BusinessDay

Meet the three amazons on NNPC’s board

With its recent transition to a commercial venture, all eyes are on the new board of the newly incorporated Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) as the company seeks to ensure strict compliance with corporate governance principles that place a premium on doing business with the highest ethical standards.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on January 5, 2022, appointed the board and management of the NNPC, in accordance with the power vested in him under Section 59(2) of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.

Members of the board include Margret Okadigbo (chairman), Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer and Umar I. Ajiya, chief financial officer.

Others are Tajudeen Umar, Lami O. Ahmed, Mohammed Lawal, Henry Obih, Harry Marshal, and Pius Akinyelure.

Below are the profiles of the three female members of the NNPC board.

Margery Okadigbo

Margery Okadigbo is the current chairman of the Board of Directors of the NNPC Limited, and principal partner of Margery C. Okadigbo & Associates, with more than 40 years of experience implementing strategic policies and leading complex, high-growth organisations, and projects through rapid expansion throughout Nigeria.

Upon completion of her law degree at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1981, she was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1982.

Okadigbo attended the prestigious George Washington University, USA where she obtained her Master’s Degree in Law, specialising in Comparative International Law and Negotiations.

She is a notary public of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and served as the senator for the Anambra North Senatorial District of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 2011 to 2015 and is an experienced lawyer, businesswoman, and legislator.

She was the vice-chairman of the Health Committee and a member of numerous committees such as SURE-P, Environment, Judiciary, FCT, Aviation, and Constitutional Review.

As the vice-chairman health committee, she played a key role in restructuring the healthcare industry by co-sponsoring the National Health Bill 2004 and lobbied for a bipartisan effort to improve the healthcare system in Nigeria.

She was also a member of the Senate Committee on Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Program (SURE-P) focused on strategically reinvesting oil subsidy savings on critical infrastructure programs and social safety net programs.

As part of her professional development, she obtained professional certificates in high-performance leadership, decision-making, and strategic programming at prestigious universities like Harvard University, Georgetown University, and the University of Chicago’s Booth Business School.

Lami Onayi Ahmed


Lami Ahmed is a director at NNPC Limited with over 30 years of working experience covering the entire value chain of the oil and gas industry.

She holds three Master’s degrees in Managerial Psychology, Business Administration, and Social Work in addition to her first degree in Marketing, which she earned with a strong academic background.

She is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management, African Business School, Institute for Social Work and Cue iatric studies, and Certified Institute of Development studies.

In 2021, Ahmed was conferred with a Doctorate Degree in public administration (Honoris Causa) by the Africa Institute for Public Administration (AIPA), Ghana, in partnership with the London Bridge Business School, United Kingdom. She was also inducted as a fellow of the institute and was also certified as a Leadership Solution Strategy Expert.

Read also: NNPC to list on stock exchange mid-2023, says Kyari

Ahmed is a social worker, well-travelled, and a member of the International Association of Lions Clubs where she rose through the ranks of leadership to become the Multiple Council Chairperson MD 404 Nigeria (Number One Lion) 2018/2019.

Her enthusiasm and dedication to helping the less fortunate have inspired her to establish the non-governmental charitable organization Lift Up Care Foundation to meet the needs of the underprivileged, with an emphasis on women, girl-children, youth, and the elderly groups.

She is a lover of sport and a great golfer who also rose to the position of lady captain of the prestigious IBB International Golf and Country Club.

Constance Onukwugha

Constance Onukwugha is a legal professional and director at NNPC Limited with over 28 years of experience in corporate law.

Onukwugha was born in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, South-South of Nigeria, and she holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Law (LLB, Hons) from the University of Ibadan, 1994, a Bachelor of Law from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, 1995, and a diploma in human resources management from the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, Nigeria.

She also served as a State Counsel for the Rivers State Ministry of Justice before taking a position as Director of Human Resources Management at Forthright Integrated Services Limited.

In this role, she was in charge of preserving the best organisational structure for the company’s goals and objectives while also ensuring that staff members’ personal and professional goals were appropriately balanced.

In 2013, she set up her own law and estate management firm, Constance Harry & Co., where she is the principal partner and chief executive officer to date.