• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Women in Business- Maryam Uwais

Maryam Uwais

Maryam Uwais, MFR is the current Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investments. She is a legal practitioner and human rights activist with over 36 years cognate law practice experience including the Kano State Ministry of Justice, the Nigerian Law Reform Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria. She served as a Principal Partner of Wali Uwais & Co, an Abuja-based law firm. Established in 2003, Wali-Uwais & Co. is a leading full-service law firm within the capital city, Abuja – Nigeria.

Uwais studied at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1981 and obtained an LLM in 1985. She was awarded a certificate in Advanced Practice and Procedure in 1985 and Legal Drafting in 1989, from the Nigeria Institute for Advanced Legal Studies.

Before serving as a Principal Partner of Wali Uwais & Co, she had served on the Council of the National Human Rights Commission, where she also worked as Special Rapporteur on Child Rights; the Board of the Justice Research Institute, the Kukah Centre as well as the Coalition Against Tobacco, amongst others.

She also served on state, federal and continental committees such as The Kano State Almajiri Committee, President Goodluck  Johnathan’s Presidential Advisory Council, The Northern Nigeria Governor’s Committee on Reconciliation, Security Healing, as well as the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child for five years.

She founded the Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative in December 2009, which targets the conditions of women and children in education, healthcare and empowerment.

Maryam Uwais has also worked as a consultant to the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, UNICEF, the World Bank, and DfID. She has written and published several articles on economic and social rights, interfaith dialogue, child justice administration and good governance.

She was before her appointment, a Non-Executive Director and Member of Board of Directors of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC. She was also a member of the Editorial Board of Thisday newspapers.

Maryam prepared the working paper on Justice Sector Reform, (September 2001) circulated to stakeholders nation-wide, (for support and responses) as the initiative of the civil society and the NBA.

She received the National Honour of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) by President Goodluck Johnathan GCFR in 2011.

In the same 2011, she was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the International Women’s Society.

She was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award for contributions to equity, justice and human rights in Nigeria, by the Business and Professional Women in Nigeria Association in 2012.

In 2013, she was given an award by The Nigerian Human Rights Community in appreciation of her contributions as Member of The African Union Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

She was a National Human Rights Commission Awardee for Outstanding Contributions in the Advancement of the Rights of Women and Children in Nigeria in 2015.

On key transactions, she provided a broad range of legal advice to the Central Bank of Nigeria on licencing of banks and bureau de change, critical policy-making, implementation, and enforcement of relevant laws and regulations for financial institutions.

She also provided legislative drafting and reviewing services and preparing Bills for enactment into law for the Nigerian Law Reform Commission.

Maryam acted on behalf of the Federal and State Governments in an action against Tobacco Companies in Nigeria, to prohibit the marketing, promotion, distribution and sale of tobacco and tobacco-related products to minors, or within a one-kilometer radius of minor populated vicinity.

She spearheaded the private placement of a major northern financial institution for 40,000,000,000.00 (Forty-Billion Naira) Ordinary Shares of 50kobo each at N0.50 per share.

She was a  lead solicitor on a major Cement Company Mandatory Tender Offer bid for up to 927,008,065 Ordinary Shares of 50 Kobo each (representing a 41.39% Equity Interest to minority Shareholders of the company).