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Chuks Udo Okonta
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, has commiserated with the State Pension Commission over the demise of its part-time Chairman, Dr. (Mrs) Anthonia Smart.
Dr. Anothonia Smart passed on Thursday last week. Her husband was the former Chairman of Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA) and Group Managing Director NEM Insurance Plc.
Akeredolu said he was personally touched by her death, according to a Press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, in Akure.
“It is a huge, irreparable loss that has left deep scars of pain in our hearts,” he said.
Akeredolu said Smart accepted to serve the state out of sheer passion and commitment to public service.
He described the deceased as a resourceful and selfless woman whose track record in her chosen career served as a beacon to many women.
“The death of Dr. Tonia Smart is, indeed, a huge loss. It’s a piercing pain that only time can heal. We have lost a very resourceful woman.
“Her immeasurable contributions to pension matters in our state can never be forgotten.
“I commiserate with the family she left behind, especially my brother, the President of the African Insurers Organisation, AIO, Mr Tope Smart, on this irreplaceable loss.
“We can only pray to God to give you the fortitude to bear this loss,” he said.
Akeredolu said the late Smart was an experienced insurance practitioner and pensions administrator with nearly three decades of work experience.
“Her short time as the Part-Time Chairman of the Ondo State Pension Commission (OSPC) was marked by remarkable feats.
“She deployed her wealth of experience in insurance broking, life insurance, pension administration and pension regulation in the discharge of her duties.
“As Christians, we can only accept this as an act of God. He giveth and taketh. We will take solace in the quality of life Dr Tonia Smart lived while here with us. She was an achiever who still had so much to offer.
“As we mourn our departed beloved, we pray God to grant her eternal rest and console the family she left behind,” Akeredolu said
Late Dr. Tonia Smart was appointed part-time Chairman of the Ondo State Pension Commission in June 2022.
A state from Professionals Insurance Ladies Association (PILA) reads: With a very heavy heart and total submission to the will of God, we regret to announce the death of the wife of one of us, a past president of PILA, CII-UK Ambassador, one of our Chief Examiners, Dr. (Mrs). Tonia Smart.
May her gentle soul rest in perfect peace and may God grant her family the fortitude to bear this great loss.
She will be dearly missed but definitely not forgotten as her impact on PILA and the Insurance industry will continue to live on.
Details of her funeral arrangement will be announced by her family.
Tonia Smart was an experienced insurance practitioner and pensions administrator with nearly three decades of work experience in insurance broking, life insurance, pension administration and pension regulator having worked for Hogg Robinson Nigeria, Capital Express Insurance, NLPC Pension Fund Administrators and Lagos State Pension Commission.
She held the Fellowship status of both the insurance and pension institutes in Nigeria as well as a doctorate from Evangel University in the USA, an MBA from the University of Nigeria, and an MSc in Chemistry from the University of Lagos.
Tonia had delivered several papers on varied topics at conferences and seminars on insurance, pension administration and human capital development and has packaged trainings both locally and internationally for several organisations.
She was the author of the book The Contributory Pension Scheme and its Administration including Death Benefits payment, Trusts and Wills, which was published in 2012. The book has received praise from employers, employees and various states in Nigeria.
On her achievements, she has been rewarded with various awards notably from the Lagos State Government, Professional Insurance Ladies Association and Nigeria Junior Chamber.
She was a past president of the Professional Insurance Ladies Association (PILA) of Nigeria (2010) and was a Senator & Ambassador of the Nigeria Junior Chamber and JCI. Tonia is also an Associate of Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ) and a Member of the prestigious Ikoyi Club 1938.