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Nigeria’s First Female Head of Service Dies At 88

The first female  head of service in the old Oyo State, Tejumade Alakija, is dead.

Alakija, daughter of the late Ooni of Ife, Adesoji Aderemi, was confirmed dead by her younger brother, Adelowo Aderemi,  in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN in Ibadan on Friday.

He said Alakija died on Friday morning at the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, after  a brief  illness at 88 years.

Born on May 17, 1925 in Ile-Ife, Alakija attended Aiyetoro Primary and Central School, Ile-Ife, between 1933 and 1937 as well as  Kudeti Girls’ School, Molete, Ibadan.

She obtained a  B.A Honours (History) at Westfield College, University of London, England, between 1946 and 1950.

Alakija then proceeded to Oxford University  where she bagged  a post-graduate diploma in Education between 1950 and 1951.

As a graduate teacher, she joined the Nigerian civil service  and was posted to Queen’s School,Ede, and later to the new Government Girls’ Secondary Grammar School between 1951 and 1953.

In 1953, Alakija founded a Girls’ Secondary Grammar School at the invitation of the Anglican Mission in Ijebu-Ode Diocese.

She later became an assistant secretary (Finance) at the ministry of works  and then training officer-in charge of the Western Region Public Service Training Programme between 1960 and 1962.

The deceased  was the assistant secretary in the ministry of trade and industries in the region between 1962 and 1964 and was later appointed secretary of some  important commissions.

She served in the committee on development of training in the Western Region Civil Service and the committee on technical education in Western Nigeria.

Alakija became the chief investment officer in the ministry of trade and industries between 1969  and  1972.

She served as deputy permanent secretary to the ministry of health between 1976 and 1978 and as permanent secretary, ministry of education,  between 1978 and 1979.

Alakija also served as head of service in the old Oyo State and voluntarily retired on  September 30, 1983.

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