Olutoyin Olakunri

WOMAN WARRIOR ON WEDNESDAY; OLUTOYIN OLAKUNRI

Olutoyin Olakunri was born in Lagos on November 4, 1937. She moved to the United Kingdom when she was barely 13 years old to complete her post-primary education at Hawthorne School, Frinton-On-Sea. 

She was a renowned accountant, administrator, and educationist. She became the first woman to qualify as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales in February 1963 and also served as the first female president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) from 1994/1995. 

 

Olutoyin was an exceptionally brilliant and distinguished woman of many caps, she didn’t only pursue a career in accounting, she also delved into the manufacturing industry, owning and managing industrial units. Served as a director at Chase Bank, and at different times, was Executive Director, ICON Stockbrokers and Managing Director, CTB Stockbrokers. She was also the first female member of the Board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and a council member for five years. 

 

An active patriot, who served Nigeria in various capacities during her lifetime. She contributed immensely to oversight and deliberations for different national and state institutions and was, at different times, Chairman of the Lagos State Transport Company, Chairman of the Lagos State Ferry Service and the Education Trust Fund (ETF), now known as the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), where she was Chairman for two terms. 

A celebrated woman who held a number of chieftancy titles including Bobaseye of Ijebuland, Adegorike of Ijebu-Owo, Otunba Omoba Ola-Efon, and many more. She was awarded honorary doctorate degrees by several Nigerian universities including University of Ado-Ekiti in 2004, Lagos State University in 2007, and University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2008. 

 

A strong advocate for women during her lifetime, Olatoyin was involved with several organizations concerned with women’s professional development and social welfare. She was the Chairperson of the West African Women Association (WAWA) and was the President of the International Women’s Society in Nigeria. Also, she chaired the Bloom Cancer Care and Support Centre for over 15 years. 

 

She was the Council Member and Chairman of the Body of Past Presidents of ICAN and Chairman, Optimum Trust Insurance Brokers, and Non-Executive Director of Premium Health.

Until her death, she was a very humble woman, who led the Altar Guild, which saw to the cleanliness and beautification of the church. A trailblazer who led an impactful life, she died at the age of 80 on June 3, 2018.

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Amina Zaid