Remi Oyo, First Female Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria

Women have achieved a lot in Nigeria’s press history, though early days in the media landscape were dominated by men. In a profession seen as a man’s world, women had to work extra hard to attain decision-making positions in journalism. Among the few women in Nigeria who went the extra mile to achieve enviable feats in journalism in Oluremi Oyo, the first woman to become the President of Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE).

Early Life

Dame Felicia Oluremi Oyo was born in October 12, 1954 in Ilorin, Kwara State, north central Nigeria. Her parents are from Osin-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria. She had a humble beginning which saw her overcoming the challenges of life to achieve her dreams.

Education

Oyo had good educational background. She got a diploma in mass communication 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, UK.

Family

Oyo was married to Victor Oyo, a BBC-Trained journalist. They got married in 1977 and they had two children, a boy and a girl.

Career

Oyo worked as a journalist for years before taking appointment in the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo as presidential spokes person. She started her career in the broadcast industry as a radio journalist before moving to wire services, working with NAN where she rose to the position of editor. She then moved to Inter Press Service Global News Agency, one of the top global news agencies, where she worked for over 10 years.

It is worthy to mention that NAN went through a significant transformation under Oyo’s leadership. The establishment changed from the analog style of news delivery to digital. The Cable reports that NAN began to deliver news, photos and videos via its electronic platform, effectively moving from the age of hardcopy news bulletins and e-mails. This is a legacy Oyo will always be remembered for in NAN and the media sector in Nigeria.

Appointments

Oyo was senior special assistant on media and publicity to President Olusegun Obasanjo from 2003-2007. She was also appointed the managing director of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in 2007.

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Special Feats

Oyo left indelible marks in the journalism profession with exceptional feats. She was the first female president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), an association of the journalism elite in Nigeria. She was the first female adviser on media to a President of Nigeria and the first of the opposite sex to have been made the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Oyo was also a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management, the Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria, and the Nigerian Institute of Journalism. She received the honour of Papal Dame of the Order of St. Gregory the Great from In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI bestowed in 2012.

Death

Remi died in the early hours of Wednesday, October 1, 2014, in the United Kingdom, after a long battle with cancer. She died at the age of 62.

 

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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