Ibukun Awosika: Mother, Mentor, Mogul

Born on December 24th 1962, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika had her primary education in Ibadan and Lagos. She then proceeded to Methodist Girls High School, Yaba for her secondary school education where she got involved in many activities such as sports, debate and singing amongst others. She obtained excellent academic results, finishing with a Grade 1 and wining the Dotun Okubanjo prize for the most outstanding student. Thereafter, she gained admission to University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) to study Chemistry. Mrs. Ibukun Awosika graduated with a BSc. in Chemistry from the University of Ife (now OAU). She is an alumna of the Chief Executive Programme of Lagos Business School and the Global Executive MBA Programme of the prestigious IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain.

Ibukun started her working career with Akintola Williams & Co. (now Deloitte) as an Audit Trainee during her national youth corps service. Thereafter, she worked at Alibert Nigeria Ltd, a furniture company, as Showroom Manager. Three and a half months after her employment, she resigned her position to set up her own furniture manufacturing company, Quebees Ltd, from which The Chair Centre Ltd later evolved.

She is the Founder and Chairperson of The Chair Centre Ltd, a market leader in the office furniture and banking security systems industries. After the ban on importation of furniture by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2004, The Chair Centre Ltd went into a joint venture with Sokoa S.A of France and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc to set up Sokoa Chair Centre Ltd., and she was appointed the MD/CEO of the joint-venture company.

In addition, she independently established another ultra-modern furniture facility, Furniture Manufacturers´ Mart in Lagos in the latter part of 2006.

She is the host of a popular television programme, Business His Way, where she shares ethical business values and principles, distilled from The Holy Bible, with the business community in Nigeria and neighboring countries. She is an ordained pastor of The Fountain of Life Church and the Founder of Christian Missionary Fund, a non-governmental body dedicated to raising support for Christian missionaries across the country.

Ibukun is the immediate past Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ), an organization committed to elevating the profile of women in management and business.

She sits on a number of boards, notable among which are: First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Cadbury Plc, Digital Jewels Ltd, The Convention on Business Integrity, and Youths Business Initiative (a project of Prince Charles organization: Prince Trust). Adding a feather to her hat, she is also the first female chairman of First Bank of Nigeria PLC.

She founded the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC), a national career centre in Lagos, Nigeria, which was set up in September 2007 to address the high rates of unemployment in the country by making Nigerian graduates employable and good assets to the economy.

As a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and Aspen Global Leadership network, Ibukun aspires to use her opportunities in life to further the greatness of her country which she loves, through her projects which involve raising entrepreneurs to create jobs for the large youthful unemployed population.

Ibukun is a multiple award winning entrepreneur and the First Nigerian recipient in 2008 of the prestigious International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) Award as a nominee of the US Department of State. She is married to Abiodun Oludola Awosika, and their marriage is blessed with three sons.

 

cc TheNewInsider

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