Anchored by President Bola Tinubu, the current administration has raised a resounding call for female empowerment, evident in the unprecedented inclusion of accomplished female ministers in its ranks. No longer relegated to the political sidelines, women now stand shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts, smashing through glass ceilings and revolutionising leadership.
Gone are the days of token appointments; these remarkable women are pivotal figures in critical sectors such as tourism, the creative economy, industry, trade, and investment. They will have insightful perspectives and actionable solutions to the nation’s most pressing challenges. They are more than just leaders; they are trailblazers who have surmounted traditional barriers to claim their place in the upper echelons of power.
Minister of Tourism
Armed with a degree in Computer Science, Lola Ade-John embarked on her career as a system analyst at the Shell Petroleum Development Company before making her mark at several top banks across the country. Her role as Minister of Tourism entails overseeing the advancement and promotion of Nigeria’s tourism sector. Her responsibilities encompass crafting policies to entice tourists, enrich cultural heritage, and bolster the economy through tourism. Her collaborative efforts with stakeholders will aim to craft alluring travel destinations, upgrade infrastructure, and foster memorable visitor experiences. On the global stage, Ade-John will champion Nigeria’s cultural diversity and natural beauty while upholding sustainable and responsible tourism practices.
Minister of State, Labour and Employment
Nkiruka Onyejeocha, an alumna of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, stood as one of the longest-serving members of the House of Representatives until 2023. Originally elected on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) platform in 2007, she later joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2018. Her fourth-term re-election bid in 2019 was a testament to her dedication. While she experienced a setback in the 2023 general election, her extensive political journey attests to her resilience.
As the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkiruka will support the lead minister in steering labour, employment, and workers’ rights matters. Her pivotal role involves:
- Contributing to labour policy formulation.
- Tackling job creation and wage standards.
- Fostering harmonious labour relationships.
In addition, she will collaborate on strategies to boost skill development, cultivate decent work, and uphold the dignity of workers.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation
A holder of a medicine and surgery degree from the University of Calabar, Betta Edu’s background is fortified by her tenure as the former Commissioner for Health in Cross River State. When she clinched the role of National Women Leader for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in March 2022, she showcased her influential stance within the party.
Betta Edu takes on the crucial responsibility of leading endeavours to combat poverty, enhance living conditions, and extend support to vulnerable communities in Nigeria. She will supervise initiatives concerning social welfare, disaster relief, and poverty reduction in her role. She will contribute to elevating marginalised populations by implementing impactful programs, guaranteeing food security, and fostering access to essential resources.
Minister of State, Police Affairs
With a degree in sociology from the University of Abuja, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim’s credentials include a tenure as the director-general of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) from 2020 to 2021. Her subsequent appointment as the Honourable Federal Commissioner of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons further attests to her experience.
As Minister of State for Police Affairs, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim plays a pivotal role in managing matters concerning the Nigerian police force. Her responsibilities span collaborating with law enforcement agencies to bolster public safety, devising crime prevention strategies, and ensuring effective policing. Additionally, she will spearhead efforts to improve police-community relations, modernise law enforcement infrastructure, and promote the rule of law.
Minister of Art, Culture and the Creative Economy
Hannatu Musawa, a former deputy spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, will oversee affairs at the Ministry of Art, Culture, and the Creative Economy. Armed with a law degree from the University of Buckingham, UK, and master’s degrees in Marine Affairs and Oil & Gas Law, she boasts a diverse and rich background. As Minister, she will drive initiatives to celebrate and preserve Nigeria’s vibrant cultural heritage, artistic expression, and creative industries. With a focus on championing artists, writers, and performers, she will craft policies to elevate the creative economy, safeguard intellectual property, and cultivate platforms for cultural exchange and artistic innovation.
Uju Kennedy Ohanenye
Minister of Women Affairs
Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye is an accomplished legal practitioner and businesswoman based in Abuja who started as the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s sole female presidential candidate, later pledging her support for President Bola Tinubu.
As Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy will tirelessly advocate for women’s rights, welfare, and empowerment in Nigeria. She will spearhead policies and programs addressing gender inequality, violence against women, and discriminatory practices. Furthermore, she will actively promote women’s engagement across various sectors, amplify access to healthcare and education, and propel women’s economic empowerment.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment
Doris Anite, a former Imo State Commissioner for Finance, brings extensive political and professional expertise to her ministerial role.
She has previously served on the SA Presidential Policy Advisory Council (National Economy) and boasts deep-rooted ties with Lagos due to her finance sector background. Her appointment has garnered widespread praise from analysts due to her exceptional medical and financial background. As she assumes leadership of a ministry that has hitherto struggled to impress stakeholders with effective industry and trade policies crucial to the nation’s industrialization drive, all eyes are on her. She faces the task of formulating policies that will enable Nigeria to fully exploit the potential of the AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) agreement while also propelling non-oil exports to new heights.
Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory
Born in Kano State’s Bunkure Local Government Area in 1976, Mariya Mahmoud’s academic journey led her from Bunkure Gari Primary School to Girls Science College Garko. Her passion for medicine flourished at Bayero University, Kano, where she pursued her medical degree.
With over two decades of experience, including consultancy roles in family medicine, Mariya Mahmoud exemplifies expertise. Her role as Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory aligns with ensuring efficient operations within the capital administration. Moreover, her oversight encompasses critical areas such as FCT area councils, primary health services, social development resources, and interfaith harmony initiatives.