TVC N. Bola Kuforiji-Olubi, former minister of commerce and first female president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAN), was pronounced dead on Saturday.
The late octogenarian, who was conferred an award of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) in 2002, celebrated her 80th birthday less than two months ago in Lagos.
Kuforiji-Olubi will be remembered as one of the Nigerian women who broke the boundaries before the advent of gender activism.
She was the first Nigerian female graduate of the Chartered Accountant of England and Wales, and the first female graduate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). She was elected the first female ICAN President in 1989, as the 25th president.
She was also the first Nigerian woman to become the managing director of an international company in Nigeria — VYB (Nigeria) Ltd — in 1977. She was the first female chairman of a public quoted company on the stock exchange (BEWAC Plc.), the holding company for VYB and its subsidiaries.
Kuforiji-Olubi is also the first female Chairman of United Bank for Africa(UBA).
She began her career as a Grade two Teacher at Zawan Girls Catholic Primary School, Jos, where she rose to be headmistress at age 19.
“I was told that this came because I had done very well at my examinations; scoring the highest number of credits,” she once said.
She left her teaching job and proceeded to the University of London where she did her A Levels and also graduated with a degree in Economics in 1963. In 1964, she became a fellow of British Chartered Institutes of Company Secretaries, ACIS.