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In all walks of life, the role of women cannot be underestimated, they are said to be the bedrock of a society and they remain vital in the growth of the home, workplace, business and many more. Women have been placed in this space as natural nurturers, with grace, brain and brawn, and immense influence.

Today, the 8th of March of every year is set aside by the United Nation to celebrate women globally and most especially iconic women who have made landmark achievements in Nigeria. There are women in Nigeria that have affected the society in their own great way positively. Among them are Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Folorunsho Alakija, Chimamanda Adichie, Ibukun Awosika, Joke Silver, We cannot forget Dora Akunyili, and many others.  Happy International Women’s day to all women out there. This year’s theme is tagged “Be Bold for Change”. Many women including those mentioned above have demonstrated this theme in different areas of life.

Dora Akunyili of blessed memories cannot be forgotten in a hurry because of her contribution to Nigeria economy. Before her death in 2014, she was once a Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in 2001 and also the Minister of Information between 2008 and 2010.During her reign as the Director General of NAFDAC, she fought relentlessly to ban the sales of fake drugs and foods that were unsafe forconsumption.  While she was ill, she served as Zonal Secretary of Petroleum Trust Funds (PTF) and refunded the money allocated to cater for her medical expenses in UK since the money wasn’t used as planned. That was indeed remarkable!She was a woman of good virtues.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the first woman to hold the office as a Finance Minister as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs in Nigeria for two tenures. Forbes in 2015 published that during her tenure, Nigerian economy was the Africa’s largest with an average growth of 6% per annum over a period of 3 years. In other to enhance stability in the economy and transparency of government, Okonjo-Iweala developed reform programmes which focused on the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS). She continues to forge ahead as the initiator of the indigenous Nigeria’s first organization for research. As a result of her brilliant performance in her chosen career, she has bagged numerous awards such as “The Most Influential Women” in 2014 by Forbes. She was also recognized by Africa Investor Magazine as the Finance Minister of the year in 2016 while Fortune Magazine noted her as the 33rd out of the 50 Greatest World Leaders and many other awards.

Ibukun Awosika is presently the first female to chair the First Bank of Nigeria. The author as well as motivational speaker that has inspired a lot of women. In terms of networking growth and leadership, Ibukun has identified and addressed major concerns confronting women in business and the workplace.

Folorunsho Alakija is presently the richest woman in Africa. In 2014, Forbes listed her as the 96th most powerful woman in the world. She’s a business mogul who is into oil and gas, printing and fashion Industry.

Abike Dabiri Erewa is the senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on foreign affairs and diaspora. She has been noted for her input in the passage of significant bills such as the, freedom of Information bill (FOI) and the Nigerian Diaspora bill. She was a broadcaster for 15years with NTA where she anchored the popular programme Newline and afterwards she moved into politics.

Our reality as women, differ across demography, we still do have something in common.

Every woman has the capacity to INFLUENCE!

The starting point for being bold for change, in my opinion, would be starting where nature has placed you- leveraging your natural location of influence to build-up and influence others remotely connected to you. We all can start this way.

Accept you, be you, identify your strengths, you sure have one and be positive! In honour of this day, we wish all women more strength.

Happy International Women’s Day!

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