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Garlands for Abolarin, retired LG Auditor-General at 60

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The Lagos State Public Service has enjoyed the expertise and professionalism of Mrs Adesumbo Idiat Abolarin for 26 years.

She started as a Grade Level 1 Finance Officer at the Lagos State Local Government Service Commission in December 1994 and rose to the position of Auditor General for local government in March 2018 before her retirement in October 2021 at 60.

A woman who can best be described as from Lagos and for Lagos, Mrs Abolarinwas born and raised in Lagos State where she also had her basic to tertiary education. She has been described as a boss who operated an open door policy, paying attention to both official and personal petitions which required her attention and constantly seeking to proffer solutions.

In 1991, she qualified as a chartered accountant (ACA) and joined the state’s public service three years later. Through dint of hard work, dedication to service and an amiable mien, she rose steadily to the apex corridors of state civil service. Bearing a burning desire to grow as a professional, she became an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) in 1996, a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA) in 2007 and a member of the International Institute of Certified Forensic Investigation Professionals (IICFIP) in 2015.

Memories from a day of celebration including a reception held on the occasion of her retirement party held at The Marquee, Radio Lagos/LTV Complex, Ikeja, Lagos.

As the first female Auditor General for Local Governments, Mrs Adesumbo is reputed for innovation, dedication and timely results. During her tenure and among many other commendable feats, she successfully completed additional floors to the existing office building while refurbishing the old ones. She routinely organised training workshops for staff members in Canada, Australia, Ghana and the UAE and sponsored officers for conferences across the federation.

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She was also able to create a System Audit Directorate to address the challenges of emerging technologies in an audit. Spectacularly, she was able to recover funds to the tune of N183m by implementing annual staff verification exercises which also exposed other irregularities in the civil service.

When asked how she was able to successfully combine her roles as a mother and a steady rising civil servant, she said it was a tough one but a determination to win in all respects kept her going.

“My husband has been ever supportive, always feeling the gap. He is actually instrumental to my success. Combining my career and duties as a mother was not an easy one but, with God’s help, I pulled through. I never had nannies around. I did not leave my home and children to be taken care of by any nanny. I did my best to be there for my children when they needed my attention. God also helped me to train my boys well so, they always assisted when they could.”

She added that “Before joining the Lagos state service, I got a job as a financial comptroller which I took up and resigned from when I got the job at the local government because by then I already had two boys. God has been my support actually.”

For every high achiever, there are inevitable career challenges and victories. Mrs Adesumbo Idiat had her fair share and she relished the experience with some nostalgia. For her, successfully compiling and submitting her report for the previous year was the highest point in her career. Records are not exactly too easy to keep track with but, she recounted that she was always able to keep her books and have her records ready for submission in time.

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In her words, “Every year, the moment I am able to submit my report for the previous year, I feel fulfilled. I will also say that having the best members of staff is another achievement. I mean, having people who believe in you and your work so much that they devote their time and resources to work tirelessly to achieve a common goal. I pray that the Lord will reward them”.

For the challenges she faces, she recounted one worthy of note but like every storm, it comes and passes.

“There was a time I had issues with my boss. It was an issue of a misstatement where I was wrongly accused. It did not take so long for the Lord to vindicate me. It had to potential to shake my career but, I stood firm and before we all knew it, I was vindicated” she reminisces.

At 60 and retired from the civil service, Mrs Adesumbo has yet the aspiration of contributing to society and making the world a better place. She expressed optimism for future opportunities to serve.

“I am retired but not tired. At this point, I want to serve my family. If I happen to get a call to serve the public again, I will take it up because, I know the Lord will give me the strength”, she said.

Some of her awards and prizes include the Best Management Staff of the 2nd Quarter award in 2014 and the Star Prize of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials in 2017.

A send-forth and retirement party for Mrs Adesumbo Idiat Abolarin was held on Thursday, 30th September 2021 at The Marquee, Radio Lagos/LTV Complex, Ikeja, Lagos.

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