Aisha Abubakar – Independent Non-Executive Director, Union Bank of Nigeria

Aisha Abubakar is an accomplished public sector administrator with over 30 years of professional working experience in public service and pension administration, investment banking, SME Finance/Rural enterprise development and micro-credit administration.

She currently serves as an independent non-executive director of the Board of Directors for Union Bank of Nigeria, where she executes her role as a board member providing oversight over the bank’s management and operations.

Prior to her appointment by Union Bank in 2021, she served in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet from 2015-2019. She was first appointed as the Honourable Minister for Industry, Trade, and Investment (2015-2018) before going on to serve as the Honourable Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development (2018-2019) in the Federal Executive Council.

During her tenure in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Abubakar provided administrative guidance which saw her pioneer several progressive and innovative reforms toward national development. This included actively providing recommendations on industrialisation with particular emphasis on micro, small and medium enterprises development. She also served as a member of several federal government committees and councils like the Nigeria Industrial Policy & Competitiveness Advisory Council, National Council Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, and Economic Management Team. As a minister, she focused on reforms in the Cotton, Textiles & Garment (CTG) sector serving as Vice Chair, of the committee on the implementation of the CTG Policy. Her renewed “Made in Nigeria Campaign” led to the pronouncement of Executive Order III (EOO3) to encourage local content in government procurement.

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At the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, she continued to advance the cause of Nigerian women by partnering with the Ministry of Finance to get approval from the federal executive council for the ‘Nigeria for Women Project’. She was also head of the Nigerian delegation to the 63rd Common Status on Women meeting, held on March 2019 at the United Nations in New York

Aisha has also led and administered various pensions directorates in the federal government like the Customs, Immigrations, Prisons Pensions Department (CIPPD). In her role as a director in CIPPD, she redesigned and planned the nationwide Customs, Immigration, and Prisons Pensions Department verification exercise of over 13, 000 pensioners, deployed a vibrant payment system of the pension administration of the three para-military services which enhanced the speed and efficiency of payment of pension benefits and reduced by 50% the attrition rate between executive management and pensioners through critical stakeholder engagement.

She’s a Fellow of the International Professional Managers Association (IPMA-UK), and the President of the International Experts Consultants (IEC-UK). She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics with International Studies from the University of Warwick and a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Leeds in England.

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