Oluremi Oyo, former News Agency of Nigeria boss dies

Oluremi Oyo

The death of a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Remi Oyo, on October 1, has been announced.

Mrs. Oyo’s death in the United Kingdom, where she was receiving treatment for a cancer related ailment, was announced by her husband, Vincent,on Tuesday.

Mrs. Oyo was a seasoned journalist who began her journalism career in 1973 in the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation now known as the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN.

She later joined NAN as a Desk Editor in 1981, and left in 1985 as a Principal Editor, the first woman to attain such a high position at the agency.

After leaving NAN, she joined the Inter Press Service News Agency, IPS, as the Nigerian Bureau Chief. She later became the international news agency’s West African Bureau Chief.

Having first served as Secretary of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Dame Oyo was elected President of the Guild for two consecutive tenures from 1999 to 2003. She was the first woman to be so honoured.

As President of the Guild, she set up a functional secretariat which still exists today at the NAN complex in Iganmu, Lagos. She also ensured capacity building for Editors through regular training which she pioneered for the Guild.

She was appointed Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003 and served in that capacity until the end of the President’s tenure in May 2007.

This appointment was also a first as she was the first woman to hold that position in the history of the country.

Mrs. Oyo was thereafter appointed the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria in July 2007. During her tenure, she improved the fortunes of the Agency and increased its clientele.

A committed and patriotic Nigerian, whose friends cut across the length and breadth of the country, Mrs. Oyo put Nigeria first in her private and official activities.

Born into a Catholic family, Mrs. Oyo had her primary education at the St. James’ Catholic Primary School in Ilorin, where she grew up. She attended the prestigious St. Louis Girls Secondary School, Bompai, Kano and had her higher education in Lagos and Britain.

A devout Catholic, Mrs. Oyo was a former Vice Chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council of SS Joachim and Anne of the Catholic Church, Ijegun, Lagos.

Mrs. Oyo, who had a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Canterbury at Kent, also earned a post-graduate Diploma in International Relations from the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos.

In recognition of her patriotism, the former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, appointed her as a member of the Constitution Drafting Committee to craft the constitution that ushered in the present democratic dispensation in 1999.

A recipient of Nigeria’s National honour, the Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON, Mrs. Oyo also earned many other awards among which was the National Council of Catholic Women Organisation of Nigeria merit award.

She was Fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, Nigerian Institute of Management, NIM, and the Nigerian Institute of Public Administrators.

On January 7, 2011, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI made her a Papal Dame of the Order of St. Gregory the Great.

She was born on October 12, 1952. Members of her family and her large circle of friends and well-wishers were looking forward to her 62nd birthday come October 12, her husband said.

She is survived by her husband, Vincent, her children, grand-children and  siblings – Sunday Oke and Yomi Oke

Meanwhile read her bio as written by The Platform below.

Oluremi Oyo was born in 1952 in Ilorin, Kwara state. Her formal education began in St. James’ Catholic Primary School Ilorin and then St. Louis Secondary School, Bompai, Kano.

She earned a Diploma in mass communication with distinction from the University of Lagos, a post graduate Diploma in international relations at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs and a Master’s degree in International relations at the University of Kent at Canterbury, U.K.

She began her career as a cub reporter in the then Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (now Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria) rising to the position of Principal Editor before moving to the News Agency of Nigeria where she served as Editor and Pioneer Head of the quality control desk. She worked for more than a decade as Nigeria Bureau chief, for the Inter Press Service Global News Agency, ranked as one of the top 10 news agencies in the world.

Oluremi served from 2003 as the Senior Special Assistant to President Olusegun Obasanjo for media and publicity, the first woman to be appointed to such a position. After four years of distinguished service, she was appointed in 2007 as the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria where she has led a massive service delivery improvement initiative to bring the Agency into the digital age.

Mrs Oyo is a fellow and was the first female president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors. She is also a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management and the Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria. She has received many awards including a 2006 National award of Officer of the Niger Award, OON and she is a Dame of Saint Gregory the Great, a knighthood bestowed on her by Pope Benedict the 16th for her tireless work in supporting the education of girls especially in her Alma Mater , St Louis Secondary School, Kano

Oluremi Oyo is a Wife, Mother and Grandmother.


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