Sunday, 4 December 2016


Chief Mrs. Bola Otunba Agora Kuforiji-Olubi

BOLA (HER HIGHNESS) OTUNBA AYORA KUFORIJI-OLUBI - first woman in Africa to become Chairman of a bank ‘UBA’: Born September 28, 1936. Her father J. Olat Majiyagbe was a police officer who was constantly on the move. She did not live much with the parents except for brief periods in Katsina and Jos. Her father eventually retired from the Police Force but worked briefly in other public service arms before going into business.

While in Katsina, Majiyagbe developed a close relationship with the Emir of Katsina, late Usman Nagogo, and this friendship enabled his daughter to become one of the privileged children allowed into the palace to interact with Nagogo’s children. One of the Emir’s wives, who was educated, taught all the children, among whom was retired Major-General Hassan Usman Katsina. Besides the private tuition in the palace, she attended the Katsina Native Authority School, Baptist Academy Lagos (1914) Broad Street, and Our Lady’s High School, Kaduna, St. Agnes Teacher’s Training College, Maryland, between 1952 and 1955 and obtained when she graduated with a grade two teachers’.

 She taught at Zawan Girls Catholic Primary School in Jos. At the age of 19, she became a headmistress. She went to England to do her ‘A’ Levels and earned a B.Sc Degree in Economics in 1963 at London University. Later on, she studied Chartered Accountancy, and became the first Nigerian female graduate Chartered Accountant of England and Wales, and of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria-ICAN. She is a fellow of Institute of Charted Accountants, England and Wales 1977, ICAN Nigeria 1976, British Chartered Institutes of Company Secretaries (ACIS 1964). Nigerian Institute of Management (FMIN) 1985, British Institute of Directors. She is a recipient of the following honours and awards: Doctor of Business Administration from Enugu State University of Science and Technology, 1997; National award of member of the Order of the Niger in 1979, for her contributions to management education and socio- economic Advancement of Nigeria.

Her highness Bola with President Gen. Muhammadu Buhari

She was conferred with the award of Order of the Niger (OON) in 2002; award of certificate of Merit by the United Nations Decade of Woman, 1980, award for Excellence from the University of Benin's Skonit Club in 1988, honorary Grammarian of CMS 1988 by CMS grammar school, award of Excellence by Brigade of Nigeria, 1992, International award of Excellence for outstanding entrepreneurial achievements, MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA. 1992, a recipient of 2002 conferment award for Woman of achievements under the auspices of the Woman development centre, Abuja, 2005. Doctor of Laws, LLD honoris causa (Latin: "for the sake of the honor") Bayero University, Kano, 2004; Doctor of letter (Honoris Causa) Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye Ogun State 2006. She served in various capacities locally and internationally. She was the 25th President Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria, the first female to become president of the Institute; while she was in the office she launched Accounting Technicians Course 1989–1990.

"First Nigerian woman to be CEO of a multinational company (VYB Industries Limited, with British affiliates (Incheape & Co Plc) and first female Chairman of a public quoted company (Bewac Plc)."

She chaired and served on the boards of many other companies. The first Chairman of Ogun-Osun River Basin Development (1976–1980), member governing council Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research ( NISER) from 1981–1983. She was appointed chairman of a leading financial Institution, United Bank for Africa Plc in 1984 1990, the first woman in Africa south of the Sahara, Vice chairman National conference on Nigerian foreign policy to the year 2000, member National Sport commission 1986–89. She was a foundation member and chairman, Lagos State Education endowment fund (1988–1999). She was appointed as honorable Secretary (Minister) for Commerce and Tourism in the interim National Government of Nigeria in 1983.

Chief Mrs Kuforiji with Bola Ahmed Tinubu

She was a deputy chairman & Federal Commissioner for Ogun state at the revenue mobilization. Her publications include; the female Entrepreneur and Financial Management for Survival 1987, Civil Service reform in a developing Economy 1988. The corporate Woman, a marginalized group, problem and Strategies for success, vide public enlightenment programme of the institute of Directors 1989. Technical education as a catalyst for technical cooperation and Economic growth in developing Countries 1992 and co-author of Changing Course. Otunba Ayora is a chairman of many companies, SPHINX GROUP, PHOENIX TIDE offshore Nigeria Limited and Phoenix Oceanline limited. A past President of the Soroptimist International Club of Eko, Lagos. She is the founder of Ayora Trust Foundation with her children as trustees of the foundation.

She got married the first time at age 32 in 1969, the marriage broke up 3 years later, though not her fault with three kids. she moved on with her life. In 1981 she got married to Chief Olubi. Her favorite dish was coleslaw and salad which she prepared most time by herself.

She appeared in the book: 100 Pioneer/Remarkable Women of the Century' by Raphael James. She held many chieftaincy titles across Nigeria. She passed on Saturday morning, December 3rd 2016 at the age of 80.

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