June 4, 2018 - 5:44 AM
Female boardroom guru and Amazon of accountancy Chief (Mrs) Olutoyin Olusola Olakunrin has been confirmed dead. The woman of many firsts made her grand exit on the morning of Sunday June 3, 2018 during a service at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Breadfruit, Lagos.
Lagos Times gathered that the veteran trendsetter slumped during the church service around 11:30am and was immediately rushed to hospital where the doctors on ground pronounced her dead on arrival.
Olakunri was the first female Chartered Accountant in Sub-Saharan Africa and the second female President of ICAN.
Toyin was the mother of Derin Agbaje, who is married to powerful banker and CEO of GT Bank Segun Agbaje. She hailed from Gbagura, Abeokuta in Ogun State.
During her life she achieved so much that she came to be regarded as one of the most brilliant minds ever to grace this country. Her numerous accomplishments fetched her myriad honours from governments, national and international bodies, educational institutions, religious and charitable organizations.
The grand dame of Nigeria’s social establishment was one woman who straddled the worlds of business and society with consummate ease. She reigned over many boardrooms and her intimidating profile automatically unlocked the gates of any and every society event she deigned to grace.
Toyin wasn’t your ordinary cookie. She was a trailblazer who shattered numerous glass ceilings on her path to smashing several national and regional records in the world of business and accountancy.
She first put the whole world on notice of her stupendous brilliance when against all odds she became the first woman to become a chartered accountant in the whole of Africa. That historical milestone achieved in 1963 was just a taste of things to come. She was a pioneer member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) founded in 1965 and later went on to serve as its second female president.
Toyin took things a notch higher when in 1978 she promoted the Society of Women Accountants in Nigeria (SWAN) and served with undiminished gusto as its chairman for well over a decade. She made her mark with impactful membership of several local and global business associations. She was also the first female president of the Nigerian branch of the Institute of Directors.
A list of the companies she worked with reads like a roll call of the crème de la crème of the business world. She had stints at accountancy royalty Casselton Elliot and Co, gas giant NLNG, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Policy Commission (RMAFC) and numerous other bodies.
For her efforts in business and her contributions to nation building the federal government honoured her with the national award of Order of the Federal Republic (OFR). She also received chieftaincy titles, honorary degrees and leadership awards aplenty.