Vanguard awards

January 3, 2016

Nike Akande: A veritable corporate amazon

Nike Akande: A veritable corporate amazon

*NIke Akande

By Franklin Ali

CHIEF Dr. Mrs. Nike Akande will, Tuesday, clock one month in office. She took over as the second female president of Nigeria’s premier chamber of commerce, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Saturday, December 5, 2015.

A peep into her life and times showed that she was appointed Minister of Industry, Federal Republic of Nigeria in December, 1997 and re-appointed to the same Ministry in August, 1998. This made her a two-time Minister of Industry under different administrations.

She was the first Nigerian woman to become Minister of Industries. This was not surprising to many who knew her as a strong believer in the philosophy that industrialization is the key to economic development, poverty alleviation and eradication, as well as employment generation.

For Chief Akande, therefore, the double opportunity to serve as a minister in the Ministry of Industry was an opportunity to fulfil a passion. Before her appointment as minister, Nike Akande’s professional career had virtually been in the private sector, although she had in the past 25 years been closely involved with government on economic and industrial issues. She is a member of the board of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.

Foundation member

She is also a board member of NEPAD Business Group of Nigeria, a foundation member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and a member of the African Foremost Industrialist, Business and Management Consultant and Nigeria’s first female Minister of Commerce and Industry as well as the Business Roundtable (ABR).

Dr. Mrs. Nike Akande is a Director; PZ Cussons Foundation, Board Member; Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN), Chairman; Academy for Entrepreneurial Studies (AES) Excellence Club, President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), honourary Life Vice President; National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture NACCIMA and President, Pan-African Organization for Women Recognition.

*NIke Akande

*Nike Akande

One of her major achievements in office was the revamping of the Onigbolo Cement Company, a Nigeria-Benin Republic joint venture to its present level of profitability. She also particularly emphasized the adoption and revitalization of Industrial Development Centres (IDCs) across the nation, to support and help the informal sector operators in Nigeria in order to boost industrial productivity. In December 1998, she broadened Nigerians Industrialization effort by successfully signing an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with Romania and Bulgaria – a co-operation which Nigeria is still benefiting from till today.

Dr. Akande was also head of Federal Government delegation to sign the Investment Promotion and Protection agreements with the Governments of Malaysia and South Korea in March 1998 and was also at the Head of Federal Government delegation on Investment Promotion drive to Taiwan on the invitation of the Taiwanese Government in March 1999 among others.

Postgraduate programme

She attended Queen’s School, Ede from 1958-1962 for her secondary education and started her ‘A’ level Programme at Queen’s College, Lagos in 1963, before proceeding to the University Tutorial College London, where she completed her ‘A’ level in 1964. Nike later attended North-Western Polytechnic London now known as University of North London from 1965-1968 where she studied Accountancy. She did her postgraduate programme at the prestigious Harvard Business School, Boston, USA.

She also attended a management development course at Oxford University, United Kingdom, and an advanced Management Course, at International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland. Nike is a patron of many social, professional and trade associations.

Professional and trade associations

She is a member/Director of the Harvard Business School/Alumni Association of Nigeria, Member of the Institute of Directors (IOD), Honorary Life Vice President of NACCIMA, and National Council member of Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN).

She is also the President of the National Association of Nigerian Women in Business (Lagos Chapter), Council member of the Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce; Member of the African Business RoundTable (ABR),Member of Board of PZ Cussons PLC Charitable Foundation.

She is also a member of Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists, Women Wing (NASSI W.W), Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), and Business & Professional Women, Lagos.