Ibukun Awosika makes being a woman enviable. A well rounded individual in character, intellect and enterprise, she is one heck of a woman and many women look up to her. When her appointment as the the First Female Chairman for First Bank was announced some days ago, numerous congratulations, prayers and goodwill messages from friends, entrepreneurs and well-wishers poured on all her social media platform TLs because Ibukun Awosika’s life inspires us all and we are glad that First Bank of Nigeria was able to go beyond all conventional limits and recognize this amazing woman as the leader the bank needs to take them to the next level starting January 1, 2016.
Ibukun Awosika was born in Ibadan on the 26th of December, 1962 to the Adekola’s family. She is the third child of a family of seven born to a Nigerian father and a Cameroonian mother. She was born into a moslem family. She performed excellently well in school; and won the Dotun Okubanjo prize for the most outstanding student from Methodist Girls High School. She holds a BSc. in Chemisty from Obafemi Awolowo University and is an alumna of the Chief Executive Programme at the Lagos Business School and the Global Executive MBA programme from IESE Business School, Barcelona.
During her youth service, she worked at Akintola Williams & Co. now Delloite as an Audit Trainee. She also had a three month internship with Alibert Nigeria Ltd, a furniture company as a Showroom manager. She was 25 when she left to start her own furniture manufacturing company, which was first named Quebees Ltd but now The Chair Center Limited.
The Chair Center Limited under her leadership has grown to become a market leader in the office furniture and banking security systems industries. Its factory and office facility for the production of standard office seating is located in Lekki. It started with the local production of 13 of the 400 possible models of the Sokoa SA, France furniture collection. As a result of the ban on importation on furniture in 2004, she became the MD/CEO of Sokoa Chair Center Limited which is a joint venture between The Chair Center Limited, Sokoa SA of France and Guaranty Trust Bank. In 2006, Furniture Manufacturers’ Mart was established in 2006 while The Chair Center Limited has expanded into Accra and Tinapa in Calabar, Nigeria.
She is an ordained pastor of The Fountain of Life Church. She is also the founder of Christian missionary fund, a non-governmental body dedicated to raising support for Christian missionaries across the country. She is the immediate past Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Women In Management and Business (WIMBIZ), a position she held for two years. She founded the Afterschool Graduate Development Center (AGDC), a national career center in Lagos, Nigeria in 2007 to address the high rates of underemployment in the country by making Nigerian graduates employable and good assets to the economy.
Ibukun Awosika is an international speaker and a female gender promoter on International Women’s Preternatural Challenge (IWEC). She is also a formidable woman in the boardroom. She is a member of the governing board of the Convention on Business Integrity. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Digital Jewels Ltd. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Cadbury Plc.
She was recently appointed to the board of the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund. She is a member of the Lagos State University’s governing council and a member of the National Economic Summit Group (NESG). She has also served on the National Job Creation Committee and the Corporate Governance Committee for NNPC.
Ibukun Awosika is an awesome TV personality we all love to watch; being the host of the popular television programme, Business His Way. On it, she shares ethical business values and principles with the business community in Nigeria and other neighboring countries using the scriptures. The show is presently shown on 7 TV stations. She is also a host on Ignite TV and on Dragon’s Den.
She has won several awards such as Female Entrepreneur of the Year, 2005, FATE Model Entrepreneur Award 2006, Golden Heart Awards 2007, Award of Leadership Excellence 2008. She is the author of two books “The ‘Girl’ Entrepreneurs: Our Stories So Far” and “Business His Way”
She is happily married and blessed with three wonderful sons. She is only 52.
Connect Nigeria congratulates Ibukun Awosika on her well deserved appointment as Chairman, First Bank Plc.