In his manifesto document, President Bola Tinubu promised to increase women’s representation in government to at least 35% of all government positions, and right now, everyone’s watching closely to see if he keeps to his word.
On July 27, 2023, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, received the ministerial list from the presidential office. This list contained 28 names, seven of which were women. And while we still await the second half of the ministerial list, so far, 25% of the nominees are women.
Who Are These Women?
Hannatu hails from Katsina state and is a lawyer, politician and writer. She got her law degree from the University of Buckingham, United Kingdom, and Master’s degrees in the Legal Aspects of Marine Affairs from the University of Cardiff, Wales, and Oil and Gas Law from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Before her ministerial nomination, she served as the Deputy Spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (APC PCC). And in June 2023, she was appointed the Special Adviser on Culture and Entertainment Economy to the President.
Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim is a politician and businesswoman who served as the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) from December 2020 to May 2021.
Prior to her ministerial nomination, she currently holds the position of the Honourable Federal Commissioner of the National Commissioner for Refugees, Migrants, And Internally Displaced Persons Office. She has so far been instrumental in providing support and addressing the issues faced by migrants and IDPs.
Betta Edu, born October 1986, is a medical doctor, public health specialist, and politician currently serving as the National Women Leader of the APC, the youngest ever to attain the role.
She started her political career in 2015, when she was appointed as the Special Adviser on Community and Primary Healthcare to the then-governor of Cross River state, Benedict Ayade. In 2020, she served as the chairman of the Cross River state COVID-19 Taskforce, and later that year, she was appointed as the National Chairman of the Nigerian Health Commissioners Forum until her resignation in 2022.
Her recent ministerial nomination would make her the first female minister from Cross River state and the youngest minister in the Fourth Nigerian Republic.
Doris Anite Uzoka
Doris is a medical doctor who has made great strides in the banking industry. She’s a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter holder by training with a specialisation in Financial Risk Management and Portfolio Management.
She also previously served as a former General Manager of Zenith Bank and the Imo state Commissioner for Finance and Coordinating Economy under then Imo state Governor Hope Uzodinma.
Nkeiruka Onyejocha is a current lawmaker in the Abia State House of Representatives. She began her political career in 2002 with her appointment as the Abia state Commissioner for Resource Management and Manpower Development under then-governor Orji Kalu.
She joined the Abia state House of Representatives in 2007, where she sponsored a number of Bills, including the obligatory treatment of gunshot victims, before demanding a police report. She’s also executed projects to control erosion, improve security, and repair damaged roads.
Uju is a lawyer, philanthropist, Nollywood producer and politician. She was the only female presidential aspirant of the APC in the 2023 elections before dropping out of the race.
Despite being a member of the APC, she has never held a political role; she has contributed to rural areas and communities across several states by establishing health and skill development centres.
Stella is a human rights activist and politician who formerly served as Executive Director, Business Development, of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) under former president Muhammadu Buhari. She’s also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria, the Institute of Management Consultants, and an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
Stella has vast experience in policy formulation and execution, export finance, and international development. She’s also a philanthropist who has helped Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Maiduguri and the co-founder of the E’Girls Right Foundation, which caters to orphaned and abandoned children in rural areas.