Remembering Grace Aramide Olawoye: (March 1941- November 2017)
She received her primary school education at St. Stephen’s Junior Primary School and Anglican Girls School in Ondo.
After her primary school education, she proceeded to St. Louis Secondary School, Ondo for her secondary school education. She transferred, after the first year, to St. Monica’s Girls Grammar School, Ondo and belonged to the fourth set (1958 – 1963).
All through her years in St. Monica’s, she displayed a high sense of responsibility and became a school prefect. She was much loved and respected.
Mrs. Aramide Olawoye had a distinguished civil service career. In 1964, she was appointed as a Tax Assessment Clerk by the Federal Board of Inland Revenue.
Upon the creation of Lagos State in 1968, she was transferred to the Board of Internal Revenue of the new state where she continued her work in tax assessment until 1970.
Thereafter, she commenced a three-year study leave to read Sociology at the University of Lagos. She successfully completed her studies in 1973 and was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree by the university.
Following her graduation from the University of Lagos, she was appointed an Assistant Secretary in the administrative class of the Lagos State Civil Service and made steady progress on that career path.
Between 1973 and 1982, she rose from Assistant Secretary to Under Secretary and served in the Lagos State Ministry of Economic Development and Establishments, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Lagos State Ministry of Health.
In 1982, she was appointed as Council Manager at the Ebute-Metta/Yaba (now Lagos Mainland) Local Government and in 1985, she rose to the level of Director and served in this capacity in various ministries, departments and agencies.
She served as Director of Parastatals, Monitoring Department, where she had oversight functions over all Lagos State Government parastatals including Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) and Lagos Building Investment Company (LBIC).
She also served as Director of Personnel, World Bank Assisted Projects Department; Director, Better Life for Rural Women Programme in Lagos; Director of Personnel, Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism; and finally, Director, Finance and Supply, Lagos State Ministry of Education.
She officiated in virtually all the general elections and local government elections between 1973 and 1999 and performed several notable ad-hoc duties and special assignments.
In the course of her career in the civil service, she obtained professional certificates in Urban Management, International Personnel Management and Advanced Management from the University of Birmingham, the Royal Institute of Public Administration (RIPA), London and from the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) in Badagry respectively.
She retired from the Civil Service in 1999 and kept herself active through several business interests, which included a public-sector management consultancy practice, a cleaning and fumigation outfit (MGO Cleaners), and a business centre (Grace Business Office).
Olawoye was a member of the Young Women Christian Association at Cathedral Church of St. Stephen, Ondo and was an active member of the Lagos State Secretariat Fellowship, once serving as the President.
In her latter life, she kept active through her service as a member of the Welfare Group, the Elders Forum and the Success Group of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries.
She was a member the Pearls Club, a philanthropic group that provided support to the elderly in Ondo and beyond. She had a passion for her alma mater: St. Monica’s Girls Grammar School and was a strong member of the Lagos branch of the old students’ association.
She also supported several charitable causes, including the Christ Orphanage Home in Ondo and was, on several occasions, the recipient of a Certificate of Partnership issued by the Lagos State Government in recognition of her contributions to the ‘Support our Schools’ initiative of the Lagos State Government.
Mrs Olawoye was married to Prof. Clifford Odunayo Olawoye – a distinguished legal scholar. Their blissful marriage of 51 years, was blessed with children and grandchildren. She laboured alongside her husband through thick and thin to build and maintain a secure, loving and happy home.
In addition to being a mother to the children born to her and their spouses, she was a mother to nephews, nieces and their spouses; children of her dearest friends; friends of her children, and some of her employees and their children.
She was a good listener and counsellor – always ready to pray along and provide prayer-points and advice to address issues at hand.
In her school testimonial, the principal of St. Monica’s Grammar School, Mrs Crossworth, attested that she possessed a good sense of organisation. She brought her excellent organisational skills to bear at work and at family events.
Mrs. Aramide Olawoye was fully devoted to her God, her husband, her children and her extended family by blood and by adoption. She will forever be loved and deeply appreciated.