Ibukunoluwa Abiodun Awosika (born Bilkisu Abiodun Motunrayo Omobolanle Adekola) is a Nigerian businesswoman, motivational speaker, and author. She was the first female chairman of the First Bank of Nigeria. She has had success in the furniture industry. She is a survivor who has set a new standard for African women! What a man can do, a woman can do much better, as Ibukun has shown.
Early Life and Education
On December 24, 1962, Mr. Abdulmashood Adekola and Hannah Aduke Adekola welcomed Ibukun Awosika into the world. She is the third of seven children from Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
She attended St. Paul African Church Primary School and Methodist Girl’s High School in Yaba, Lagos State. Ibukun Awosika has an MBA from Lagos Business School, an I.E.S.E Business School in Barcelona, Spain, and the Global CEO Programme of the Wharton, IESE, and C.E.I.B.S Business Schools, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife.
During her mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) service in Kano state, Ibukun Awosika worked as an audit trainee at Akintola Williams & Co., which later changed its name to Deloitte, but she returned home and began working as the showroom manager for Alibert Nigeria Ltd. In order to gain independence, she established the furniture manufacturing company Quebees Limited in 1989. Following a joint merger with SOKOA S.A. and Guaranty Trust Bank in 2004, the company’s name was changed to The Chair Centre Limited, and then to SOKOA Chair Centre Limited.
In 2011, she co-founded the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre, a career center established to combat Nigeria’s high unemployment rate. Ibukun was appointed First Bank of Nigeria’s first female chairman after Prince Ajibola Afonja stepped down on September 7, 2015.
Other Career Accomplishments
Ibukun, a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative, Aspen Global Leadership Network, Institute of Directors, and Society for Corporate Governance Nigeria, hopes to use her projects to help her beloved country’s greatness by encouraging entrepreneurs to fill the many jobs that the large number of unemployed young people currently lack. She is a member of the National Job Creation Committee (NCJC), the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), and the IESE Business School’s International Advisory Board in Barcelona, Spain.
Ibukun serves on the boards of several for-profit and non-profit organizations, including the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, and the International Convention on Business Integrity (CBI). She is the chairperson of the board of the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC), a facility she founded to assist Nigerian teenagers with job and business challenges. She was the chairman of three companies: Kakawa Discount House Limited, FBN Capital Limited, and FBN Life Assurance Limited.
Ibukun is a co-founder and former chairman of Women in Business, Management, and Public Service (WIMBIZ) with a strong interest in social issues and women. She is a credentialed preacher and the founder of the Christian Missionary Fellowship. Ibukun, through this religious organization, changed lives by providing medical, educational, and other resources to hundreds of missionaries spread across Nigeria.
Ibukun Awosika, a multi-award-winning businesswoman, became the first Nigerian to receive the prestigious International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge Award in 2008 as a US Department of State recipient.
When she was younger, Ibukun Awosika wanted to be an architect, a lawyer, and an accountant, among other things. Because she was so determined to become a lawyer, she made every effort to enter law school while majoring in chemistry at Obafemi Awolowo University. When that didn’t work out, she decided to become an accountant and began taking accounting classes at the university while also studying chemistry.
She is married to Abiodun Awosika and they have three children: Oludola, Olafusika, and Olamiposi. Abiodun Awosika, her spouse, is the CEO of Excel Exploration & Production Company Limited.
She triumphs as a woman in her marriage as well. She assists her husband in being the best he can be, and he in turn supports her aspirations and dreams. In an interview, she stated that no matter how good her job is, her husband and family are the most important things to her. There is mutual love and support, which has helped to keep her family together.
In her spare time, Ibukun Awosika enjoys watching legal and investigative television shows.
Impact and Influence
In addition to her professional accomplishments, Ibukun serves as a pastor at the Fountain of Life Church, where Pastor Taiwo Odukoya serves as the senior pastor, and she founded the Christian Missionary Fund, an organisation whose goal is to raise money for Christian missionaries all around the nation.
- The Girl Entrepreneur: The board is made up of the most accomplished women in each of the industries represented. It was created on the premise that women supporting women is the greatest way to create opportunities for one another. By giving their time and experience to support female entrepreneurs, each person makes use of their expertise.
- WimBiz: A nonprofit group called Women in Management, Business, and Public Service (WIMBIZ) has been implementing initiatives to encourage, amplify, and promote the representation of women in leadership roles in the public and commercial sectors.
- The Convention on Business Integrity (CBI) was formally established in 1997 in order to strengthen business transactions in and within Nigeria against corruption and dishonest practices. The goal is to transform society such that there is a clear zero-tolerance for corruption and dishonest practices and instead foster international relationships that can lead to meaningful exchange.
The business magnate is also a writer who has authored more than five books. She earns from the sales of her books and at the same time, suggests business solutions and ideas to her readers. Her books include:
- The “Girl” Entrepreneurs
- Business His Way
- The ‘Girl’ Entrepreneurs: Our Stories So Far
- My Thoughts in Quotes
- The “Girls” in the Boardroom
Ibukun Awosika was one of five Nigerian entrepreneurs that took part in the first African Dragon’s Den in 2008, where entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to investors in the hopes of securing finance. She is the host of “Business His Way,” a television show. She was the producer of the hugely successful film “God Calling.” She also appeared alongside Temi Otedola in the Kunle Afolayan-directed film 2020 “Citation.”
Awards and Nominations
- 2005 THISDAY Newspaper’s Annual Merit Award nomination for Entrepreneur of the Year
- 2005 nomination for the Success Digests Magazine’s Annual Enterprise Award’s Female Entrepreneur of the Year honour
- The Financial Standard and the Pan-African Organisation for Women’s Recognition nominated her for the Best Female Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2006.
- In 2006, the FATE Foundation Awards presented the FATE Model Entrepreneur Award of the Year.
- 2007 International Women’s Society Awards: Golden Heart Award
- Award for the 2008 International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge
- 2015 YNaija Person of the Year nominations
- Forbes Woman Africa Chairperson Award; Africa’s Forbes Woman Awards 2020
Ibukun Awosika has built a good amount of wealth for herself since she became an entrepreneur. Her estimated net worth is said to be $18.6 million.