By Jemi EKUNKUNBOR
President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mrs Elizabeth Omeresan Adigite recently turned 60 years. Friends and family gathered at the Golden Gate Restaurant in Ikoyi to honour the 6th female ICAN president at a Luncheon/seminar put together by members of her immediate constituency, the Society of Women Accountants of Nigeria (SWAN). The seminar tagged, â€œThe Professional Woman and Nation Buildingâ€, attracted deputy governors of Osun and Lagos, Erelu Obada and Princess Sarah Sosan respectively as well as big wigs in the accountancy profession.
In an opening remark, chairperson, SWAN, Mrs Margaret Unubun described the celebrant as a Lady of high integrity, very vibrant and determined at all times to achieve her set goals.Â Â She added that as a driving force behind the formation of SWAN, the honour being accorded the celebrant is not only due her but well deserved.
Speaking on the theme of the seminar with bias for wealth creation, Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mrs Ifueko Omoigui Okauru for a long time, people have often confused the term wealth with money and material things. According to her, â€œwealth is something you have in abundanceâ€ and this she said could be talent, intellectual growth and even peace of mind. According to her, â€œthere are people who work in the banks who are called rich but who have no peace of mindâ€. She added that as professionals, women have a unique role to play to positively affect lives and to lay the foundation for the kind of nation they want to build, a country that is better and one that they can live for the next generation. She regretted that even though Nigeria is a wealthy country, its prosperity is not being felt by the people particularly those in the rural communities.
She called on women to have clear cut vision of what hey want and to keep this in focus at all times. She noted that due to the harsh circumstances surrounding many people, it is very easy to get distracted. She urged women to embrace continuous improvement and learning and even teach one another. ‘We must learn from our history and learn from the changes around us. We cannot do things the way we did it 10-15 years ago and expect good results.â€
While calling on women to be creative, she also called on them to recognise the importance of family and family values. She said because the celebrant, Mrs Adegite has supported the SWAN family over the years, â€œtoday her family is paying her backâ€ for all that she has been ad done. She added by saying â€œwhatever we are doing, we should start with the end in mind.â€
Extolling the virtues of women in her paper presentation, Deputy Governor of Osun State, Erelu Olusola Obada said despite the issues surrounding women, early marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) denial of inheritance rights etc, women have been adjudged to be less corrupt and known for probity. She added that without accountability, there cannot be good governance. She said that by their roles as growers of the economy, not only can SWAN be a catalyst for economic growth but political pressure group in the quest for nation building. She paid tribute to women whose contributions have been tremendous in their ques t for nation building. Among them were Mrs Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, Margaret Thatcher, Queen Amina of Zaria and a host of others.
Chairman of the occasion, Princess Adebisi Sarah Sosan expressed joy that the 45th president of ICAN has used her God-given talent to promote the cause of womanhood in particular and the Accountancy Profession in General. She reminded the women not to forget those who do not have the same opportunity as the SWAN members. â€œI need to let you know that there are so many women out there who do not have the same opportunity that, we in this room are exposed to, therefore there is a dire need to reach out to these women, to lift them up and give them a comfortable Life so they can also have a right to enjoy life to its fullestâ€.
The ceremony was crowned with an award ceremony to honour wives of past presidents for their support in the success story of their husbands. Among them were late Mrs Oye Akintola Williams, Lady Morinola Lippede Ani, Aljaha Aminat Opeoluwa Sulaimon, Omooba Aderemi Eyinade Omidiora and Lady Chika Adaeze Nwokolo.
Two men stood out for their support to their accountants spouses. They are Engineer Godfry Adeniyi Beecroft and Mr Lanre Michael Ogunlesi. Corporate awards went to Fidelity Bank Plc and Olusola Adekanola & Co. a firm of chartered accountants and tax practitioners.
For the celebrant, her joy was obvious as she thanked the galaxy of stars who had gathered to honour her. If I have made modest impact or contribution to the development of women and by extension, the human race, it is because I stood on the worthy shoulders of great women professionals and leaders, some of whom are gathered here today.