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The Guardian’s special focus on Nigeria’s 50 most outstanding and impactful women in leadership: Part two

By Guardian Nigeria
11 November 2021   |   4:00 pm
Nigeria's 50 most outstanding and impactful women in leadership

Ms. Doris Okechukwu Mbadiwe: Passionate for Women Empowerment, Promoting Gender-Balance for National Development

Ms. Doris Okechukwu Mbadiwe is the Deputy Managing Director, Inter-Bau Construction Limited – an award-winning indigenous construction company with notable capital projects such as the Onitsha River Port Project, Utor Road & Bridge Project, and the recently completed Port Harcourt Airport, amongst others.
A constructpreneur with over 15 years in the construction industry, Doris Mbadiwe is a tradeswomen activist, who believes that women should be well represented in all stages of infrastructure delivery, in the built environment as women are also the main users and beneficiaries of infrastructure and makeup to 50% of the population in Nigeria.

As part of her testament to her passion in giving back to the society, she has continued to play a key role as a member of Board of Trustees, Inter-Bau Foundation – a non-profit organisation established to train and equip women and youths with practical construction skills such as carpentry, painting, masonry, etc, while bridging the gender gap in the construction industry. She also provides mentorship and leadership training and has impacted over 1000 young women through the foundation.

Doris is also the Construction Sector Lead (Nigeria & West Africa), for Women in Infrastructure Community Africa (WICA). WICA is a professional woman advocacy and capacity building platform for sustainable infrastructure in Africa. Similarly, she emerged as a finalist for Women in Construction, Leadership in “The Big 5 International Building & Construction Awards” 2021 held in Dubai, UAE.

Prior to her current appointment as Inter-Bau Construction’s DMD, Doris had stints at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Lagos, and the prestigious law firm of Ajumogobia & Okeke, Orchard Real Estate Ltd, where she gained valuable knowledge and experience.

In recognition of her immense contribution to women empowerment and development in Nigeria, Ms. Mbadiwe is a recipient of the “People State Resource (PSR) Women of Merit Gold National Award 2021”,
She is a member of Council, Federation Of Construction Industry (FOCI), Institute of Directors (IoD), Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria (CIPMN), Amnesty International (AI), and the UN Women Nigeria (Private sector Group)
She holds a Bachelor degree in Law and Psychology, Carleton University, Ottawa Canada, BL degree, University of Buckingham UK and an LLM (Law & Development), University of London (UCL).

Ms. Doris Mbadiwe is recognized as one of “Nigeria’s Most Outstanding and Impactful Women in Leadership”. She spoke to The Guardian on sundry issues pertinent to career success, women empowerment and bridging gender gap in the Nigeria’s construction industry. Excerpt…
Career passion
My greatest passion is to succeed and be impactful at whatever role or position I am privileged to occupy and to assist and influence others to do so as well. This passion birth the role of my becoming a construction tradeswomen activist, who believes and encourages women and girls to seize the vast opportunities and thrive in the construction industry.

Nigeria’s business environment, industry experience and Inter-Bau Construction Limited’s success story
My experience in the last few years as regards my role in managing the company in this industry as a whole has been both challenging and eventful. I have learnt that facing and overcoming challenges in life and in any endeavour is a given for anyone and part of any success story. This knowledge has made me tenacious in the discharge of my duties and especially as a female. The construction environment is male-dominated and capital intensive to operate. However, most players in the industry have been able to weather the storm of economic downturns.

Boosting women’s success factors and role of government
Inter-Bau Foundation for Women & Youths, the CSR of Inter-Bau Construction Limited, was established to train women and men on a (60:40) ratio in construction skills. Through its programmes, we continue to carry out mass awareness campaigns on the over 150 career opportunities in the industry and pathways to same. This is accomplished by physical visitations to secondary schools and community outreaches.

Periodic physical and virtual mentorship and leadership programs aimed at encouraging, assisting, educating women in the industry and those aspiring to be, on how to thrive in the industry, staying competent and how to become entrepreneurs, are also implemented.

Furthermore, we organize periodic seminars on the benefits of gender diversity and inclusion in the industry with participating stakeholders I lend my voice and experience at speaking engagements whenever I am called to do so, on the need to empower the girl-child and women.

On the other hand, government can increase the success rate of women in the Nigerian society by providing equal job opportunities for women, invest and provide incentives to women owned businesses, encourage women to take up roles that have predominantly been engaged by men, organize national mentorship programmes for women.

In the same vein, government should repeal laws, ordinances, policies that foster gender inequality and enacting and implementing laws that ensure gender equality, inclusion and sensitivity. They should also encourage the private/ public sector players to embrace gender inclusion and equality in words and deed and accord them preferential treatment in bids and procurement processes.

ADESEYE MARGARET ABIMBOLA: Resourceful Firefighter, Putting Vision To Work At The Lagos State Fire And Rescue Service

She is one of the shinning lights making positive impact in a male-dominated profession in this part of the world today. Adeseye Margaret Abimbola, a resourceful firefighter, is a pragmatic goal-getter driving her commitment and diligence with hard work and professionalism. Her appointment as the first female Director, Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service did not come as a surprise to many of her colleagues in the safety profession who have always admired her competence.

A record-maker with uncommon dedication to the effective implementation of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s safety initiatives as enshrined in his administration’s THEMES Agenda for the Centre of Excellence, Adeseye’s emergence as the Chief Executive of the State Fire and Rescue agency has further laid credence to the increasing capacity and readiness of the Nigerian women to contribute their quota to nation building when nurtured with the necessary education and challenged with developmental assignments.

A thorough-bred professional, playing significant role in Lagos public service, Adeseye’s personal philosophy and experience have helped to bring her name to national reckoning.

An indigene of Eredo in Epe Local Government of the State, Adeseye Abimbola was born forty-five years ago and has equipped herself with a postgraduate degree in Economics from the University of Lagos. This, with the on-the-job professional trainings she had undergone, have prepared her for the position she occupies today.
Responding to the question on philosophies that have guided her to the peak of her career, she said as “a Yoruba woman I believe in the values of omoluabi – that is, respect for elders, for constituted authority, respect for and tolerance of other people’s views. I also believe that nobody knows it all. I believe in team work. These have helped me to relate with and learn from different people over the years.”

Starting her public service career at the Lagos State Fire Service in January 1995, she worked through the ranks and rose to become the Chief Fire Officer in April 2019, and was appointed as Acting Director of the Agency in July 2019. Hardworking and focused, Adeseye’s remarkable performance later earned her the confirmation as the first female substantive Director of the agency in April, 2021.

That the previous Directors of the Service have done a lot to make the Agency a reference among its peers is not in doubt, however, Adeseye Margaret has exhibited the competence, capacity and character required to take the Agency to a higher level. With just 2 years in the saddle, she has taken productive steps that have impacted positively on the morale of the firemen and the overall operation of the Agency, which has further justified her appointment and level of preparedness for the position.

While explaining the factors that have helped her career trajectory, she noted that “Lagos has been blessed with visionary leaders who have shown commitment in protecting lives and properties of the people. And as part of the overall strategy for achieving a prosperous mega city, the Fire Service is being continually improved upon. Meanwhile, since the inception of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration, the Agency has witnessed remarkable progress in its structure and process. This is reflecting in the quality of personnel and firefighting equipment. Our officers and men are highly trained, disciplined and professional, and we have modern and functioning appliances at our disposal.

Given this positive development, my work of providing effective direction and strategic and timely deployment of men and machines has been made easy. In line with the THEMES Agenda of the State Government, we have been doing our best to make Lagos State safe through our improved operations geared towards extinguision, control and prevention of fire outbreak and rescue service. ”

In testament to the state government’s commitment to achieving a safer Lagos, and the Adeseye Margaret-led Agency’s capability to play its role in putting this vision and commitment to work, the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, within the last two years, attended to over 2,600 distress calls and it reduced victims/casualties/fatalities rate by about 59%.

In pursuance of Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s THEMES Agenda, the Fire and Rescue Service was upgraded to an agency status. There has also been an increase in the number of fire stations with the taking over of the Fire Section at the Emergency and Security Regional Centre, Epe, and the construction of additional fire stations at Ajegunle-Apapa and Ebute Elefun, Lagos Island. Added to this is the ongoing construction of additional fire stations at Ijede-Ikorodu, Oworonshoki-Kosofe and Ijegun Egba-Satellite Town. This has further expanded the coverage of the Agency and reduced its emergency response time. Apart from this, lands have been acquired at Yaba, Abule-Ado and Oto-Ijanikin for the next set of construction.

Also, existing fire stations are undergoing renovation while the Agency’s Headquarters and Lekki Phase 1 Fire Station are undergoing reconstruction. 18 firefighting trucks have been resuscitated and procurement process of 62 fire-fighting vehicles of various brands is almost completed. For high rise buildings fire emergencies, fire-fighting drones have also been procured, and fuel dump has been constructed to service the Agency’s fleet.

Apart from the continuous training of its personnel, the Adeseye-led Agency recruited 100 firemen in 2020 to boost its staff strength in order to enhance its operations. Beyond this, the personnel welfare has been prioritized since she assumed office. It is not surprising that under her leadership, the Service has received hundreds of appreciation and commendation letters from corporate organizations and private individuals.
An amiable woman with a lion heart, Mrs. Margret Adeseye is a recipient of many awards from reputable bodies in appreciation of her life-saving engagements.

DR. KEHINDE NWANI: Visionary, Social Entrepreneur, Passionate for National Transformation

Dr. (Mrs.) Kehinde Nwani is a social entrepreneur who has a passion for national transformation and believes that education can be used as a viable tool for societal development. She began her career as a lawyer obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) over 35 years ago and was called to the Nigerian bar thereafter. She practiced law for about 14 years before deciding to follow her lifelong passion of becoming an educationist.

Today, she holds a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Nottingham and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Leicester, both in the United Kingdom. Her expertise is in the area of Educational Effectiveness, with an emphasis on Teacher Quality and School Transformation.

Kehinde Nwani founded Meadow Hall, an educational group with a vision of being a leading educational conglomerate in West Africa. The group’s core values are Godliness, Excellence and Transformation. Today, the Meadow Hall Group is a parent company to several subsidiaries including Meadow Hall School, Meadow Hall Consult, Meadow Hall Resources and Spring Meadow, an edutainment company.

She is also the Founder, Meadow Hall College of Education, a private institute that offers Professional Diploma in Education and an NCE program, a Finishing School for teachers as well as a Research Centre. Her passion for leadership led her to establish the Meadow Hall Leadership Academy where school leaders are groomed for effective and instructional leadership. 

A certified John Maxwell Leadership Coach, Trainer and Speaker, Dr. Nwani runs Mastermind Sessions for Leaders once every quarter and coaches top level executives on Leadership.

Out of her desire for uniform opportunities for the Nigerian child, she established Meadow Hall Foundation and co-founded the Education Reform and Innovation Team (ERIT). These ‘not for profit’ organisations focus on transformative initiatives in public and low-cost private schools. 

Her passion for the nation made her accept the invitation to serve as a member of the Ogun State Government Transition Committee (Education, Youth, and Sport) in 2019.

Mrs. Nwani has delivered papers on selected topical issues which include Teacher Professional Development, Personal Effectiveness, School Improvement, 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth for Leaders, The Leaders Greatest Return, Effective Human Resource in Whole School Strategy, 21st Century Learning, Building and leading a 21st century school, Building and Sustaining a Successful Education Business, Learning and Development Toolkits, amongst others.

Her non-profit Initiative, A Beautiful Life by Kenny, was born from a desire to help women reach their full potential as they lead their everyday lives. Based on the Biblical Deborah, who was a maternal figure, a warrior, a ruler, a prophetess, a wife, and a fearless patriot, the purpose of the Initiative is to raise women who are God chasers, mothers, wives, career/ business people, and nation builders after God’s heart. A Beautiful Life by Kenny also serves as a mentorship platform for several young women.

She is happily married to Mr. Andy Nwani for over 30 years, and they are blessed with three wonderful children.

In this special edition focused on “Nigeria’s Most Outstanding and Impactful Women in Leadership”, Dr. Mrs. Kehinde Nwani responded to a couple of questions from The Guardian bothering on her selection as one of. Excepts…  

What would you describe as the greatest passion that has brought you this far in your career?

What has brought me this far is passion and purpose. I strongly believe these two are interwoven. For example, my purpose as a nation builder is driven by passion, which keeps me going when the going inevitably gets tough. Passion gives me the “E & E factor” (Energy and Excellence) and acts as a boost for all that I do. It sustains my excitement and enthusiasm for my work and invariably helps me achieve my goals.

Passion keeps me innovating and coming up with creative ideas and keeps me learning. Trust me, I am never bored and truly love my life and what I do as a leader, an educationist and a social entrepreneur. 

Given the prevailing harsh economic environment, especially with the ongoing pandemic how can you describe your experience in the last few years as regards your role in the running of the Meadow Hall Group in particular, and the industry where you operate, in general?

As most people know, the education sector (like every other sector), was seriously affected at the height of the pandemic. Whilst being one of the few schools that already had resources in place and had been offering blended learning even before the pandemic, the move to full remote learning in a heartbeat wasn’t easy. It meant quite a lot of rapid changes including reorientation for teachers, students and parents, as well as huge investments in upgrading our technology. This wasn’t a walk in the park, but we thank God for the huge successes we recorded inspite of these challenges.

During this period, school leaders, students and parents in our school as well as across the globe demonstrated incredible tenacity, flexibility and commitment as we all quickly adapted to remote learning. Today, most schools are back to in-person learning but in Meadow Hall, we are very deliberate about not going back to our pre-covid ways, but rather retaining what we call the “gains of covid” – such as ease of holding meetings, a deeper use of technology, not just as a means of transmission but as an incredible tool for collaboration, engagement and connectivity.

As a leader in the past two years, especially with COVID-19, I had to lead with strength and conviction. I learnt to give hope and direction to my team during a period of great uncertainty. The socio-emotional state of not just learners, but of the parents and staff became paramount and so being empathetic and understanding became even more important. I had to dig deep into my own reservoir of tenacity, resilience and courage, drawing strength from my faith in God. 

Of course, runaway inflation caused by the very harsh economic environment, (especially where there has been very little or no support at all from the government) makes running a business much harder than ever before.

From historical records, Women are known for seeking ways to educate, empower and contribute to society; can you say that womenfolk are performing up to expectation in Nigeria?

Let me start with this, some weeks back I was at a Women In Management and Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ) dinner and the core of the attendees were women (as expected) but it was not just the attendance that got me, but the calibre of the women that caught my attention; women with strong values who have attained top positions in their career through hard work and dedication. Women who are well rounded, who do not put ambition before family and other important things, but rather, understand that “you can build a nest and still fly”. This simply means that you can have a family and still impact the world.

Therefore, I can boldly say that a lot is being done by women, not just for themselves but also in creating opportunities for the younger generation through various mentorship initiatives. A lot of us are educating, empowering other women and contributing hugely to our society.

In summary, we might not yet be operating optimally but we are certainly not lying low. However, there’s still a lot to be done and can be achieved, and this will require more collaboration rather than working in silos. There are too many different pockets of initiatives – if we could merge, we would make greater impact and society will be better for it.

In your own opinion, what other qualities do you think are required or needed for a woman to make it to the top in Nigeria?

In my opinion, there aren’t different qualities required for women to make it to the top in Nigeria. By the top, I believe you are referring to the highest position in the country, that is, the presidency. The same qualities are needed for both men and women to make it to and be effective at the top, be it in leading the nation or an organisation. 

A transformational approach to leadership comes tops on the list of qualities. A transformational leader is one who is not only capable and intelligent, but also inspirational. Other soft skills required in being an effective leader are active listening, strong emotional intelligence, and empathy.

Also, a leader who would make it to the top must be equipped with 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills. All these skills and more are needed to crack the top spot.

How well can you describe the implementation of the affirmative action in the country and what other limitations can you ascribe to the seemingly slow progress in the ascendancy of a woman as Number One Citizen in the country?

Nigeria’s 35% affirmative action as enshrined in the National Gender Policy of 2006 aligns with Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals specifically targeted at achieving gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.  Definitely, as a country, we have not hit the target yet, but it is indeed encouraging to see that there’s more awareness and appreciation of the integral role women play in nation-building. In the private sector, the recent appointment of several women leaders as Bank Managing Directors and Board Chairs is a clear indication that the era of relegating and stereotyping women only to certain career levels is over. It’s this kind of representation we hope to see across the arms of government and even within the political space. 

Women also, must be willing to step forward boldly and take the lead. The change we desire in our country and the transformation we pray for requires all hands on deck.

What efforts are you making to create more awareness on the inherent power of success factors in women for the sake of aspiring young Nigerians?

I am very passionate about mentoring young women and I do this through A Beautiful Life by Kenny which provides leadership training, workshops, mentoring, and coaching programs, I provide guidance to women leaders and aspiring leaders to help them reach their full potential. In addition, as a social and educational entrepreneur with a love for education reform and teacher education, it has become increasingly crucial for me to make knowledge on educational reforms and excellent practices more widely available. These, and a lot more, can be found on my website:

DR. (MRS.) FUNMI BABINGTON-ASHAYE: Seasoned Insurance Practitioner, Committed To Raising Leaders Through Mentorship

One of the rare women that cannot be disregarded whenever the roll call of Nigerian women whose professional engagements and exemplary lifestyle have helped in raising the bars of productivity and excellence in the nation’s corporate world within the last 20 years is made, is Dr. (Mrs.) Funmi Babington-Ashaye.

The fourth child of Pa Alfred Akinbami and Madam Esther Akinbami (both of blessed memory), Mrs. Funmi Babington-Ashaye, was raised in a disciplined Christian home, where love, honesty and hard work were inculcated. Despite being born without a silver spoon, these values helped her to live with focus and integrity, and subsequently drove her high intellect into prominence. 

Graduating as the best student in the Department of Insurance, Lagos State Polytechnic for her Higher National Diploma, she started her career from Royal Exchange Assurance PLC and later moved to Cornerstone Insurance PLC, where she rose to become the company’s CEO.

An alumnus of the Lagos Business School, Fellow, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), member, Institute of Directors, and former President of CIIN and of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Lagos Branch, and member, Ikoyi Club, she later worked as the CEO of Nixon Insurance PLC, before setting up her insurance broking firm.

Determined to rise above her humble background and the cultural milieu, which limited the achievements of many of the women of her generation, Dr. Babington-Ashaye did not just equipped her mind with quality education, she guided her path with good principles and looked up to genuine achievers as her role models. 

Today, it is not a surprise that she has not only distinguished herself through diligent application of hard work and continuous pursuit of excellence, but has continued to put her name on the lips of those who value her competence, integrity, conscious approach to life, and patriotic commitment to common good and nurturing of future leaders, through the FBA Foundation.

In this interview having been recognised as one of “Nigeria’s Most Outstanding and Impactful Women in Leadership”, the seasoned insurance practitioner, Founder, FBA Foundation and CEO, Risk Analyst Insurance Brokers Limited, speaks on her background, impactful career progression, Risk Analyst Insurance Brokers Limited’s success factors, among other pertinent issues. 

Principles attributable to career success

These include the desire to lend a helping hand, openness, transparency and a commitment to sustain the trust of clients. Naturally, insurance is about trust – selling an intangible asset for a promised protection. When the unexpected happens, you must be there to comfort and reassure the client (the insured) that “all will be well”. No excuses. The insured must be supported and restored to his/her previous situation as promised in the insurance policy. 

In all my dealings with underwriters and the insured (both potential and existing), I remain open and transparent to earn their trust. Therefore, what has brought me thus far, is commitment to and delivery of excellent service based on trust. I walk my talk

Role Models 

Growing up, many women inspired me. Among them was the Late Mrs. Efuntiloye Mabel Williams (nee Coker), wife of Mr. Akintola Williams, CBE CFR, FCA (Doyen of the Accountancy Profession in Africa). Her simplicity and homely nature were infectious. In spite of her rich background, she gave her all to support her husband to build the Akintola Williams & Co, Nigeria’s first indigenous Accountancy firm. She loved her family and neighbours and served God faithfully. Her honesty and commitment to societal good were unparalleled. 

Others are: Dr. Stella Chinyelu Okoli, OON, Chief Executive Officer, Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, for her doggedness, commitment to professionalism and bold foray into manufacturing; Chief Dr. (Mrs.) Onikepo Akande, CON, former two-term Minister of Industry, and a quintessential serial entrepreneur; Chief (Mrs). Eniola Fadayomi, OON, Chairman, Atlantic Secondary School, former Commissioner, Lagos State, and Board Member of many companies. 

These Amazons represented, and still represent the ideal and best of womanhood as they espoused the values of integrity, hardwork, and professional excellence.  

Making a name in the male-dominated corporate world

It has not been easy surviving and making a breakthrough. The business environment has been harsh and difficult, particularly because underwriters sell intangible, but useful, service. There are challenges but as someone who has served and led in various board rooms, I have been able to leverage my experience to overcome. 

Learning the ropes is key. Let me seize this opportunity to give credit to my late husband, Prince Adebajo Abiodun Babington-Ashaye, FCA, former President of ICAN, who inspired and prepared me for leadership position. 

When he was alive, each time I had boardroom challenges and critical business decisions to make, we would both sit down, engage and review all aspects of the matters, identify options and zero-in on what the optimum decision and line of action should be. I learnt a lot from him, including people management and how to build inclusive leadership. He would always insist that taking decisions in a hurry could be disastrous. 

His model was: identify the challenge and the contending issues involved; evaluate the various options (and their possible impact) based on available information. Based on the critical assessment and the resources available, take decision by selecting option(s) with optimal benefits. This model has continued to be useful to me.

How Risk Analyst Insurance Brokers Limited became a success 

As a seasoned insurance practitioner, I observed, over the years, that potential policy buyers often do not quite understand the terms and conditions guiding the policy they desire to purchase and how to obtain the benefits when the unexpected occurs. This information gap has been a major challenge stalling the marketing of insurance business. 

After my stint as helmsman at Cornerstone Insurance PLC and NICON Insurance PLC, I had to set up Risk Analyst Insurance Brokers Limited in order to provide this invaluable support to the insurance value chain so that potential policy buyers can easily be supported to make optimum policy choices. 

Our role as Brokers is to break down the policy into simple terms, explain its benefits and shortcomings (if any) and provide the potential policy buyer with rich information to make decisions. We also work with underwriters to develop unique products that will satisfy the needs of some stakeholders.   

The sustained growth of Risk Analyst Insurance Brokers Limited is first and foremost divine. God has been in charge and director of our activities. To give effect to this divine grace, we are a company driven by values. We do not compromise standards and ethics. As noted earlier, Insurance is about trust. Any act that will cast doubt on what we do or represent, is clearly abhorred here. Our people know and adhere to this guiding principle at all times. 

In addition, we regularly engage our stakeholders to feel their pulse about the quality of our services and how best we can serve them more. Based on the feedback, we combine personal touch and professionalism to delight our clients in order to sustain their patronage. 

The establishment of FBA Foundation

The girl-child is an endangered specie that needs to be protected and supported. A well-brought up girl-child will become a supportive wife, mother, governess and career woman in future. Hence, she needs education and skills to excel. Investment in the girl-child must be seen as an investment in the future of the nation because of the long-term impact of this on society. 

Visit market places, street corners, construction sites and bus-stops, you will find women struggling to earn a living by applying themselves to whatever they find to do. They need financial support and mentoring for them to become entrepreneurs. They need training on how to manage businesses. Their micro and small businesses can be supported by financial institutions if they are encouraged to form cooperative societies.  

Women constitute almost 55% of the population and therefore have a great role to play in national development and by extension, nation building. The government must adequately resource the Women Affairs Ministry so that it can play its envisaged role more than it is currently doing. Women Cooperative clusters in various trades need to be created and provided with resources to boost their contributions to the nation’s gross domestic product. 

In pursuance of this, I founded the Funmi Babington-Ashaye (FBA) Foundation on February 8, 2015 with the aim of offering support to indigent and brilliant young ladies to pursue tertiary education, mentoring younger women and those growing in the profession. 

In the last six years, in order to promote excellence in Education in Nigeria, FBA Foundation has successfully given scholarships to eligible students of the University of Lagos, Lagos State Polytechnic and Lisabi Junior and Senior School, Abeokuta, which happens to be my alma mater

To reinforce these initiatives, I also personally mentor female executives, C-suite Ladies at the pinnacle of their career by building and honing their skills to achieve success both at work and at home under the auspices of FBA Foundation Mentorship Program which started in year 2020. 

I am seriously committed to the grooming of the next generation of women entrepreneurs and professionals both in the insurance industry and other sectors because of their invaluable roles in the society. My vision is to raise distinctive leaders globally through this mentorship initiative. 

Guiding girls and young ladies to success

There is no shortcut to success. Young girls, with the guidance of their parents, should think about their career and future, remain focused on their goals and seek mentorship opportunities. They must learn to dress decently too (you will be addressed based on how you dressed) and be wary of the negative influence of peer groups. Show more interest in reading, studying, scanning the environment and envision the type of future they desire and pursue it with their might. 

It is often said that a person’s attitude will determine her altitude. Therefore, they must develop the right values and attitude. Working hard is key; hardwork does not kill. It keeps you trim and indeed, prepares you for better opportunities. When an opportunity comes, you would be ready to grab it with both hands. 

Finally, to succeed, whatever they set out to do must be aimed at solving a problem in society or meeting the needs of specific stakeholders. I encourage them to leverage the opportunities offered by FBA Foundation to achieve their dreams. Let’s do it together for the greater glory of our gender, the nation and the human race.