NIGERIA WOMEN ANNUAL: 100 LEADING WOMEN IN NIGERIA 2020

NIGERIA WOMEN ANNUAL: 100 LEADING WOMEN IN NIGERIA 2020

March 08
12:43 2020

March 8 is set aside as the International Women’s Day. It is a day that the UN created to celebrate the achievements of women and to highlight the milestones achieved towards gender equality. The day also draws global attention and call for action to the increasing need to focus on gender equality and empowerment of women in furtherance of sustainable development.

This year is doubly special because it marks the 25th anniversary of the 4th World Conference on Women tagged the Being Conference. It was in this conference that the development agenda was set for the achievement of equality, development, and peace globally.

Significantly, in 2011, President Obama declared the month of March as Women’s month in the US. This aligns with the UN’s commemoration of the Committee on the Status of Women, CSW, which holds annually in New York throughout the month of March. Informally, countries and organisations around the world have keyed in to this practice of setting aside the month of March to celebrate women and to draw attention to gender equality as a development agenda.

The implication of this is that without gender equality, the world cannot achieve sustainable development. And without sustainable development, there can be no peace. It was an opportunity for women, who directly wear the shoes and who know where it pinches, to be part of the discussion around issues that affect them in order to set an agenda that is realistic and responsive to their needs.

Basically, the concept of gender equality is premised on the human rights of both men and women. This is summed up in the words of Hillary Clinton at the 1995 Beijing Conference. According to her, “women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s”

The Beijing conference was attended by women leaders all over the world. Nigeria was represented at the conference by notable women leaders including Dr. Eka Williams, Bifi Ogunleye, Moji Makinjuola, Prof. Felicia Ekejuba, then head of UNIFEM now UN Women, Tammie Kammonke, then National Secretary, Women in Nigeria.

In solidarity with the great initiative to celebrate women in the month of March, we have decided to do a special biographical pull-out, “Nigeria Women Annual: 100 Leading Women in Nigeria” to shine the light on women who have “broken the glass ceiling”, defied the odds, scaled over their limitations, and reached heights that are extraordinary, and through all these, have shaped our dear country, Nigeria, and immensely contributed to its development.

The foremost consideration in selecting these women for inclusion in this compendium is the extent of their reference value within the context of their impressive achievements and their contributions to the development of the society. The listing is no particular order. The roll call includes:

  1. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala remains Nigeria’s most celebrated Finance Minister and international development expert. Only recently, she was appointed as a member of South Africa’s Presidential Economic Advisory Council. She had served two terms as Finance Minister of Nigeria (2003-2006, 2011-2015) in the presidency of President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan respectively. According to a report in Wikipedia, “during her first term as Minister of Finance under president Obasanjo’s Administration, she spearheaded negotiations with the Paris Club of Creditors that led to the wiping out of US$30 billion of Nigeria’s debt, including the outright cancellation of US$18 billion. In 2003 she led efforts to improve Nigeria’s macroeconomic management including the implementation of an oil-price based fiscal rule where revenues accruing above a reference benchmark oil price were saved in a special account, “The Excess Crude Account” which helped to reduce macroeconomic volatility. She also introduced the practice of publishing each state’s monthly financial allocation, from the Federal Government of Nigeria in the newspapers. This action went a long way in increasing transparency in governance With the support of the World Bank and the IMF to the Federal Government of Nigeria, she helped build an electronic financial management platform-the Government Integrated Financial Management and Information System (GIFMIS), including the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), helping to curtail corruption in the process. As at 31 December 2014, the IPPIS platform had eliminated 62,893 ghost workers from the system and saved the Nigerian government about $1.25 billion in the process.
  2. Amina J Mohammed is the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, former Environment Minister of the Federal republic of Nigeria, and former UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Sustainable Development. She has displayed a clear sense of leadership, and service leading the way to the actual clean-up of the Ogoni community, more than 20 years after an oil spill that devastated the people and the land. In 2016, she made Fortune Magazine’s list of ’50 Greatest World Leaders,’ and has continued to be a tireless advocate for environmental sustainability and climate related issues. We love Amina, because hers is a clear example of the incredible impact one woman can make.
  3. HE Aisha Buhari, the irrepressible, dynamic, and highly opinionated wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, and Nigeria’s current First Lady has raised the bar in political commentary. She has been likened to Queen Noor of Jordan in some quarters for having a strong voice against the oppression of the less privileged and particularly, female domination. This has drawn recognition and awards from admirers around the world. Aisha, a cosmetologist, and beauty therapist, holds a bachelor of arts degree in public administration from Ambrose Alli University (AAU), and a master’s degree in international affairs and Strategic Studies from the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna.

As First Lady, she founded Future Assured, an initiative she has been using for her advocacy for the health and well-being of women and children in Nigeria. Aisha was prompted by the need to improve the current poor health outcomes of women, children and other vulnerable groups in Nigeria.

  1. HE Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo The wife of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is humility personified. She is an icon of inspiration. A granddaughter of the late political sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Mrs. Osibanjo is renowned for embarking on advocacy programmes aimed at improving the lots of women and the needy in general. Mrs Osinbajo co-founded The Women’s Helping Hand Initiative (TWHHI), a non-governmental organisation in March 2006. The foundation’s mission is to lend a helping hand to women wherever the need arises. The foundation undertakes several programmes to reach out to its target audience such as Town Hall Meetings, Seminars and Workshops, Skill Acquisition Program and Advocacy Programs, amongst others
  2. Ibukun Awosika is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, author, mother and a pastor. She is a survivor and has set a standard for young women in Africa! Ibukun has shown that “What a man can do, a woman can do even better” by succeeding in the furniture industry; an industry dominated by the male folks. Ibukun Awosika is a trailblazer. She is the first female Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria. After school, Ibukun Awosika started out as an Audit Trainee at Akintola Williams & Co (now Deloitte) as a corp member. She then discovered that she was not cut out to be an accountant; dusting and carrying files around. Her creative and hyperactive personality will not allow her subject herself to a life of routine. For that, she left Akintola Williams & Co despite being offered a permanent employment opportunity. She is CEO/founder of The Chair Centre Group which have sub-companies. The companies are: The Chair Centre Limited, SOKOA Chair Centre, Furniture Manufacturers Mart Limited and TCC System & Service Limited. The Chair Centre Group are involved in furniture manufacturing, retail and bank way system services.
  1. Mo Abudu, as Mosunmola Abudu popularly known, is an accomplished entrepreneur with interests in media, entertainment, and hotel chains. Abudu is a talk show hostess, TV producer, human resource management consultant, media personality, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and a philanthropist. Mo Abudu is the founder and CEO of Ebony Life, Africa’s first global black entertainment network which began broadcasting on 1st July, 2013 on Multichoice DSTV  Channel 165.  She has been compared to Oprah Winfrey with The Independent and Slate Afrique calling her “Africa’s Oprah” and “Nigerian Winfrey” respectively.
  2. Folorunsho Alakija is a Nigerian born business magnate and the richest woman in Nigeria. Folorunsho is the Executive Vice Chairman of Famfa Oil and Dayspring Property Development Company, and oversees the Rose of Sharon Group. Alakija has a background in office administration and banking. She began her entrepreneurial journey with Supreme Stitches. And after some time, it metamorphosed into Rose of Sharon House of Fashion. She also established the Digital Reality Prints Limited. Alakija is also a philanthropist and established the Rose of Sharon Foundation and together with her husband, they founded the Rose of Sharon Glorious Ministry International. Altogether, she has received 8 Honorary Degree Awards from universities in Nigeria and the USA. She is the first female Chancellor of a public University in Africa. Summarily, Alajika have authored several inspiring books in business, family and life in general.
  3. Hajia Bola Shagaya is one of the richest women in Nigeria and in Africa. She is the founder and CEO of Bolmus Group International, a conglomerate in real estate, oil and gas, banking and photography. Bola is a fashion enthusiast with several years of active local and international business experience. She began her career at the Central Bank of Nigeria before venturing into commercial activities in 1983 with the importation of photographic materials. Also, she is the managing director of Practoil Limited, one of the largest distributors of base oil in Nigeria. Overtime, Bola has grown to become one of the biggest players in the Nigerian oil sector, and real estate in Europe and America. She sits on the board of Unity Bank Plc, and served on the board of the National Economic Partnership of Africa Development (NEPAD). Bola is a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, and the Armstrong College, California where she studied Economics and Accountancy.
  4. Senator Daisy Danjuma is the Executive Vice Chairman of SAPETRO, a Nigerian oil & gas exploration and production company. She is the wife of General Theophilus Danjuma, who is also the chairman of Sapetro. She was once a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and served on several committees. Daisy Danjuma served as Chairman of the ECOWAS Parliament’s Women and Children’s Right Committee and Women and African Youth Development. Also, she is a pioneer legal counsel to the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, and have served in other legal capacities due to her profession.
  5. Ekanem Esu Williams is one of Africa’s foremost development activists who has had global acclaim for her work in ending the spread of HIV/AIDS. She received her degree from the University of Nigeria in 1975, and in 1984 earned a doctorate in immunology from the University of London. In 1985 she joined the academic staff of the University of Calabar; but took a leave of absence to join AIDSCAP, an implementation partner of USAID, as the Resident Advisor in Nigeria. She founded the Society for Women and AIDS in Africa in 1998.[1] Williams is a trustee of The Listen Charity South Africa. She also worked in the Population Council in Washington, USA and returned to Africa to take up the Program Officer position with the Ford Foundation in Southern Africa. She currently offers consultancy services to international development agencies.
  6. Folasade Yemi-Esan, the current Head of Service of the Federation, is a Dental Surgeon. Educated at the prestigious University of Ibadan, Nigeria, she graduated as best Bachelor of Dental Surgery student in 1987. She later earned a Certificate in Health Planning and Management and Master’s Degree in Public and International Administration both with distinctions. She started her career at the Federal Ministry of Health and rose to become a Director. During her service at the Ministry, she served in different positions, among them – Coordinator of Oral Health in Schools Programme, Liaison officer West Africa Health Organization (WAHO) and Director, Health Planning Research and Statistics. Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, rose to the position of Federal Permanent Secretary in 2012 serving first as Permanent Secretary, Service Policy and Strategy Office in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and thereafter Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information, where she led the professional development of efforts aimed at a positive management of Nigeria’s reputation and perception both locally and at the international arena. She also served as Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education where she chaired, the committees for the appointment of rectors and provosts into selected Federal Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education respectively (in the absence of council), and Permanent Secretary, Career Management Office (OHCSF) where she served as Secretary, Committee for the Selection Exercise of Permanent Secretaries in the Federal Civil Service. Before her appointment as Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Yemi-Esan was Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, where she was appointed as Director on the Boards of the Nigeria LNG and Bonny Gas Transport Ltd.
  7. Most Reverend. Dr. Mrs. Margaret Benson Idahosa is the archbishop and general overseer of Church of God Mission Int’l. She is the wife of the legendary cleric, Archbishop Benson Idahosa. She is the visionary and international Coordinator of the 42-year old Christian Wommen Fellowship Int’l CWFI, a prayer conference where women from all works of life come together to pray for their families, the nation and other pressing issues. She is a very successful entrepreneur and at the same time, a great philanthropist.
  8. Pastor Folu Adeboye is the epitome of a virtuous wife. She is the paragon of humility, like her husband, Pastor E. A. Adeboye. Mummy G.O, as she is fondly called, is a spiritual mother and mentor to millions. She’s the organizer of the annual “Feast of Easter” which sees the gathering of women in their mass. Prior to this feast she holds other women revival programs worldwide. She is always with her husband and together, they have taken the gospel to countless nations of the world.
  9. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita is the immediate past Head of the Service of the Federation. In 2015, at 51, she made history as the youngest Head of Service of the Federation in recent times and the third woman to occupy the position in Nigeria. While in office, she carried out the most spectacular transformation of the civil service through a program she called, EPIC, meaning a civil service based on the ethos of efficiency, productivity, incorruptibility and citizen-centredness. For the first time in the history of Nigeria, she led the service to engage with the private sector actively, working out a lot of collaborative arrangements. She secured in-kind support for the service especially in the area of institutional strengthening of the federal service. In her time as Head of Service, civil servants’ entitlements and emoluments were paid promptly. Early this year, she was retired from the federal service.
  10. Evelyn Ngige was appointed Federal Permanent Secretary in December, 2019. She is the Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation. She attended the University of Lagos where she graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree. Dr. Evelyn Ngige joined the Federal Civil Service in June, 1992 as a Senior Medical Officer and worked in various Federal Staff Clinics and the Federal Staff Hospital 1004 Estate Victoria Island, Lagos. In 2003, she obtained the Fellowship of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria and was appointed Consultant. She rose to the rank of Consultant Special Grade I in 2007. She joined the National AIDS and STIs Control Program (NASCP) and headed the Prevention Unit in 2006. She served as National Coordinator of NASCP from 2012 to 2015. As National Coordinator of the National AIDS and STIs Control Program, she set up the National Hepatitis control Program in Nigeria. The program developed the First National Hepatitis Policy document in sub-Sahara Africa. The development provided the impetus for intensified efforts geared towards resource mobilization for Hepatitis control in the country. Dr. (Mrs) Ngige was also drafted to work with the team put together by the Minister of Health to develop the plan for the response to the Ebola outbreak of 2014. Her tenure saw a reduction in HIV prevalence in Nigeria to 3.1%. From 2016-2019, Dr (Mrs) Ngige was the Director of Public Health (DPH) in the Federal Ministry of Health. As DPH, she led the Technical Committee for the conduct of the National HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS), the largest Population-Based HIV Survey ever conducted globally. She facilitated the introduction of the electronic International Certificate of Vaccination (e-Yellow Cards) for international travellers to address the problem of counterfeiting which had become a source of national embarrassment. Her tenure as DPH also heralded the establishment of the National Tobacco Control Committee and passage of the National Tobacco Control Regulations. She also coordinated the development of the first Multi-sectoral Action Plan for Non-Communicable Diseases control in Nigeria and other policy documents guiding the implementation of interventions of Public Health importance. Dr. Evelyn Ngige supervised and coordinated the National HIV/STIs, National Malaria Elimination, National Tuberculosis/Leprosy Control, Non-Communicable Diseases, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Climate Change, Epidemiology and National Eye Health Programmes.
  11. Nuratu Jimoh Batagarawa was appointed as Permanent Secretary on 10th November, 2015 and posted to the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation as Permanent Secretary (Service Policies & Strategy Office). On 9th October, 2017, she assumed Office as Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence. She started her career in the Public Sector in April 1985 at the National Institute of Policy & Strategic Studies, Kuru, Nigeria (NIPSS) as a Junior Research Fellow. At the same time, she served on the Presidential Committees on Brain Drain and Restoration of Relationship with post apartheid South Africa. In 1992, she was appointed Executive Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, a position she occupied until March 2003 when she transferred her Service to the Federal Civil Service as Deputy Director. It was during her tour of duty in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation as Deputy Director (Housing) that she midwifed the Civil Service Owner Occupier Housing Scheme for Civil Servants. She studied at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in graduating in 1981 with B.Sc (Political Science). In 1982, after the mandatory one year Youth Service, she proceeded to University of Lancaster, United Kingdom for a Masters Degree in International Politics which she successfully completed in 1984.
  12. Tammie Kammonke, the Executive Director of Gender Perspective in Development, is among the leading voices in gender equity advocacy in Nigeria. A Chevening scholar, Tammie holds a 1997 Masters of Arts degree in Gender in Development from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom. Since returning to Nigeria, she has managed a gender-focused projects including the Better Life Options funded by Exxon Mobil project for CEDPA, an American-based international NGO. She also served as the Gender Expert for the SPACE project funded by USAID; the MPP9 project funded by European Union, as well as the YOULEAD project implemented by Cuso and supported by the government of Canada. Her entry into development work was through activism in the 80s when, as an undergraduate, she joined Women in Nigeria (WIN), a frontline organization in the women’s & human rights/pro-democracy movement in Nigeria during the military era. She represented WIN at the 4th world conference in Beijing, China as the National Secretary General. She had a brief stint in the public sector as the pioneer Special Assistant, Gender & Development in the government of Cross River State during the Liyel Imoke led administration between 2013 and 2015. Tammie’s obsession is to document gender stories in different formats including articles, television and radio appearances, talk shops and books. In the course of her work and travels across the globe, she discovered that women’s stories are not told adequately, and in cases that attempts were made, they splattered them in one little obscure corners of either newspapers or books just as a token. In 2011, she edited a gender-specific biographical compendium on 100 top women in Cross River State. Her stories are mainly those of women who have defied gender limitations and societal hurdles.
  1. Professor Ekanem Ikpi Braide is a trailblazer. She is the first female President-elect of the Nigerian Academy of Science. She will become the first woman to be President of the academy in January 2021 when she succeeds Professor Kalu Mosto Onuoha. Prof. Braide is a Parasitologist who has the single privilege of serving as Vice Chancellor in two universities (Cross River University of Technology, CRUTECH, Calabar; and the Federal University of Technology, Lafia). She is credited with a major contribution to the eradication of guinea worm in Nigeria. Braide has already been the Academy’s vice-President. Braide studied Zoology at the University of Ife before obtaining her Masters and Doctorate in Parasitology at Cornell University in New York.
  1. Kemi Williams has over 20 years experience in development work, including in Nigeria with the Ford Foundation where she worked on human rights issues during the military regime. She also worked as a volunteer and board member of a Nigerian NGO, Baobab for Women’s Human Rights. She is a founding member of Abantu for Development, an NGO run by and for African women, which promotes women’s rights in decision-making and governance issues. She had been the Head of the GirlHub in Rwanda. She is responsible for establishing and managing the first developing country office of the new Public Private Partnership between the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Nike Foundation, which addresses the needs and interests of adolescent girls. Ms. Williams was previously a Senior Social Development Adviser with the DFID, where she has worked in various positions since 1999. Her last position was Senior Gender and Rights Adviser in the Policy Division in London, which involved working with senior management to shape and drive the corporate policy on gender equality and collaborating with partners to push for greater attention to gender equality from key multilateral institutions, including the World Bank and European Union.
  1. Ifeoma Uzoamaka Abam: Three things define her. Her commitment to public health, her love for laboratory science career and her passion for developing young people in the ways of the Lord. If Ifeoma is not undertaking some medical laboratory test in her lab, redefining medical procedures and getting healthcare to those who most need it; she is in church ministering through counseling and other youth-incentivized activities to young people. Her passion for the souls of young men and women is fueled by her personal experiences as a young woman. While in the university, she started an enterprise. That’s what helped her to be focused and not distracted by all the worldly trappings. Her friends and classmates who wanted to explore the world either were victims of uncanny experiences or even dropped out of school. She doesn’t want any of them to fall in the same trap as her friends did. She also provide meals for the congregants in her local church in Maryland, USA, every Sunday; a practice she has undertaken over the years and has become a part of her. She is community-driven. She is known for her philanthropic pursuits. She has deployed her skills and training in the public service to helping communities. For instance, she has supported the Ugep General Hospital with some equipment that the hospital lacks. Ifeoma has earned some recognition for her role in the campaign for driving the MDG 7, which ensures use of principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes to reverse loss of environment. She also led the MDG team to Niger State and other states in the North for her organisation’s intervention on maternal and child health. Her masters degree in Public Health from the School of Post Graduate Studies, Imo State University enhanced her skills in public health intervention. A cerebral and scholarly woman, she sat for and passed the America Society of Clinical Pathologists Certification examination (ASCP).
  1. Mary Uduk, as Acting. DG SEC, Securities & Exchange Commission, has restored investors’ confidence in the nation’s capital market system and by so doing, make the Nigerian investment space attractive to global and domestic investors, despite the nation’s economic challenges. Mary Uduk was appointed acting director general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in March 2018. She came in with a mission to fulfil the commission’s statutory mandate through team work, collaborative engagements of stakeholders and a committed sense of purpose.
  1. Arunma Oteh is the Former Treasurer and Vice President of the World Bank. As former treasurer and vice president of the World Bank, Arunma Oteh oversaw the management of assets in excess of $200 billion, and launched the world’s first block-chain bond, the Bondi Bond. Before joining the bank, she served as director general to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria, from 2010 to 2015, during which time she rebuilt the Nigerian capital markets after the global financial crisis and served on Nigeria’s Economic Management team. Prior to that, she worked at the Africa Development Bank for 17 years, including as group vice president, corporate services. She is currently an academic scholar at St Anthony’s College, Oxford, where she is pursuing more research and writing.

 

  1. Adesua Dozie is an experienced, trusted and purpose-driven legal advisor to multinational companies operating across Africa. In my current role as General Counsel of GE Africa, she has had the opportunity to advise, structure and lead transactions across the African continent, in turn facilitating regional growth, strengthening corporate governance and compliance cultures across diverse business communities, and serving as a guardian of the complex dynamics between purpose, profit and risk.
  1. Cecilia Bukola Akintomide, OON, is Former Vice-Chair and Secretary General of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Independent Non-Executive Director at FBN Holdings Plc. Cecilia Akintomide is an independent non-executive Director of FBN Holdings Plc., one of Africa’s largest financial services holding companies, which owns West Africa’s oldest commercial bank, First Bank. She also served as Chief Counsel Institutional Affairs, as well as Finance Counsel. Cecilia is a member of the Nigerian Bar and the New York Bar, and has practiced law in different jurisdictions, including as a Business Reorganization Associate in the law firm of Weil Gotshal & Manges, in New York, and as a Junior Associate at O. Thomas & Co., Lagos. She was a member of the United Nations election monitoring team for the 1994 presidential elections in South Africa, won by Nelson Mandela. She was awarded Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2014 for her meritorious contributions in the field of International Development. Cecilia serves on the Boards of the Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency, and CcHub Growth Capital. She was recently appointed Member, NDDC Interim Board
  2. Ronke Sofekun is the Chairperson of the Board of Nigeria Insurance Deposit Corporation. Ronke, a legal advisor, Chartered Secretary and Land Administrator is a 1987 Law graduate from the Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo University), where she rose as truly outstanding in her graduating class, winning two prizes – Jurisprudence and Legal Theory and Commercial Law. Sokefun has worked in many law firms includingf M.P Ohwovoriole (SAN) and Co, as a Trainee Solicitor, Ighodalo and Associates Limited, as well as Messrs Aluko and Oyebode, Barristers, Solicitors and Trademark Agents. She was advanced a Senior Associate at Aluko and Oyebode in 1995 and was made Partner in 2000. She was in charge of organizing the company’s interface with government companies and organizations and in addition creating formats for the organization’s lawful and business exchanges among others. She was seconded to MTN from October 2001 till January 2002. In February 2002, she was delegated Head, Management Services, (Legal, Human Resources and Administration) of Ocean and Oil Services Limited. On the first of February 2005, she joined Oando Group Plc as Head, Legal Services. She, thereafter, was elevated as Group Chief Legal Officer , where she was in charge of setting the system heading and dispensing asset for dealing with the Legal and administrative necessities all things considered and organizations that make up the Oando Group ,which are topographically spread the nation over with auxiliaries in Ghana, Togo, Sierra-Leone, the United Kingdom, Canada and Bermuda. She was appointed Special Adviser and Director General of the Bureau of Lands and Survey; and later, Commissioner for Agriculture by the then Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
  3. Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, OFR is a Nigerian Judge and recently retired President of the Nigerian courts of appeal. On April 17, 2014, she was appointed as President of the Nigerian courts of appeals by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, sworn-in by Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, the former Chief Justice of Nigeria and first female Chief Justice of Nigeria, thus becoming the first female President of the largest Court of Appeal in Nigeria, nay Africa. The court now consists of about 87 justices sitting in 16 divisions across the country. In 1996, when Gombe State was created, she had the unique honour of being appointed as Chief Judge of Gombe State Judiciary from January 1997 to December 1998. In 1998, she was elevated to the Federal Judiciary as a Justice of the Court of Appeal. Between 2005 and 2012, she was the Presiding Justice over the Court of Appeal until she became Acting President of the same court in November 2012. She was eventually confirmed as the President of the Court of Appeal in April, 2014. By that appointment, she became the first woman in the legal history of Nigeria to serve as the President of the Court of Appeal.

 

  1. Juliet Ehimuan is Country Director at Google, leading Google’s business strategy in West Africa and the Next Billion Users initiative in Africa. In 2019, she was recognised by her alma mater where she studied for her MBA, the London Business School as one of 30 people changing the world. She was named Forbes’ top 20 youngest power women in Africa, and featured in BBC Africa Power Women series. Juliet Ehimuan is a thought leader on digital business strategy and leadership. She has over 20 years’ experience primarily in technology, new media, and oil and gas, working in industries across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Juliet Ehimuan has lots of experience working in industries across Europe, Middle East and Africa including Shell Petroleum and Microsoft United Kingdom in 2005. Before being named head of Google in Nigeria in 2011, Ehimuan started a firm called Strategic Insight Consulting Limited and later became the General Manager of Chams Plc’s Strategic Business Units. She holds a degree in Computer Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University; a Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge in United Kingdom where she received two scholarly awards – The Selwyn College Scholar and Malaysian Commonwealth Scholar. In 2012, she won the “IT Personality of the Year” award by the Nigeria Computer Society and Marketing World Awards in 2016. She was recently appointed a Non-Executive Director of Nestle Nigeria Plc.
  1. Aisha Bello is a systems engineer, tech enthusiast and acclaimed ‘Pythonista’ with a passion to help other girls utilize the immense, unexploited opportunities in Technology. She is a member of Pyladies, an international mentorship group which focuses on helping more women become active participants in the Python open-source community. She is also an organizer for DjangoGirls in Africa. Django Girl is a non-profit organization that empowers and helps women by organizing free, one-day programming workshops by providing tools, resources and support. She has helped co-organize and support a number of Django Girls workshops in Namibia and Nigeria. She also serves as vice-chair for the Python Nigeria community. She is enthusiastic about the Python community and has a strong desire for social change, women’s tech education and empowerment in Africa. She is a graduate of Bells University of Technology, after which she furthered her education in Information Technology from Cardiff Metropolitan University. She is a certified Cisco Networking Associate. Miss Bello worked as a Software Development Intern from February 2012 – August 2012 at CBC EMEA.  While working with them, she validated data to ensure the quality, validity and accuracy of content and worked extensively with development teams, investigating and correcting software bugs and deficiencies based on the testing results. Between June 2014 and Jan 2015, she worked as a Technical sales representative at Complete Digital Limited in Lagos where she proffered recovery solutions and enterprise wireless networks solutions to partners and vendors. She also designed, supervised, monitored and gathered technical content for the company’s e-Commerce Website. In 2015, she volunteered with Djangogirls and organized Django Girls Windhoek and Django Girls Lagos in 2016. Aisha has received several honors and awards including the 2016 Malcolm Tredinnick Memorial Prize from Django Software Foundation. Aisha currently works with Cisco as an Associate System Engineer with the responsibilities of covering routing and switching. She also provides pre-sales technical support for Cisco Sales teams and partners.
  2. Fola Laoye is the CEO Health Markets Africa. She is the immediate past Chairman of Hygeia Nigeria Limited. She is a graduate of University of Lagos (BSc Accounting, 1990) and qualified as an Associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales in 1995 and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria in 1997. She trained with Coopers & Lybrand, UK (now PricewaterHouseCoopers) from 1991 to 1995 and worked with the Corporate Finance Unit of First Securities Discount House (“FSDH”) from 1995 to 1997. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. She has been instrumental in charting the growth strategy of Hygeia for several years.

 

  1. Bola Adesola, the MD/CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Ltd, is a woman who is shattering glass ceilings in the banking industry. Since 2011, she has skillfully led the bank’s progress and unprecedented growth. With over 26 years banking experience this alumnus of Harvard Business School and Lagos Business School is a force to reckon with.

 

  1. Captain Abimbola Jaiyeola made history when she became the first female helicopter captain in Nigeria flying the Sikorsky S76 for Bristow helicopters Nigeria. About a year after she was in the news again for saving 13 lives from a helicopter crash after deciding to have an emergency landing on water.
  2. Joy Ogbebo, the Founder/CEO, Mamaj Aviation Consult Limited, is a skilled, dynamic and innovative Aviation professional, with more than 26 years of experience in Customer Service, Customer Relationship Management, People & Performance Management, Team Leadership and Line trainer. Airline and Customer Service Industry in Nigeria. Functioned severally in a Management capacity, driving Exceptional Customer Service, Cabin Crew Performance, Grooming, Recruitment and Yearly staff appraisals for the past Twelve Years. Worked with Virgin Nigeria in the past. Last place of work at Discovery Airline Limited as Head of Cabin Crew and In-flight Services. A graduate of Mass Communication, Joy also holds a diploma in Social Work and Customer Service. At different times, she worked as An Onboard flight Manager, Crew Development Purser, Crew Line/Performance Manager, Assistant Cabin Services Manager and Assistant Head of Cabin & In-flight Services. An Aviation blogger and Event planner, she is well experienced in People Management and Customer Service.
  1. Kelechi Okoro is a multi-talented and versatile Medical Doctor with an impeccable track record in civic and entrepreneurial activities. She is a Sustainable Development Goals advocate, with a focus on SDG 3: Good health and wellbeing and SDG 4: Quality Education and SDG 5: Gender equality. She is the convener of “Pay Attention to Her (PATH) project which focuses on Reproductive Health outreaches for adult women; menstrual hygiene management and sexual health outreaches for adolescents girls and females in their early adulthood and Sexual Health outreaches for adolescent boys and males in their early adulthood (Pay Attention To Him). PATH is a project of Heal for Africa initiative, (HFAI) a Non Governmental Organization “committed to transforming Africa one community at a time. Other projects by HFAI include “SDGs Tutor” to accelerate knowledge about the Sustainable Development Goals, “Heal The Slums” which serves as an health outreach to children and families in underserved communities and “Hep Free Zone” project, a Hepatitis sensitization, screening and vaccination exercise. Through her “Healthertainer” brand, she has recorded massive successes in effective health communications and generated active participation with her over 200,000 followers online, reaching millions across platforms, thereby increasing health literacy and influencing healthier decisions.
  1. Remi Duyile, Executive Committee Member of the National Association of Nigerians in the USA; It’s no secret that Dr. Duyile has come a long way from the small Nigerian town of Ondo where she was born and raised. Over the course of less than 18 years, Dr. Duyile immigrated to the United States and managed to climb the corporate ladder of one of the nation’s most revered banking institutions, Bank of America. It was here that she shattered glass ceilings when she was appointed Vice President of Retail, Premier, and Mortgage Banking. Dr. Duyile served in this role managing over 600 financial portfolios of high net-worth clients for 17 years, until she decided that it was time to step into her true calling of helping others as a serial entrepreneur. Remi Served for five years in Akure, Nigeria as Senior Adviser and International Relations liason for Diaspora affairs to the Ondo State Governor.
  2. Awele Elumelu is Champion for Immunisation in Africa. She was appointed by public–private global health partnership organisation, Gavi. She is also the Chairperson of Avon Healthcare Limited and CEO of Avon Medical Services Limited. She is an Investment Professional at Heirs Holdings Limited where she oversees the healthcare investments. Her medical experience are in areas of medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics, gynaecology and emergency medicine. She has worked with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria and Grantham and District Hospital in Grantham, England. She holds an MBBS from the University of Benin, Benin City.Awele Elumelu holds a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
  3. Toyin Sanni is a prominent Investment Banker, Public Personality & Speaker who derives satisfaction from grooming future leaders and proferring capital solutions for financing & investing challenges of African governments, businesses & individuals. Toyin leads a multiple award winning group who provide advisory & capital raising solutions for infrastructure & development across Africa to achieve sustainable economic growth. Toyin has written three published books – “Yes, you too can maximize your life”, “Yes, you too can Get to the top” and “Riding The Eagle- A Guide to Investing in Nigeria”. With a background in securities law and extensive experience in corporate finance, trusts & asset management, she leverages networks and relationships across markets & her extensive experience working on leading transactions to achieve development goals. Now Founder and CEO of the Emerging Africa Capital Group, her past roles include GCEO, United Capital Plc, CEO, UBA Trustees & UBA Global Investor Services, CEO, Cornerstone Trustees & AGM, FBN Trustees, a part of the FBN Holdings group. She was declared the All African Business Woman of the year 2017 by CNBC Africa, & Nigeria’s CEO of the Year 2017 by Pearl Awards.
  1. Dr Bilkisu Magoro is a result driven Development Consultant and Gender/Human Rights Advocate. She has over 27years’ experience of engaging with international organisations, corporations and foreign governments in 4 continents to develop and implement sustainable economic, political and public policies with over twelve years in Advocacy. Constantly aware of the major role that her community played in her development, Bilkisu views her passion for voluntary work towards empowerment and nation building as the only path to take. The Ismor Magoro Foundation which focuses on empowering women and youth, has trained over 1,500 women in Shea butter production and craft, and has catered for over 800 pregnant women is her brainchild. Bilkisu opened Bilmor Technical and Vocational Centre for special Needs children in 2016. The Centre has trained over 60 young adults with learning disabilities in Vocational skills and has trained over 1,200 teachers in inclusive education. Her interests in sound governing structures, education, social policies and reform have seen her journey to over 38 countries. On this passage of knowledge seeking, she has strived to create awareness of how Nigeria and Africa’s tremendous opportunities and capabilities far outweigh the challenges faced on the continent.
  1. (Mrs.) Sarah Omotunde Alade, as Special Adviser to the President on Finance and the Economy, domiciled in the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning. Alade, who holds B. Sc (Economics) and PhD in Management Science (Operations Research), retired from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as Deputy Governor in 2017 after spending 23 years in the apex bank. She had also acted briefly in 2014 as the CBN Governor.

 

  1. Hajara Adeola is the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Lotus Capital Limited. She is the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Lotus Capital Limited. She has over 20 years’ experience working in top tier global investment banks in the UK and Nigeria, where she focused on research and analyses, investment management, Islamic finance and corporate finance. Prior to founding Lotus Capital, she previously worked with Arthur Anderson Consulting (now Accenture). UBS Warburg, BNP Paribas and ARM Investment Managers. Hajara is regarded as the top industry expert in Islamic fund management in Nigeria
  1. Ejiro Joyce Otive-Igbuzor is a Gender expert, M and E specialist, Medical Microbiologist, Writer, and Pastor. She holds a PhD in Microbiology (TB-HIV Co-infection). She also works part time as the Executive Director, Women Empowerment and Reproductive Health Centre (WERHC).
    Ejiro previously worked as Country Director of the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) and as Gender and HIV/AIDS Programme Coordinator for Anglophone West Africa with the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). Ejiro is the Board Chairperson of Women’s Rights and Health Project, (WRAHP). She is the Managing Director of Emerald International Development Services (EIDS) Limited, Abuja, Nigeria where she manages a team of local and international, highly experienced and seasoned consultants all of whom have worked in the public sector, local and international NGOs and the United Nations. Ejiro is the Assistant General Overseer of Palace of PRIESTS ASSEMBLY, Abuja. She is happily married to Dr Otive Igbuzor and they are blessed with two children
  1. Uzo Mkparu, VP, First City Monument Bank is a seasoned digital transformation professional, with over 20 years’ experience, who specialises in applying data and analytics to gain actionable insights required to drive strategic business decisions, new revenue models, customer/product innovation, data monetisation and value creation. She is also experienced in leading disruptive digital and emerging technology initiatives, mission-critical platforms and also multi-million dollar transformation initiatives such as merger & acquisition integrations and enterprise–wide programmes. Uzo holds an M Sc. in Information Systems & Technology from City University, London and an MBA from Cranfield University, UK and sits on the boards of a number of for-profit and not-for-profit organisations.
  1. Hadiza Isma El-Rufai is a woman of many parts who has made remarkable impact in everything she has chosen to do. She is a creative egghead. She is an accomplished architect, a published writer (novelist), and homemaker. She is a woman who has carved a niche for herself well beyong marrying Mallam El Rufai, and by this marriage, becoming First Lady of Kaduna. She has a BSc and MSc in Architecture (1983) and an MBA (1992) from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, as well as a Masters in Creative Writing (2012) from Bath Spa University, United Kingdom. She worked as a lecturer at the Department of Architecture at Kaduna Polytechnic, a few more years at the National Electric Power Authority, before working in private practice. She also speaks French language fluently. In 2017, El-Rufai published ”An Abundance of Scorpions” (Ouida Books). Along with her husband, El-Rufai set up Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation (YELF) in 2013 to honour her daughter who died of an epileptic seizure in her flat in London in November 2011. The literary nonprofit was fully launched in 2017 with the aims of nurturing creativity in children, “particularly the girl child, between the ages of eight and 19” and young/adult women, providing them “resources with teachers and the books that they need to enhance their literacy.”
  1. Nere Teriba is a 37-year old entrepreneur, mediator and a strategist. She holds a BSE and MSE from Carnegie-Mellon University in Electrical and Computer Engineering and has worked for sustainable community solutions in several countries. She is building Nigeria’s first gold refinery is the first and youngest Nigerian to ever refine gold locally. Teriba is the vice chairperson of Kian Smith. The company started the construction of the gold refinery in the South Western Ogun State in December 2018 and completed by the end of the first half of 2019. According to face2faceafrica.com, “The gold refinery is actually in operation now with gold supply for the outfit coming mainly from the Zamfara, Kebbi and Kwara states and also other parts of Africa. The refinery will initially be able to produce 3 metric tons of gold each month, and 1 ton of silver, supplying Nigeria’s Central Bank, as well as the jewelry and electronic industries. Teriba has broken into one of the most difficult industries in Nigeria to become the owner of the country’s first gold refinery. She started with trading in minerals, specifically lead, and has continued to move up in the $2 trillion mining value chain. She said she learnt doggedness from her father, the former Olu of Warri but her business achievements are so massive they couldn’t have been due to her background. She noted they are supernatural. Nonetheless, her achievements, according to her, are not without challenges, adding there is no cloud without a silver lining”.
  1. Hadiza Bala Usman, the daughter of the legendary academic and human rights activist, Dr. Bala Usman, is the Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA. She attended Ahmadu Bello University campus Zaria where he earned a BSC in Business Administration in 2000. She later obtained an MA in Development Studies from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom in 2009. She started her career with Centre for Democratic Development and Research Training [CEDDERT] Zaria, a Non-Governmental Organization in June 1999 as a Research Assistant. In June, 2000 she worked at the Bureau of Public Enterprise [BPE], the agency charged with the implementation of the privatisation programme of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from July 2000- August 2004 as an Enterprise Officer. She was then hired by the UNDP for the Federal Capital Territory Administration [FCTA] from October 2004 – January 2008 as a Special Assistant to the Minister on Project Implementation. From 2011 to July 2015 she was appointed as Chief of staff of Kaduna state an appointment she held before her appointment as MD NPA in July 11th, 2016 at just 40.
  2. Chichi Emenike is the Head, Gas Ventures at Neconde Energy Ltd. she holds a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering and Masters in Oil and Gas Management (RGU, Aberdeen) with over 17 years relevant post graduate experience in the Oil & Gas (O&G) industry. She has expertise in general project coordination, estimating, engineering, bid documentation, materials procurement and issues coordination. I also have a strong awareness of economics, business development and contracts negotiations.
  3. Nneka Abulokwe OBE, FAPM; FBCS. An accomplished technologist, senior executive and board director. Dr Abulokwe has an extensive career driving innovative tech and business transformation initiatives for some of the largest multinational digital transformation organisations. Nneka is passionate about the intelligent use of technology and governance to foster organisational cohesion and drive positive digital cultures. She undertook pioneering research in governance & tech earning her a Doctorate in Business Administration. She was awarded Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2019 Queens Birthday Honours for her services to business. Nneka founded MicroMax Consulting, providing advisory services on digital, tech and governance. She serves on several boards as a non-executive director NED and board advisor.
  4. Aisha Babangida is a humanitarian leader and experienced founder with a demonstrated history of working within philanthropy and helping underserved communities throughout Nigeria. She is the Chairman of the Better Life Program for the African Rural Woman, taking over after her mother, who worked previously as the chairman and founder. In addition to the Better Life Program, Aisha has also started and worked with numerous nonprofit organizations, only fueling her passion to do more for the people of her country. Aisha loves being able to provide women and girls with educational opportunities and life skills in order to better prepare them for the future. In addition to her passion and commitment to philanthropy, Aisha Babangida is also passionate about finance and business. She has continued to advocate for female empowerment by working to increase women’s rights, and provide them with resources that can help transform their lives and great community. In 2016, she founded the Egwafin Microfinance Bank, which helps those in Africa get the access they need to funding and financing that they may not have had access to otherwise. In 2018, Aisha Babangida founded Women Enterprise Alliance, which helps entrepreneurs through investing in profitable early stage companies, small & medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria and across Africa. She founded the organization as a way to help improve the resources that entrepreneurs need to thrive when first starting their own company.
  1. Aminat Kamaru is a Chartered Qualified Accountant and a Senior Associate with knowledge of Finance and Accounting principles, procedures and standards. She keeps abreast of available technology, understands applicability and limitations of technology, with willingness to learn new technology. With the knowledge of auditing standards and practices, risk assessment, and applicable financial rules and procedures as well as specialized IT audit applications such as ACL, she provides expert analysis and review of Finance processes and its related integration with Technology having worked with clients across various sectors as a Risk Assurance Analyst in PwC Nigeria
  2. Bella Disu is the daughter of Nigerian entrepreneur and billionaire, Mike Adenuga, the chairman of Globacom. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, US and an M.Sc in Leadership from Northeastern University, Boston.In 2004, Bella joined Globacom Ltd, a multinational telecommunications company operating in Ghana and Nigeria, and is now the group executive director. In January 2019, she assumed the role of executive vice chairman of Globacom. She attended the Africa CEO Forum that year, where she had a private meeting with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.[11][12] She was also a keynote speaker at the Women in Business Initiative of the Africa CEO Forum.[13][14][15] and she joined 149 other global business leaders like Aliko Dangote, Jim Ovia and Tony Elumelu at the 2019 Choose France International Business Summit held at the Chateau de Versailles in France.[5][16] At the summit, she announced a deal with Nokia Alcatel-Lucent, to supply, install, and integrate a new Sure Pay Intelligent Network platform.
  3. Anino Ewuwa is the Managing Director of boutique consultancy in France with a subsidiary in Lagos providing research-led strategy consulting and financial advisory services to entrepreneurs, SMEs and business leaders. A former corporate banker with Citibank, a strong believer in fintech innovation as a driver of financial inclusion in emerging markets. Director and investor in myidentitypay.com soon to be launched fintech app to simplify payments. A women’s leadership expert, Anino is an advocate for women’s entrepreneurship who believes in promoting economic development through entrepreneurship. Convener of several women’s business leadership networks including founder of Africa Women CEOs Network group #AWCN on LinkedIn
  1. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of the most renowned writers in the world. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, Granta, The O. Henry Prize Stories, the Financial Times, and Zoetrope. She is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize and was a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist and a New York TimesNotable Book; and Americanah, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was named one of The New York Times Top Ten Best Books of 2013. Ms. Adichie is also the author of the story collection The Thing Around Your Neck. Her most recent book, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, was published in March 2017. A recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, Ms. Adichie divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.
  1. Damilola Ogunbiyi is the CEO of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). As CEO, she introduced the new #SEforALL roadmap, met leaders, and highlighted the need for urgency. Until her appointment, she was the Managing Director/CEO of Rural Electrification Agency, a federal government agency establish to bridge electrification gap in Nigeria. She was the first woman to be appointed as Managing Director of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency.  She is also responsible for implementing the Nigerian Off Grid Electrification Programme and successfully negotiating the Nigerian Electrification Project, to rapidly construct solar mini-grids and deploy solar home systems across Nigeria.  She also developed the Energizing Economics Initiative and Energizing Education Programme, which provide sustainable and affordable off grid power solutions.  Before joining the Federal Government of Nigeria, Ms. Ogunbiyi was the first woman to be appointed as the General Manager of the Lagos State Electricity Board, which is responsible for public lighting, independent power projects, and energy development serving millions of people across the State.  Prior to this, she consulted for the United Kingdom Department for International Development on public-private partnerships.
    Ogunbiyi is a globally respected leader with a broad and diverse international network in the area of energy development, which includes key relationships with leading multilateral and bilateral partners and the private sector. She is also one of the Commissioners for the Global Commission to End Energy Poverty.
  1. Olayemi Anyanechi is the founder and Managing Partner of Sefton Fross, a leading law firm in Nigeria. She began her career at the then MBC International Bank Limited, from where she left to study and obtained a Master’s degree in corporate and commercial law at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. She went to Cambridge as a Chevening Scholar and whilst there, became a Pegasus Scholar of the Inner Temple. Upon return to Nigeria, she joined the law firm of Olaniwun Ajayi and left to become the General Counsel of the Sahara Energy Group of companies. She joined Templars as a Partner in 2006 where she headed the Banking & Finance Practice, until she became Managing Partner of Sefton Fross in 2013. She is consistently recognised as one of the leading finance and energy and infrastructure lawyers in Nigeria by Legal 500, IFLR1000, Who’s Who Legal, and Chambers and Partners. Under her leadership, Sefton Fross has won several notable awards including Business Day’s “Top 100 Fastest Growing SMEs in Nigeria” in 2018; “Energy Team of the Year” and “Oil and Gas Team of the Year” by ESQ Legal Awards in 2014 & 2015 respectively, amongst others. Olayemi is currently the regional representative (Africa) of the International Bar Association’s power law committee and the chairman of the Mergers, Acquisitions and Corporate Re-organisations Committee of the Section on Business Law of the Nigerian Bar Association, amongst others.
  1. Bola Atta is the Group Director for Marketing and Corporate communications for UBA (the United Bank for Africa), the Executive Producer of REDTV and CEO UBA Foundation. Bola Atta was nominated as the Best Marketing professional in West Africa in 2017. She was also on the list of the 40 top Nigerians under 40 in 2008 and celebrated as one of the 100 most influential women in Nigeria in March 2015. A graduate of Economics with an M.B.A majoring in Marketing, and over 25 years of experience in diverse fields ranging from Banking, Business, Communications, Publishing, Entertainment and the Media. Approximately 19 out of these 25+ years have been in high level management and entrepreneurship, enabling her gain expertise in each of these varied fields of work. She made a mark in the Media industry on the African continent as one of the most sought after editors in West Africa.
  1. Chidinma Lawanson is in the forefront of spearheading financial inclusion in Nigeria and supporting Nigeria’s financial service operators with the support of Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Chidinma Lawanson. As the CEO of EFInA (Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access), Chidinma is also actively involved in making sure women especially those in Northern Nigeria are also financially included.
  2. Eniola Fadayomi is the chairman of African Prudential Registrars. Prior to this, she served as the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Lagos State, the first Commissioner for Women Affairs & Poverty Alleviation, as well as the Commissioner for Establishment, Training & Pensions at different times in the State. She currently serves on several boards, both in the Public and Private Sectors.
  3. Aderonke Kale trained as a medical doctor at University College, which later became the University of Ibadan. Kale then specialised in Psychiatry at the University of London. She was inspired to join psychiatry by Professor Thomas Adeoye Lambo, Africa’s first professor of psychiatry.[1] She worked briefly in Britain and returned to Nigeria in 1971. A year later in 1972, she joined the Nigerian Army. This was a very rare decision for women in those days, particularly those at such a high professional level.She was a colonel and deputy commander of the Nigerian Army Medical Corps by 1990. She was later promoted to the rank of brigadier-general and in doing so became the first female general in West Africa.[2] Kale was promoted to major-general in 1994 and became the first Nigerian woman to achieve that rank. She was also the first female major-general in West Africa. Her role was initially as chief psychiatrist to the army. Kale later became director of the entire Nigerian Medical Corps and was its Chief Medical Officer until 1996. This was the first time in the history of the Nigerian Army that a woman was given responsibility for the healthcare of all Nigerian soldiers at all levels in preparation for and during war. She retired in 1997.
  4. Jamila Malafa is the first female military officer of the northern extraction to be decorated with the rank of commodore. The rank of commodore is equivalent to that of a brigadier-general in the Nigeria Army. She is a native of Gombi local government in Adamawa State. Her elevation is a triumph over religion and culture that limits women to get to the top of their careers.
  5. Funke Opeke obtained her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University and Columbia University respectively. After this, she began her career in ICT in Verizon Communications in New York City. Then, in 2005, she joined MTN Nigeria. She also worked with Transcorp and NITEL for a brief period of time. In 2008, the electrical engineer founded MainOne Cable Company, a leading communications service and network solutions provider in Nigeria, to combat low internet connectivity. The company built West Africa’s first privately-owned, open access 7,000-kilometer undersea high capacity cable submarine stretching from Portugal to South Africa with landings along the route in Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria.
  6. Engr Mrs Mayen Adetiba was inspired to study Electrical Electronics and then Civil Engineering at Columbia University.in the early 70s, when engineering was still perceived as a profession for boys, She was one of the only two girls in her class and the only black female. Adetiba has become an icon who has led the engineering profession in Nigeria and beyond at different times. She sits on the board of a number of multinationals. The three-time Vice-President of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) has presided over the African regional body of the International Association of Consulting Engineers.
  1. Ebele O. Okeke (CFR) is a former Head of the Civil Service of the federation and indeed the first female to be appointed in that office. She is also the first Nigerian Female Civil Engineer and first female to be appointed to the board of Mainstream Energy Solutions Ltd. She is among the pioneers in a filed hitherto considered the exclusive preserve of the male gender. She studied at the University of Southampton, England where she obtained a Bachelor of science (B.Sc) in Civil engineering in 1971. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in ground water from Loughborough University. She also obtained a Post Graduate Degree (PGD) in Hydrology and Hydrogeology from the University College London in 1979. She then returned to Nigeria to obtain a Master of Business Administration, MBA degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2001 Engr Okeke has vast experience and a track record of delivering outlasting performance in a highly competitive Engineering related sector. She is a fellow of Engineering Societies both in Nigeria and the United Kingdom and has qualifications in hydrology.
  1. 27-year-old Dr Ozak Esu is an engineering whizkid who was also listed by Telegraph in collaboration with WES as one of the Top 50 Women Under 35 in Engineering in 2017. The energy problem in Nigeria inspired to study Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Loughborough University. Dr Esu joined Cundall as a graduate engineer while completing her PhD during which she researched low-cost electronics to monitor wind turbine blades. Esu has worked on sustainable building designs for schools, offices, homes and leisure centres. She has spoken on the use of embedded technology and smart building design.

 

  1. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed is a Nigerian accountant. She is the current Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning appointed on August 21, 2019 as President Muhammadu Buhari brought the two ministries under her as one, making her the de facto Minister of Economy. The high point of her tenure was when she initiated The Finance Bill 2019, which when signed into law, will ensure that small businesses with turnover less than N25m will be exempted from Companies Income Tax. Currently, all companies are expected to pay the Federal Government 30 per cent of their profit as Companies Income Tax. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said once the bill is signed into law, companies that make a turnover of less than N25m will no longer pay this tax while those that have a turnover of between N25m and N100m yearly will now pay 20 per cent as companies income tax. This will help small businesses to thrive, and will in turn, lead to exponential growth of the economy.
  1. Mercy Chinwo is a gospel musician, singer and songwriter. She’s obviously anointed for the music Ministry with the effortless manner she sings, drawing admiration from worshippers all over the world. She’s one of the Nigerian gospel music artistes that have collaboration from international gospel stars. This 29 year old was winner of the Nigerian Idol Season 2 in 2012. This music sensation is a sensation is a powerful vocalist and a voice to reckon with in the Nigerian music industry.
  2. Mrs Ifueko M Omoigui Okauru is a chartered accountant, chartered tax practitioner and management consultant. A graduate of the University of Lagos, Nigeria, Imperial College, London, and Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA, she is the part-owner and chief executive officer of Compliance Professionals Plc, Nigeria. She is also currently engaged as an associate with the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Science, undertaking research in leadership, social enterprise, culture and the Nigerian nation. She currently serves on four public boards in Nigeria: Central Securities Clearing System PLC (independent director); Diamond Bank PLC (independent director); Seplat Petroleum Development Company PLC (independent director) and Nigerian Breweries PLC (non-executive director). She is also a member of the board of ReStraL Ltd, a firm of management consultants, which she founded in 1996; a member of the Executive Committee of Women in Management, Business and Public Service; and a member of the Board of DAGOMO Foundation Nigeria (Limited by Guarantee), a family-based social enterprise. As executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service of Nigeria from May 2004 to April 2012, Mrs Okauru championed tax reforms and the modernisation of the Nigerian tax administration system. During her tenure, she spearheaded comprehensive tax reforms that led to the development of a national tax policy for the very first time and the modification of nine principal tax legislations, of which five were passed into law. She also initiated a comprehensive overhaul of all tax statutes and development of supportive regulations; initiated re-engineering and automation of tax administration processes; recorded visible improvement in tax administration resulting in significant growth in oil and non-oil tax revenues accruing to government, and increased awareness amongst the populace of their obligations, as well as improved the motivation of staff in the discharge of their duties. She was a part-time member of the United Nations (UN) Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters from August 2009 to July 2013, where she was chairman of the sub-committee on Capacity Building. As executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service of Nigeria, she was a member of the Nigerian president’s economic management team and a member of the National Stakeholders Working Group of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI). Notably, she was the first female executive chairman of FIRS, and the first female chairman of the Joint Tax Board of Nigeria.

Ifueko is a recipient of several awards for distinguished service to her country, Nigeria. She is a member of the Federal Republic, a Nigerian national honour.

  1. Stella Chinyeru Okoli, FPSN, OON: She is the founder and CEO of Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, an indigenous group she founded over 3 decades ago, which has remarkably grown to have footprint in Liberia and Sierra Leone. She has received various national and international recognitions, which include Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), Fellow Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Outstanding Service Award, Rotary International 21000, and ECOWAS International Gold Award. She has a B. Pharm (Hons.) degree from Bradford University (1969), M.Sc. Biopharmaceutics, University of London – Chelsea College (1971), and attended Executive Management programs of the Harvard Business School, Boston, USA, for owner-managers 1997-1999

 

  1. Pharm (Mrs) Bukky George, FPSN is the MD/CEO of CasaBella International and Health plus, Nigeria’s first integrative pharmacy and a household name in retail pharmacy in Nigeria. She is a registered Pharmacist with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria. She is indeed a force to reckon with in retail pharmacy in West Africa, with over forty strategically retail outlets across the country and a head office to monitor operations across Nigeria. She earned her B. Pharm in 1992 at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos. She is a lover of book and fashion.
  1. Olajumoke Adenowo is one of the most prominent architects in Nigeria. She is a speaker, author, philanthropist and an entrepreneur. She is a successful architect (featured by the world’s foremost Architectural Journal, Architectural Record) and a force in her profession, an industry dominated by men. Olajumoke Adenowo, uses her radio show ‘Voice Of Change’ to teach youths how to ask the right questions from their leaders and hold them accountable. She has authored many books and give back to the society through her faith based NGO; Awesome Treasures Foundation. Olajumoke Adenowo started out as Assistant Architect at Towry Coker And Associates before moving to Femi Majekodunmi Associates where she designed the  Federal Ministry of Finance in Abuja at the age of 23. She started her own interior design and architectural firm, AD Consulting in 1994, and holds the position of a Principal Partner. Her company is known for bespoken, detailed designs and structures, designing every aspect of any building from inception to the fittings. As the principal partner of AD Consulting, she has designed and overseen the construction of over 70 projects including Nigerian government buildings, Coca-Cola, L’oreal and banks
  2. Tara Fela-Durotoye is a Nigerian top beauty entrepreneurs. She is the founder and CEO of the prestigious make-up brand, House of Tara International. Tara Fela-Durotoye is one of the pioneers of bridal makeup and has risen to a respected height in the make up industry. She is a role model to most make up artists and mentors young business owners across Africa through many platforms.
  1. Nike Ogunlana is an accountant and a fashion buff. She runs an outfit that retails African fashion labels online. Just recently, she co-founded a clothing label called LA.X Nigeria. Like many other Nigerian women, Nike is a professional who has deliberately changed course and is now actively pursuing her passion. So now, she is engrossed in the fashion and accessory world of clothes, shoes, bags, accessories and all that goes into elegant dressing. Nike’s Exodus Stores is an online shop that features only African fashion brands. They stock clothes, accessories and footwear for women and men. Her interest in contemporary African fashion comes out as the best way to describe her own unique style, which involves the use of traditional African fabrics in a modern way. So it’s not only about Africa’s rich cultural heritage, but also about showcasing Africa’s rich vibrant colours. This makes for an interesting mix. Nike graduated from the University of Lagos in 1984, and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1987. She has worked in the audit, accounting and finance industry for over 30 years. She was awarded the SWAN prize for the best female candidate in the Professional 11 examination. She is a Fellow of ICAN, and an Alumnus of the Advanced Management Programme of the Harvard Business School. She joined Nigeria Merchant Bank in 1989 as an assistant manager in the foreign operations department, where she handled foreign bank reconciliations, domiciliary accounts, export documentation and the coded testing of inward and outward telexes. She left the bank as a deputy manager in the accounts department to go into private practice. She later co-founded the Firm of Dalmeida Ogunlana & Co. in 1993. She remained in private practice for the next five years, primarily providing part time accountancy services for small and medium sized clients in the financial services, manufacturing, oil and gas and professional services sectors of the economy. She also undertook several audit and tax advisory assignments during this period. In 1987, she left private practice to work as financial controller at Asset & Resource Management Company Ltd (ARM), an investment management company. Here, her role was gradually expanded to head of operations, with supervisory and oversight responsibility for financial control & accounts, fund accounts, fund administration, human resources and administration, legal & compliance, information technology and ARM Trustees. She is currently the managing partner of Dalmeida Ogunlana & Co.
  2. Ifeyinwa Afe (MD, HP Nigeria), has, as the MD of HP Nigeria, introduced amazing products like the HP Spectre, one of the worlds thinnest laptops, into the Nigerian market and she is ensuring that the company stays ahead of its competition.
  3. Ijeoma Ndukwe has turned the regular locally made pap (Ogi) into a thriving brand with several unconventional flavours that did not previously exist in the Nigerian market. Through Bubez pap, and other products on the Bubez Foods stable, she is meeting the diverse needs of the Nigerian public.
  4. Joke Bakare  is quietly and steadfastly building a chain of reputable pharmacies. She is the brain behind Medplus Pharmacy Nigeria; a successful brand that has become one of the biggest retail pharmaceutical chains in Nigeria. She is a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and a reminder that we can achieve what we set our mind to achieve.
  5. Kofo Akinkugbe (CEO Secure ID) is recognized internationally for her inspiring entrepreneurship journey, and enviable business record. She’s a visionary and the CEO of Secure ID – a market leader in smart card technology and digital security. Fusing technology and cutting edge service delivery, Secure ID serves 16 countries across Africa and is fully certified by VISA, Verve and MasterCard. Kofo is one of the few women in Africa, pushing the card for innovation and I.T.
  6. Mosun Bello-Olusoga is the Chairperson of Access Bank PLC, the first woman in the history of that institution to achieve that position. She serves as the Principal Consultant and Programme Director of KRC Limited and she is a dignified fellow at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria..
  7. Oby Ezekwesili is a cerebral, courageous and bold leader who is not afraid to take on issues. The former presidential candidate is the Convener of the Bring Back Our Girls Group (BBOG) through which she and her team pushed for the release of all the Chibok Secondary School girls who were abducted nearly three years ago. Madam Due Process, as she was nicknamed for her efforts at transparency in government had served Nigeria in different capacities including serving as Minister for Education. Ezekwisili is a Senior Economic Advisor at the Open Society Foundation, and has also served previously as Vice President of the World Bank.
  8. Osaretin Demuren is a leading Nigerian banker who has carved an amazing record setting profile for herself in the male dominated industry. In 1999, she became the first female director for Trade and Exchange, Central Bank of Nigeria, and In 2015, she became the First Female Chairperson of Guaranty Trust Bank PLC. She is indeed a strong role model to the younger generation of women.
  9. Dr Hadiza Galadanci is a consultant obstetrician and Gynecologist at the Murtala Mohammed Hospital in Kano, and is also the Chief Medical Director of the hospital. Dr Galadanci is the Kano state coordinator of WHARC’s activities aimed at promoting reproductive health and reducing maternal mortality in the state. Aside her numerous publications and contribution towards awareness on tackling health related issues in northern Nigeria like VVF, family planning, and malaria, she is personally a proof that Muslim women can achieve educational greatness while not compromising their cultural or religious believes. This is because she was married at a young age, bore about eleven children and studied medicine while married.
  1. Hajiya Naja’atu Bala Usman is the first woman to win a Senate seat, the Kano Central Senatorial District. She is also the first woman to have served as president of the National Students Union Nigeria in the Prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (ABU) and also the first female Vice – President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS). Muhammad was born in 1956, in the Central City of Kano into the family of Alhaji Ali Abdullahi, who happens to be a core socialist and one of Mallam Aminu Kano’s contemporaries in the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU). She obtained a bachelor’s degree in history from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Muhammed is the widow of Dr Bala Muhammed, a political adviser to Second Republic Governor Mallam Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi..
  1. Rimini Makamais recognized by Forbes as one of the 20 Youngest Power Women under 40 in Africa, Rimini is the Head of Corporate & Governmental Affairs Director at Microsoft Nigeria. She was formerly the Communications Director at Africa Practice; Africa’s foremost strategy and communications consultancy. A Lawyer by profession, Rimini previously worked at (INTERPOL) in Lyon, France where she was instrumental to the drafting of cooperation agreements between the 190 member countries and reviewing notices and individual requests safeguarding international security and safety across borders. Talk about being a ‘Power Woman.’
  2. Sandie Okorois a lawyer and the Senior Vice President of The World Bank Group. She also serves as the Global General Counsel for HSBC Global Asset Management and Deputy General Counsel of HSBC Retail banking and Wealth Management. She is a globally respected foremost woman leader and has been described as “a highly regarded thought leader with a strong track record of developing new legal approaches in the field of international finance” by President Of The World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim.
  3. Shola David-Borha, until very recently, was the Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc – a full service financial services Group with subsidiaries in Commercial Banking, Investment Banking, Pension and Non-Pension Asset Management and Stockbroking. Described as “extremely fair and a bright shining light,’ Sola is also a Pastor in the RCCG, City of David Parish. She was recognized in 2016 as the ‘All Africa Business Woman of the Year’ at the All Africa Business Leaders Awards in Partnership with CNBC Africa.
  4. Stephanie Busari is a multi-award winning and internationally acclaimed journalist. Stephanie is the African Supervising Producer at CNN’s new multi-platform bureau in Lagos, Nigeria. With experience spanning reputable international media platforms including: The BBC, New Nation and Daily Mirror, all in the UK, Stephanie clearly possesses the expertise that her role requires. Since joining CNN in 2008, she has worked across some of the network’s most important African stories. In particular she was central to CNN’s coverage of the Missing Chibok girls, working alongside Senior International Correspondent Nima Elbagir.
  5. Bolanle Austin-Peters is the CEO and founder of one of Nigeria’s finest arts and cultural centres, Terra Kulture, Bolanle has successfully built her establishment into a renowned name, which is synonymous with Nigerian theatre. Established in Lagos in 2004, Terra Kulture has grown to become a leading art, lifestyle, culture, entertainment and educational centre in Nigeria.
  6. Emem Isong has an illustrious and well celebrated film-making career, spanning over a decade in Nollywood, Emem is a filmmaker extraordinaire. Also a writer and CEO, Royal Arts Academy, the Akwa Ibom-born creative genius has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the Nigerian film industry.
  1. Wangi Mba-UzoUkwu is the Regional Director, M-Net West Africa, a prominent force in entertainment, not just in Nigeria but in the entire region. A vastly experienced broadcasting executive, she holds a degree in Political Science and a postgraduate diploma in Direct Marketing. A successful business and media strategist, Wangi’s career spans nearly two decades in top management positions in multinationals such as British American Tobacco, The Coca-Cola Company, and Airtel. We love Wangi because she’s a great example of women breaking barriers in the corporate world.
  2. Temie Giwa is the Founder and CEO of Lifebank Nigeria, a platform that tackles blood shortage in the country. She is a healthcare manager who is passionate about saving lives and making blood available when and where needed in Nigeria. Her humanitarian and social enterprise led to the establishment of LifeBank in 2015, following a near-death experience, and the difficulties she faced giving birth to her son. Using an app, LifeBank provides records of blood banks available all over Lagos, which allows health centres to find the relevant blood types and order for delivery. Her lifesaving initiative has earned her a commendation from Facebook Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, as well as a feature on ‘CNN’s Africa Start-Up.’
  3. Uche Majekodunmi has nearly 3 decades of consistently creating mind-blowing designs, and planning exquisite events. She is most definitely an industry leader and a clear inspiration. She is the CEO of Newton & David – a Nigerian-based Event Management, Flora Decor, and Set Design Company. With credentials from the renowned Mary Adams, of Knightsbridge London, England and Paula Pryke, in Islington, North London where she did a brief course, Uche has carved a niche for herself, not only as a pioneer of the event and decor industry, but also as a Florist extraordinaire. With an impressive list of clients and a slew of both local and international awards, Uche seems focused on continually growing the N&D brand, and expanding the business.
  4. Zainab Bagudu is the Founder of Medicaid Cancer Foundation/CEO Medicaid Diagnostic Centre and the Wife of the Executive Governor of Kebbi State in Nigeria. She is a strong advocate of breast and cervical cancer awareness, and is instrumental to have gotten thousands of women screened for these diseases, especially in the Northern part of Nigeria. In 2017, Zainab was awarded the Silverbird Man of the Year Award for her outstanding contribution to the medical field.
  5. Asma Begum Mirza packs a blend of rich virtues and humongous achievements in her not too gigantic size. Many things combine to define her uniqueness. Check out her resume: she is a pharmacist, farmer, entrepreneur, and development activist. Although she is petite in size, she is however gigantic in brains, creativity, beauty, and the courage to dare. She is a polyglot. She speaks six languages: English, Punjab, Urdu, Hausa, Hindi, and Arabic fluently. She drives trucks and cars effortlessly. She is a translator of Hausa to English and English to Hausa. She is an advocate for female rights and gender inclusion.

She is one of the proudest Nigerians anyone can meet. A Pakistani by birth and a Nigerian by naturalisation and marriage, she lost her husband, Ambassador Abdul Razaq Yunusa, a Career Diplomat a few years back but has refused to see herself as a widow. She is the founder and owner of the ASMA FOODS brand. She has in the last two years developed 23 (twenty three) products that are awaiting NADFAC registration numbers. She spent the initial part of her career as a Pharmacist and worked both in Nigeria and Pakistan. She resigned to set up her own business, Asma Pharmaceuticals Ltd, in Nigeria and Pakistan. Initially, she was importing pharmaceuticals into Nigeria but stopped in 2001. Her company now produces processed drinking water, known popularly in Nigeria as pure water. She runs her agric-business at the Technology Incubation Center, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Rigachikun, Kaduna; where she grows and processes different wholly indigenous foods and drinks. She grows crops on 70 acres of land and she is developing it to an integrated farm. She is an Out grower of Rice and Maize for a seed company. Develop nutritious diets and products for communities in the rural areas using products available to them to combat malnutrition and hunger in their areas. She prepares ready-to-use-therapeutic food (RUTF) for use in treating malnourishment. She volunteers for several NGOs including Medicins Sans Frontieres (Holland), and serves as Secretary to the Board of Directors of Cherry Hearts Academy and Khadija Trust Foundation, Member of the Advisory Board of Value Seeds Limited. She is also the President of Asma Maru Mining Cooperative Society; Igabi Plethora Multipurpose Cooperative Society; Marafa Asma Multipurpose Cooperative Society; Doka Asma Multipurpose Cooperative Union; and elected as National Asst. Secretary of Jammiya Matan Arewa, in 2019. Born December 16, 1962, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria in 1985; and an Msc in Pharmacology and Therapeutics from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, 2014. Not satisfied with her pharmacy education, she enrolled for and earned a Diploma Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurial Finance (2019), from Kaduna Business School.

  1. Nike Adeyemi is the wife of the senior pastor of Daystar Christian Center -Pastor Sam Adeyemi. She’s a certified architect and a co-pastor at the Daystar Christian Center, Oregun, Lagos State with thousands of worshippers. She’s the founder of the real woman foundation, she has also taken her dynamic women ministry to television hosting several Tv programs centered on women and their welfare.
  2. Sadiya Umar Farouk is the minister of Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development. At 46, she is said to be the youngest Minister in the current administration. Her Ministry is overseeing the Integrated Humanitarian Assistance to Northeast Nigeria. Previously, she served as Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI)
  3. Pauline Kedem Tallen OFR is the Women Affairs Minister.She was appointed in 2019 by President Muhammad Buhari. Since her appointment, she has been pursuing the mainstreaming of Gender into affairs of government. She has paid advocacy visits to the leadership of the National Assembly and her fellow ministers. In 1999, she was appointed Minister of State for science and technology to the cabinet of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo. In 2007, she became the deputy governor of Plateau State and the first woman to be a deputy governor in northern Nigeria. she also contested to be governor of the state in 2011, but lost to Jonah Jang.
  1. Wing Commander Hajara Bashir Umar is the first woman from northern Nigeria to reach that rank in the Nigeria Airforce. Thanks to her Dad who was a veteran military officer, Hajara was encouraged to join the force. A career most Muslim women would never dream of joining due to its incompatible nature with their culture and lifestyle.
  1. Senator Oluremi Tinubu is one of the prominent senators on the platform of the All Progressive Congress, APC. The former First Lady of Lagos State represents Lagos Central in the National Assembly. She wields enormous influence in Nigeria and can be regarded as one of the power brokers in Nigerian politics today. She has used her good offices to render quality service to her constituents and has also been in the forefront for gender equality advocacy. Regarded as an amazon, Oluremi has been able to balance her home front and political career. She is the wife of the National leader of the party and former governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
  1. Myma Belo-Osagie is a Managing Partner with Udo Udomo & Belo-Osagie, a firm that specializes in energy, natural resources and the environment, telecommunications, corporate advisory including foreign investments, corporate restructuring including mergers and acquisitions. Married to Billionaire businessman, Hakeem Belo-Osagie, her husband is the Chairman Nigerian arm of UAE telecommunications provider Etisalat. He controls 12% stake in Etisalat Nigeria through his holding company, Premium Telecommunications Holdings. Dr. Myma Belo-Osagie is a Law graduate and ranked as one of the “World’s leading Lawyers” in the Corporate/M&A section of the Chambers’ Global Directory.
  1. Binta Masi Garba is a politician, businesswoman, administrator, philanthropist, humanitarian and a trained marketer and Public Financial Management. She is the Senator representing Adamawa North Senatorial District. She was the Chairman, Adamawa State Chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) and the first female State Chairwoman of a registered major political party in Nigeria. She was elected into Federal House of Representatives three times (1999 – 2011). She is the first politician to represent two different Federal Constituency at the National Assembly. She was the first parliamentarian to start poverty alleviation program for the women and youths in 2003 when she was representing Kaduna South Federal Constituency. In 2009, she was elected as the first Vice President of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) under Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in Cameroon. She is the only female Senator-Elect in all the 19 Northern States of Nigeria in 2015 election. She won a Senate seat against a seating Governor, Bala James Ngilari.
  1. Prof Ladi Sandra Adamu is a renowned broadcast journalist. With a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism (specializing in radio and television) from Columbia College, Hollywood, and a master’s degree in film/script writing from the Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, Prof Adamu is today northern Nigeria’s first female professor of broadcasting. On her return to Nigeria after graduating, Prof. Adamu worked with the Nigeria Television Authority, Jos as an announcer and presenter. She was later posted to the News and Current Affairs Division as a News Editor and sometimes as a reporter. Her career in journalism took her to the defunct Democrat newspaper as Deputy Editor with the weekly title, also overseeing the women, children and entertainment pages. She joined the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria on the prompting of the late Dr Joe De-Goshie to help in nurturing the young Department of Mass Communication. She is a member of the technical research committee set up by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
  1. Patricia Obozuwa, GE Africa Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer. She is a Senior communications executive with 20+ years experience and a strong track record of building the communications function and teams at some of the world’s leading multinationals operating in Africa. She is skilled in Strategy Development, Public Relations, Government Affairs, Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Planning, Negotiations and External Relations
  1. Moyo Ogunseinde is passionate about community building; creating spaces that bring people together for sports, leisure, tourism, hospitality, entertainment and education. She is an experienced international real estate executive, developer and professional architect, leading a $250 million portfolio and all daily operations of a Nigerian commercial real estate development and management company. Her projects include the Upbeat Leisure Centre and the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel. She also lead initiatives to support people who are part of building those communities in new spaces, including WANAMKE, for women in the business of sport, Lagos State Sports Trust Fund and the Lagos Gymnastics Association.

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