First Female NACCIMA President, Alaba Lawson, Dies At 72

Chief Alaba Oluwaseun Lawson
Chief Mrs. Alaba Oluwaseun Lawson, the Iyalode of Yorubaland, is dead.
At the age of 72, Chief Mrs. Lawson passed away in the early hours of Saturday.
Lawson, the Iyalode of Egbaland, was also the former president of NACCIMA and the Abeokuta Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ABEOCCIMA).
Abdul Rahman Maku, the Executive Secretary of ABEOCCIMA, confirmed the death in a statement he made available to newsmen in the capital of Ogun State, Abeokuta.
The statement read, “We regret to announce the demise of NACCIMA past President and ABEOCCIMA Matron/ Board of Trustees, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, Iyalode of Yorubaland, which occurred in the early hours of Saturday, 28th October 2023.
Burial arrangement to be announced later by the family.”
“May God Almighty grant repose of the soul of Iyalode, the statement concluded.
Brief Biography
Lawson was born on January 18, 1951. She was a business magnate, entrepreneur and academician. She was once Chairman of the Board of the Governing Council, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Ogun State.
Chief Lawson was also the president pro-tempore of the Forum of Female Traditional Rulers in Nigeria.
She became the President of the Abeokuta Chambers of Commerce in 1995 and later became the President of Ogun Council of Chambers of Commerce in year 2000 and headed it till 2002. And in 2009 she established a Microfinance Bank known as Abestone Microfinance Bank to boost SMES.
On May 25, 2017, Alaba became the first woman to be elected President of National Association Of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines And Agriculture (NACCIMA) following the expiration of the tenure of Dr. Benny Edem.
“Her Death Is A Very Painful Loss”- President Tinubu Mourns Iyalode Alaba Lawson
President Bola Tinubu has expressed grief over the passing of Iyalode Alaba Lawson, MFR.
In a statement issued by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, the president described Chief Lawson as an enterprising, courageous, astute, and distinguished businesswoman and leader.
“Iyalode Lawson epitomised enterprise, brilliance, and ingenuity. Her death is a very painful loss. May the Almighty God grant her eternal rest,” the President said.
“She Will Surely Be Missed” – Abiodun Mourns Alaba Lawson
Prince Dapo Abiodun, the governor of Ogun State, has described the passing of Chief (Mrs.) Alaba Lawson, the Iyalode of Yorubaland, a great loss to the country.
The governor expressed comfort in knowing that the deceased left significant landmarks spanning a wide range of Nigeria’s landscape and would be remembered for her blessing to thousands of Nigerians who came into contact with her.
He continued by saying that the late Chief (Mrs.) Lawson was a role model for future generations of women and the pinnacle of achievement, embodying the finest qualities of Nigerian femininity.
Governor Abiodun commiserated with the Alake of Egbaland, Oba (Dr) Adedotun Gbadebo, and his chiefs, the Lawson family and the nation in general on her demise and prayed that the Almighty God would grant them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Lekan Adeniran in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Saturday, Abiodun said: “The passing of Chief (Mrs) Alaba Lawson is without doubt a shocking development, but we are consoled by her sterling record of service to humanity and unblemished contributions to the development of Ogun State.
“Born into the highly distinguished Jibolu-Taiwo family of Abeokuta, Chief (Mrs) Lawson was an exemplar of the popular Yoruba dictum of one born into nobility but who goes on to achieve self-rebirth, showcasing the timeless Omoluabi qualities that the Yoruba hold so dear.
“From her education in Nigeria to her sojourn in the United Kingdom, teaching in several schools while studying at the St. Nicholas Montessori Teachers’ Training College at Prince’s Gate, England in 1973 where she set a record by becoming the first African to obtain a First Class Diploma in Education, Chief (Mrs) Alaba Lawson showcased uncommon commitment to excellence.
“When she returned home, she established a string of schools that have shaped the lives of generations of students and contributed immensely to Ogun State’s profile as Nigeria’s education capital.
“Whether as the first female president of NACCIMA, chairman of the board of the Governing Council, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Ogun State; Otun Iyalode of the Egba Christians, or the Iyalode of Yorubaland, Chief (Mrs) Lawson was the quintessential definition of a pacesetter. She was thoroughly accomplished and distinguished.
“Among other imperishable legacies, the Lawson’s Group of Schools comprising Lawson’s International Private School, Lawson’s Continuing Education Centre, Alaba Lawson Royal College, Abeokuta and Alaba Lawson School of Advanced Studies will continue to bear eloquent testimony to her genius.
“She will be surely missed.”
Ada Peter
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