importance of “a good name and putting the work in”.

Also in attendance was Solomon Asemota, a lawyer who said the advice Mr Omoigui gave to him to resign from the Nigeria Police Force and begin a career in law earned him his status as Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 1986.

A former Surveyor-General, Austin Nuepuome, also appreciated the celebrant for being his mentor and role model and prayed for longevity for him.

Daniel Omoigui is known for his role in resolving boundary disputes across Nigeria through the establishment of the National Boundary Commission at the end of the civil war in 1970.

He also played an instrumental role in the negotiation between Nigeria and Cameroon on the Bakassi Penisula.

Mr Omoigui was forcibly retired in 1988 following a controversy on his work in internal boundary demarcation which made him spend a year as Surveyor-General of the Federation.

He experienced two tragic moments in his life following the death of his wife in 2016 and his son, a Nigerian Military Historian, Nowamagbe Omoigbui, in April 2021.

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