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Ibukun Awosika- The New Face of First Bank of Nigeria Holdings (FBNH).

Ibukun Awosika

Ibukun Awosika’s voice is heard strong and resounding, her moves calculated and deliberate and her eyes always focused on her calling.

A lady with an uncommon grace and unrelenting drive; Mrs. Ibukun Awosika is one of the African Amazons who continue to push existing boundaries to create room for other women in Africa and make the continent better and more prosperous.

Born into a middle class family, Awosika holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), an MBA from IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain and is an alumna of the Lagos Business School Chief Executive Programme.

She is the founder of The Chair Centre Ltd, a market leader in the office furniture and banking security systems industries. In 2005, the leading lady was appointed the MD/CEO of Sokoa Chair Centre Ltd, a joint-venture company she promoted with Sokoa S.A of France, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, The Chair Centre Ltd, and some local investors after the ban on importation of furniture by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2004.

Ibukun Awosika

A go-getter and motivational leader, Awosika served as the past president of Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ), and multiple award-winning entrepreneur (FATE Model Entrepreneur Award for 2006; International Women Entrepreneurship award for 2008), Awosika sits on several boards including, The Convention on Business Integrity (CBI), Cadbury Nigeria Plc, First Bank Nigeria Plc., FBN Life Assurance and is member of Lagos State University’s Governing Council. She is also a fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and the host of a popular TV programme, Business – His Way, where she shares ethical business values and principles, distilled from the word of God, with the business community in Nigeria.

Ibukun Awosika is also an ordained Pastor at the fountain of life church and founder of the Christian Missionary Fund; a platform through which she works with hundreds of missionaries spread across Nigeria to change lives through provision of medical, educational, and other supplies.

Even with such an amazing résumé, the power lady has no plans to take things slow. For her, each day is a new opportunity to improve, overcome new challenges and inch closer to her goal.

Ibukun Awosika

As expected of one so focused and devoted to her commission, Awosika has risen through the ranks to become a highly sought after personality in her field.  Just recently, she was appointed the chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Holdings (FBNH), making her the first female Chairman of the bank. Awosika’s rise to this elevated position, marks the latest feat in a career that began on a tough path.

Despite the challenges and setbacks she encounters on her journey, the Amazon stands strong, with her eyes on her goal; giving hope to many.

To the young and aspiring, she leaves this priceless counsel:

“My challenge to you is that whether you produce one product or a thousand; make the best of the best from number one so that if you get to the last, it would still represent the best that you are capable of doing. When you deal with one customer, do the right thing. You don’t know the “small” customer who buys a small thing today. You might think you know him because he’s a small man – tell me who knows the future of any man? The man you deal with today may turn up in 5 or 10 years time, based on your service he could come to order 5,000 or 10,000 units of what he bought from you.

Your investment in people matters. The people I dealt with many years ago- doing their babies’ chairs and beds, are still around. Even when I said I was not doing any house furniture again, people thought I was crazy. In Nigeria, everybody does everything. They think you increase your chances of making more money than limiting yourself to office furniture. But I stood my ground. Sometimes you have to take a hard decision and when you take such decision, you have to stand by it. It’s not everybody who sees what you are seeing.” {}

Lovelyn Okafor
Lovelyn Okafor
Lovelyn Okafor is a Journalist/Writer, Poet, Lawyer and God-Lover. She enjoys a good read and sees everyday as an opportunity to live and enjoy her calling whilst working towards perfecting it. She believes that someday soon, Africa will reach her full potential as the light-bearer of the world. You can find her on Twitter: @lovelyn_o

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