You remember DIL pure water? DIL means Deagbo Industry (Nigeria) Limited. It is Nigeria’s first ever sachet water producing company. Late Ibadan born entrepreneur, who was buried last Friday, Sir Isaac Adeagbo Akinpade, pioneered sachet pure water business in Nigeria. He died on Saturday June 2, 2018, at age 77.
He was born on Sunday April 6th 1941 to the family of Pa Ezekiel Ojo and Chief (Mrs.) Mariam Towobola Akinpade of Akinpade village in Akinyele Local Government of Oyo State.
He was the second of eleven children of his parents and dwelled peacefully in love and harmony with his other siblings and relatives while growing up in the village. His father was into agricultural produce business, while his mother was a trader of repute in the community.
Even though, it was not common for children of his age back then to devout time and energy to educational pursuit, but his mother’s desire to see her children do well in life propelled her to enroll all her children to school just to be able to read and write, hence his academic pursuit started at the Methodist Primary School, Labode village in 1948.
His academic pursuit did not come on a platter of gold, as his mother had to, sometimes; sell some of her personal possessions to see him through. After his elementary education in 1956, he had to drop out of school due to financial constraints and joined his parents trading in agricultural produce around the environs.
His love for education did not die a natural death as he picked up from where he left off 43 years later in 1996 by enrolling for West African Examination Council (WAEC) and came out with distinctions. He got admitted into the prestigious University of Ibadan for his Bachelor’s Degree in 1998 and graduated on top of his class. He only desired to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree since he wasn’t going job hunting; however, the Faculty of Education at the University of Ibadan thought differently. He was offered a full tuition free scholarship for his Master’s programme which he also successfully completed.
His passion for excellence did not allow him to be contented with just being a peasant farmer, and in 1958, he journeyed out of his locality to pursue training in plumbing. He practiced as an apprentice for few years and obtained the City and Guild Advance Studies Certificate in plumbing in 1961. He started his own business known as Akinpade Plumbing Works in 1964, which was later, renamed Standard Plumbing Works in 1977.
His plumbing career eventually paid off and he became one the successful plumbers ever known in Nigeria. He became a contractor of repute to both Oyo State, and Federal Government of Nigeria executing many water projects for communities and establishments that are still being used till today.
To mention a few, some of the water projects he executed are:
Ejigbo Water Works
Lanlate-Eruwa water project
Ajoda new town water project
Ibadan less city water project
Federal secretariat of Ibadan water project
Ede township water project
Saki water project
Gwarinpa water project, Abuja
Oyo State College of Education, Ilesa water project.
One of his passions was his ability to try his hands into something new no matter the risk factor. In 1990, he diversified into manufacturing business by establishing Deagbo Industries Nigeria Limited, a beverage company producing array of nutritious products called SOYVITA. In 1994, he also became one of the pioneers in manufacturing of water packaging in sachets popularly called “DIL PURE WATER”.
During his lifetime, Sir Isaac Akinpade incorporated/ co- incorporated the following businesses:
Chairman/ Managing Director Standard Plumbing Works
Chairman/CEO Technical Product Supplies Company
Chairman/ Managing Director Deagbo Industries (Nig.) Limited
Chairman Shrewd Ultimate Finance (Nig.) Limited
Chairman Akinyele Community Bank.
He also dealt into other areas of businesses like real estate, farming and animal husbandry.
To the surprise of many, Sir Isaac Akinpade achieved many of these industrial feats with just an elementary education background but with a lot of hard work. He self-thought himself to the best of his ability, and at many times he stood tall amongst the best of the crop in the society.
During his active business life, he was a member of Institute of Directors Nigeria, Institute of Directors London, Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering London.
It is worthy of mention that in 1992, he was appointed by the Oyo State Government to the board of West African Portland Co. Plc for a term of 4 years, but was reappointed for another term of 4 years, which has never occurred in the history of the company, due to his excellent display of business acumen resulting in the company’s tremendous growth.
Other appointments held during his lifetime are:
Chairman Oyo, Osun, Ondo, & Ekiti of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN)
Member, Governing Council of the Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Osun State.
Recognition and social activities
During his lifetime, he was a member of Ibadan Recreation Club and Omo Ajorosun Club of Ibadan. His contributions towards the development of these bodies cannot go without mention. The present club house of Omo Ajorosun Club became a reality during his tenure as the president of the club from 1992-1993.
His contributions to the development of Ibadanland was also rewarded with a chieftaincy title of Ashipa Balogun Mayegun of Ibadanland by the then Olubadan, Oba Yesufu Oloyede Asanike on the 4th of February, 1984.
The history of Methodist Church Nigeria, especially Ibadan Archdioceses will not be complete without the recognition of Sir Isaac Akinpade’s contributions. As his children sometimes teased him, he inhaled and exhaled Methodist day in day out.
His then local church, Agodi Methodist Cathedral, was his second office as there was no week during his active days that he will not be there attending one meeting or the other that had to do with the development of church. A lot of times, Sunday services at Agodi Methodist Church did not end until about 2 hours after the actual service, largely due to meetings and other pressing commitments. He was the property steward of the church between 1979 and 1985, Technical Adviser for Agodi Circuit between 1985 and 1993, Pioneer President of Wesley Movement Society from 1991 to 1996.
He was the Lay President of Methodist Church Nigeria Ibadan Diocese from the year 2001-2006, he was also the pioneer Lay President of Agodi Diocese of Methodist Church Ibadan from 2006 to 2007.
He was also a Class Leader of Egbe Irepodun Society at the church.
In the year 2000, he completed and handed over a church building within the premises of the Methodist Church Bishop’s court at Molete, Ibadan in honor of his late Dad- Pa Ojo Ezekiel Akinpade.
In the same year, he was awarded the prestigious honor of the Knight of John Wesley (KJW) by the then Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Rt. Rev. Sunday Mbang at the Methodist Church Cathedral, Agbeni, Ibadan.
His contributions to his village’s local church cannot be over emphasized as he was always available to attend to the needs and offer support to the growth of the church. He was the Circuit Steward of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Ikereku Circuit from 1993 – 2001.
He was appointed Baba Ijo of Methodist Church Nigeria Onikarahun in the year 2010, a position he held till he bade the world farewell on Saturday June 2, 2018.
It is best simply put that Sir Isaac Akinpade was a family man with over 100 biological and non-biological children. He operated an open-door policy to any child that came his way. He was always available to help raise and support children of friends and relatives through any level of education or vocation his capacity can muster.
Many of such children, scattered around the world, are here today celebrating his transition to eternal glory.