Abidoye Oyelami

Abidoye Oyelami; Managing Director of the Crusader Insurance Company. When Oyelami retired, the National Insurance Commission, the regulatory body for the industry, wrote him a letter of commendation for his openness and service to the industry. Oyelami worked as a tutor in Lagos before going back to the University of Lagos for a degree in was Actuary Science and Insurance. He graduated in 1978 and did the Nation Youth Service in Imo State.

Oyelami originated from a modest family from Inisa, Osun State but he was born in Ghana. While young he was brought to Nigeria by his mother where he started primary school that he completed in his hometown of Inisa. At that period, it was those who were fortunate to have come from a relatively comfortable family that could proceed to secondary school. After finishing primary school, Oyelami had to stay at home for one year because there was no money to sponsor his secondary education. He had to go to modern school which was lower than secondary school. Later he travelled to Ghana to meet his parents and his father insisted that he must remain because he could not afford sending money to him in Nigeria. Oyelami therefore ended up attending secondary school in Ghana. Kwame Nkramah was in power and through the Ghanaian president’s policy, Oyelami, received scholarships. From Class Two till he finished secondary school he was on scholarship. The woman to become Oyelami’s wife was at Osogbo, Osun State and she lived on same street with his cousin whom he used to visit each time I came home from the youth service. Cousin was the one who talked to her on his behalf till their meeting. They got married in October 1981, raising children and grandchildren[i].

Oyelami joined his lecturer at Crusader Insurance as a superintendent. For the fact that his contemporaries were the first set of actuarial science and insurance graduates from the university, they were not really accepted in the industry because many of the people there didn’t attend any university. He worked at Crusader for 32 years.

[i] Punch July 16, 2016

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer