Home News Why I Attended Ibadan Poly Instead Of UI — Florence Ajimobi

Why I Attended Ibadan Poly Instead Of UI — Florence Ajimobi


Wife of former governor Abiola Ajimobi, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, has revealed why she attended The Polytechnic, Ibadan, instead of the University of Ibadan, UI, for her higher education.

The former first lady, who recently clocked 61, revealed this in a chat with Awa Ti Ibadan, a personality blog about people who have something to do with the Oyo State capital.

“My admission letter to study English Language at the University of Ibadan was delivered to me by my mother. My friends advised me that if I studied English, I’d end up being a teacher, I didn’t want that. While working at the Ministry, I gathered that to make big money in life, you had to be a top-flight secretary. This piece of information would make me put a preference over a career in Secretarial Management. The new challenge now was how to tell my mother that I wanted to forfeit the admission in the University of Ibadan.

I applied for Secretarial Studies at the Ibadan Polytechnic and when I got admitted, I left Lagos for Ibadan from work to finalize the admission. As you may have guessed, my mother had no clue what I was up to. She wanted me to study English at the University of Ibadan; I wanted to take a degree in Secretarial Management. The trip was a day trip. From work, straight down to Ibadan and once all the payments were done, I returned to Lagos but there was a snag – I got home very late.

My mom is a strict woman and so she was waiting to pounce on me for returning home late from work. I lied to her that my admission to the University of Ibadan had lapsed and that I got another offer at the Polytechnic Ibadan to study Secretarial Studies. She expressed her reservation about me not making it into the University of Ibadan but she remained glad for me that my educational progress wasn’t getting stunted; this was how I got admitted into the OND program at the Polytechnic Ibadan.

I started the program in 1976; at the age of 17 years old. At that time, the standard at the Polytechnic Ibadan was very high – the minimum attainable score for the first year was 96%, anything below that earned you a repeat while anything below 93% meant that you’d have to withdraw from the school.

I opted for the Pittman option in the Secretarial Studies based on the information I had gathered on the relevance of the program. In my first year, I scored a 95.3% and so I had to repeat. This was hard for me, and even though my mother was a strict a woman, she gave me all the support I needed to pull through that phase and surely I did.

While I was still at the Polytechnic of Ibadan, I took a cue from my mother and I began trading. That was the start of my foray into the business-trade journey. I would take fabrics from my mother and take them to school; you know, just to make extra cash. I’d tell my mother that I had friends who might be interested in buying fabrics and so she’d give me the fabrics at her selling price. I would go to school, add a few amount of money on top. I’d return the cost price to my mother and I’d pocket the profit I made on the sales. That was how it all began.

In 1979, I completed my OND program, finishing as one of the best five students in my class. Before my program was over, the insurance brokerage firm of Femi Johnson requested for the top five students in the department to work with them. We were interviewed by the firm and we got employed even before we wrote our final papers. I finished my examinations on a Friday and resumed work the following Monday.

Because I had given a Lagos address in the details I provided to the firm, I was posted to the Marina Street office of the organization, located in the Royal Exchange Assurance building in Lagos. At the time of my graduation, I hadn’t even turned 20 years old.

As a 19 year old girl who was earning good money from Femi Johnson and still receiving pocket money from my parents because they still considered me young and had no clue how much I earned. While going to work, they’d drop me off and still pick me up at the close of work. At that young age, I began to save my salary for the sole purpose of trading.

I never paused the business for work. While I kept getting supplies from my mother, I began getting goods from a friend too. My business was doing so well that at some point, I began to purchase my own fabric by myself. I’d leave Lagos for London on a Friday night, get to London on Saturday morning’ buy whatever I want to buy all through Saturday and I get on a night flight back to Lagos on Sunday. I touchdown in Lagos on Monday morning and I go straight to work.

I did this for over two years.”


  1. I think it’s always better to have knowledge of someone’s background. I’m glad to read about how industrious Mrs. Florence Ajimobi was from her ‘teen age’ & remains till date. It’s a great lesson for parents too to give maximum support to one’s children.

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