Written by Vision Africa Magazine   
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 00:24

Right from the beginning Mrs. Stella Kosemani Kolawole, born on 20th July, 1953 had shown she was a precious gift from God.

Kosemani had very brilliant career from the Primary school at C.A.C Primary School Alayere  Akure. As a primary one pupil, she would solve problems for primary six pupils. She led her class throughout their secondary school at Fiwasaye Girls Grammar School, Akure and went for High School Certificate at Oyemekun Grammar School on scholarship. There she served and received a Certificate of Merit as a responsible Senior Girl of a school with 700 boys and 20 girls. She then gained admission to the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) on scholarship, being one of best three students at the Faculty of Education. As an undergraduate she got married to her heart throb, the charming Dr. Julius Folorunso Kolawole, a medical doctor, graduate of the great University of Ibadan; to the glory of God the couple is blessed with six children and steadily increasing grand children.

Kosemani graduated with Second Class Upper Division Bachelor of Science (Education) degree in Biology even as a married mother in 1978. From then on, she observed her mandatory one year National Youth Service Corp at the Anglican Grammar School Oritameta Ibadan and was later retained as a class teacher. She the obtained her masters degree in Educational Management at the University of Ibadan, 1982.

The family relocated to Ondo State in 1985 when her husband responded to the need of the state because of shortage of Medical Doctors Kosemani transferred her service as a teacher from Oyo State to Ondo State and served at St. Thomas Aquinas College Akure as Head of Department of Science, St. Thomas Anglican School Akure as a Vice Principal (Academic) Akure Secondary Commercial School as Vice Principal (Administration) on grade level 10 holding a grade level 13 position up till her deployment in 1991 to civil service, the then Woman Education Department under the Better Life Programme for Rural Women.

In 1992, she got UNFPA sponsorship to attend a Postgraduate Diploma course in Population & Development at the Centre for Development Studies affiliated to the Jawara Nehru University in India. She was the class captain of 22 participants from countries and her set was acclaimed the best since inception.

God elevated Mrs. Kolawole to the international level; she represented Ondo State Government at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) AS THE Ondo State Programme Monitoring Advisor where her outstanding performance put Ondo State first among the 36 states of Nigeria. She developed 37 communities instead of 15 earmarked by UNDP for each state. This earned Ondo State the first Millennium village at Ibaramu  Ikaramu Akoko and made Akure the state capital the only Millennium city in Nigeria and one of the 7 in Africa, 2006.

This international exposure and training sharpened her ability for excellent performance. She was appointed a permanent secretary in 2005 and she made her marks in all the ministries she headed as God was with her. As the permanent secretary Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, she worked so hard with her officers that Ondo State became the first state in Nigeria to inaugurate the Gender Committee, the first state to use original Mace for Children's Parliament and also the first to pass the law on Elimination of Discriminatory Traditional Practices Against Women (EDAW) amongst others. At the Ministry of Community Development and Cooperatives Services. (created by the present Government of Dr. Abayomi Mimiko), she shook the world. Within 4 years the ministry completed the execution of 644 Projects in different communities staggered all over the state. She instituted where- Are- We Weekly (Money) meetings where the ministry's activities were reviewed and planned; at the meeting where the ministry's activities were reviewed and planned; at the meeting vehicles and other resources were allocated to the departments based on availability and project priority.

Mrs. Kolawole was elevated to the post of the first acting Head of Service in Ondo State in September, 2012. She performed excellently well and was confirmed as the First Female Head of Service of Ondo State on the 1st of January, 2013.

She proved herself as a very successful Head of Service whose ingredients/pre-requisites for success had been deposited around her by God. Without any equivocated, she emerged as an outstanding Public Servant with an uncommon commitment and efficiency in a distinguished career.

Some of the new initiatives introduced into the service during her tenure include:

* Weekly motivational messages (SMS) were to Ministries Departments and Agencies to spur public servants to action and total commitment to excellent service

* Emotional Intelligence: Mrs. Kolawole was an Apostle of Emotional Intelligence stressing the officers need to understand themselves and those around them to make informed decisions. Leaders should treat officers like human beings and make themselves available as a protector, provider, mentor, role model, welfarist etc, to improve overall programme performance in their department/agencies.

* General Reform of the Public Service:- God of precision has crafted Kosemani's career and used her to sanitize the public service employing fairness, justice, empirical basis for decision making without any arbitrariness. As part of the outcome, today thousands of officers particularly primary school teachers receive their monthly salaries as at when due with ease through E payment directly into their bank accounts.

-  Pens Down' ceremony which marks the last official assignment of a retiring officer being brought to an end with the direct boss calling “pens up and pens down”. She retired from the public service on 20th July, 2013 at the mandatory age of 60 years. In Kosemani's case, the ceremony was followed by her exit with a guard of honor mounted by all Accounting Officers in the state. Thus retirement is made attractive, glorious and an event that public officers look forward to with great excitement. Some of the notable Awards of Excellence and distinction received by Kosemani include;

- Award as the Iya-Ijo od St Luke's Anglican church, Akure in 1998.

-  As an outstanding Permanent Secretary in the South Western Nigeria by Folayegbe Igadolo foundation.

- The National Order of Merit Award for outstanding performance as Permanent Secretary by the National Productivity Centre; in 2012

-  Akure Leadership Award of excellence by

Akure indigenes in Diaspora, (Baltimore,USA) for her meritorious service and contributions to the development of Akure, 2012.

- Fessy Olabaode Foundation Award on Child Education and Empowerment on the Youth Mentoring and Career Development.

- The Federal University of Technology Akure (FUFA) Registry Award in recognition of  professional excellence in 2013

-  The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) golden Award of Excellence for invaluable contributions to the growth and development of Ondo State and Nigeria at large and her passion for humanity in 2013.

-   Centre for Entrepreneurship and Gender issues in Science and Technology, FUTA, for outstanding performance.

-    Lions Club International District 4, 4 A-7 Nigeria Award of Distinguished Woman of Substance for selfless humanity service.

- The National Council of Women Societies Ondo State Award for outstanding performance.

-  She is a nominee of the international Productivity & Outstanding Performance award for the best woman technocrat Diamond Productivity Award based in the UK.

Mrs Kolawole as a committed philanthropist has funded both secondary and tertiary education of at least 21 orphans and less privileged girls under the Olojuola Fagbemi Scholarship foundation floated in memory of her Late Mother. She is also supporting an NGO named Woman & Youth Well Being & Advocacy. (WOYWA) through which over 2000 women have been screened for CARVICAL cancer for which she funds the activities of 10 screening centers in Ondo State. 50 women have been referred to the State Government Hospitals for further management. In addition, over 100 youths have benefited from her sponsorship on skill acquisition training and the resettlement of the gradients through equipment assistance in various trades.

She is a member of many national and International associations including American Management association USA, International Federation of Business & Professional Women; Mother Union, Young Women Christian Association, etc.


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