• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Olufunmilayo Olaniyi’s investiture: A new era for ICAN Lekki and District Society

In recent years, Nigeria has seen a surge in women taking on leadership roles across various sectors. This shift is gradually dismantling traditional gender barriers and bringing about substantial success across sectors and disciplines.

The rise in female CEOs, chairpersons, and top executives in Nigerian organizations, banks, and oil companies shows the impact of advocacy for women in leadership, strategic succession planning, skills enhancement, and leadership development.

Adding to this impressive trend, the Lekki and District Society of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria recently elected Olufunmilayo Olaniyi, the Vice President of Business Development at Flutterwave, as its third chairman. This historic election was celebrated during the society’s second anniversary and investiture ceremony at the Lekki Coliseum.

Patrick Akamiokhor, the chairman of the investiture committee, lauded Olaniyi in his welcome address. “We are witnessing the investiture of a young lady who is amiable, a workaholic, a goal-getter, a specialist in networking, a giver, a socialite, one with a very high doable personality, and a lover of God. This investiture will go down in history as the one that catapulted Lekki and District Society from the second level to the 10th level,” he stated.

Taking to the podium for her acceptance speech, Olaniyi expressed her gratitude and commitment to her new role. “One of the many notable aspirations of a Chartered Accountant in the professional line is to lead a district and, subsequently, if God permits, rise to become the President of the Institute,” she said. “I am deeply honored to stand before you today for the investiture as the third Chairman of our District Society. This is a realization of one of my dreams.”

Reflecting on her journey with the district, Olaniyi continued, “Since 2022, when I joined the district at the formative stage, I have always envisioned the process of taking it to the greatest height it can achieve within the shortest time possible. I entertained no second thought when the opportunity presented itself for me to serve as the erstwhile General Secretary. The experience from this role has prepared me to serve in the new capacity. I want to assure every member of my full dedication and commitment to take the district to the next level in collaboration with all stakeholders.”

Olaniyi also acknowledged the support she has received from various quarters. “I want to express my sincere appreciation to the members of the District Executives in the 2023/24 Chairmanship year, who have been great compatriots in the journey towards making the District the one of choicest within our jurisdiction. My gratitude also goes to the man behind my smile, the husband of my youth who has been my number one supporter in my career journey and every dream and aspiration, Mr. Eyitayo Olaniyi. To my wonderful children, parents, siblings, and friends, I thank you all for your understanding, support, and encouragement on this journey so far.”

Meet Olufunmilayo Olaniyi, ACA

Olufunmilayo Olaniyi is a seasoned professional with over 16 years of experience in tax compliance, advisory services, family governance, business development, and strategic partnerships. As the Senior Vice President of Business Development at Flutterwave, a leading fintech company in Africa, she has played a pivotal role in revolutionizing payment solutions across the continent. Flutterwave is renowned as the fourth African startup to achieve “unicorn” status and is listed in the United States.

Before her tenure at Flutterwave, Olaniyi held key positions at the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, KPMG, and Andersen in Nigeria. At KPMG and Andersen, she excelled as a tax adviser to multinational corporations, delivering top-tier services. Her exceptional performance at Andersen led to her promotion to Associate Director, where she pioneered and led the Business Development and Strategic Partnership unit, achieving numerous milestones.

With her extensive experience in tax regulations, Olaniyi has successfully guided clients through tax audits and investigations. She provides practical solutions to mitigate the adverse impact of tax issues on operations and has overseen tax and accounting activities across Nigeria, Angola, Sierra Leone, and Ghana. Her expertise spans withholding tax, value-added tax, personal income tax, stamp duty, urban property tax, and corporate income tax.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Olaniyi is committed to community service and philanthropy. She actively participates in initiatives aimed at improving education and security, promoting eco-friendly lifestyles, and facilitating dispute resolution in her community. Recognized for her contributions, she has received several awards, including the 150 Eko Aspire Women Recognition Award from Lagos State Governor Olajide Sanwo-Olu and various accolades from KPMG and Andersen.

Olaniyi is also an active member of IA-Foundations, an international NGO dedicated to taking children off the streets and putting them back in school. She recently established an NGO to support the less privileged in education, health, and economic empowerment.

She has an MBA from Nexford University in Washington D.C., and M.Sc and B.Sc degrees from the University of Lagos, has been recognised as the most outstanding graduating female student in Mass Communication and has received numerous academic awards.

The new chairman is actively involved in professional associations such as ICAN, where she serves on various committees and anchors the institute’s weekly podcast, ICAN ON AIR. Her leadership roles extend to alumni associations, where she continues to foster connections and give back to her alma mater.

She is happily married with children and continues to mentor and inspire youths in her community, workplace, and professional institute.

Olaniyi’s investiture saw numerous dignitaries and professionals commend her achievements. Femi Saheed, Lagos State House of Assembly member, remarked, “Olufunmilayo is a lady of many parts who has branded herself up to the level of a Chartered Accountant. It is an aspiration of every Chartered Accountant to represent or become the President or Chairman of their district, and she has done that impeccably.”

Saheed also offered advice to young people: “The world is changing fast. If Olufunmilayo can transition from Mass Communication to becoming a Chartered Accountant, then our youth can pursue any field that gives them hope.”

Davidson Alarribe, the diamond president of ICAN, highlighted the significance of women in leadership roles within the organization. “We have several women leading district societies, and their involvement will move ICAN forward. When you train a woman, you are training a whole community,” he said.

Furthermore, messages of congratulations poured in from various quarters. The Governor of Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji, praised Olaniyi for her dedication and professional excellence. “Your election as the third Chairman of the District is an eloquent confirmation of your colleagues’ confidence in your leadership,” he stated.

Similarly, Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, acknowledged Olaniyi’s contributions to the accounting profession. “Her leadership has inspired many young professionals to strive for excellence,” he noted.

Adewale Ajayi, Partner and Head of KPMG Africa Tax, also lauded Olaniyi’s achievements. “Your strategic insights and commitment to excellence set new standards. I am confident that under your guidance, the Lekki and District Society will thrive,” he said.

With her election, Olufunmilayo Olaniyi not only adds another feather to her cap but also continues to inspire many women in Nigeria and beyond. Her leadership, dedication, and vision serve as a beacon of hope and a testament to the capabilities and potential of women in leadership roles. As she takes on this new challenge, the expectations are high, and the support is unwavering, marking another significant step towards gender equality in Nigerian leadership.

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