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Friday, February 23, 2024

Aishatu Umar Bubaram, a pioneer in Northern Nigeria’s banking landscape

With a record as the first female executive to blaze the trail, Aishatu Umar Bubaram is showcasing Nigeria’s strengths and investment opportunities, as she becomes a beacon of positivity. Through her works and outlooks, she is urging a collective mindset shift and active participation in safeguarding the nation’s global reputation.

Voyage in the banking sector
A seasoned banking professional with over 25 years of experience, Aishatu Umar Bubaram has etched her name in history as the first female from Northern Nigeria to assume an Executive Management position at First Bank.

I’ve been privileged to hold various management positions such as Group Head, Commercial Banking North, and the Zonal Head, Public Sector Group

A Princess from Yobe state and daughter of Umar Bin Wuriya Lai-Laim, the current Emir of Pataskum [Potiskum], she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Maiduguri between 1992 and 1996, where she graduated with a Second-Class Upper and was named the best graduating student in her class.

She furthered her studies at the same institution where she obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from 1999 to 2001.

In 2007 to 2008, she also earned a Master’s degree in International Money, Finance and Investment from Brunel University in London.

Her journey into the financial realm began with her stellar academic record foreshadowing her into the paths that lay ahead.

Quest for knowledge
Fueling her thirst for knowledge, she got certified as an accountant of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria and an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, where she showcased her commitment to professional excellence as the cornerstone of her illustrious career.

Complementing her academic achievements, she enriched her skill set through Senior and Advanced Management programmes at Lagos Business School and IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain.

The pivotal chapter of Aishatu’s career unfolded in February 2023 when she assumed the role of Group Executive, Commercial Banking North Division at First Bank.

Career records
“This appointment marks a historic moment in my life as it pinpointed the zenith of my career with the esteemed institution since 2009,” Aishatu said.

“Within the bank, I have been privileged to hold various management positions such as Group Head, Commercial Banking North, and the Zonal Head, Public Sector Group, among others.

The pivotal chapter of Aishatu’s career unfolded in February 2023 when she assumed the role of Group Executive, Commercial Banking North Division at First Bank

Aishatu’s expertise spans a multitude of banking functions, showcasing her versatility in operations, strategic business development, asset and portfolio management, risk management, financial advisory, and trade dealings across public sector, retail and commercial banking.”

During her tenure as Group Head, Commercial Banking North, Aishatu exhibited exemplary leadership skills, spearheading initiatives that significantly enhanced business efficiency.

Her team reportedly achieved this by creating quality risk assets, reducing non-performing loan portfolios, improving account acquisition, implementing product development and driving trade transactions.

The impact of her strategic initiatives was evident in the sustained growth, increased profitability and overall business stability under her astute guidance.

Philanthropic services
Beyond her sterling contributions to the banking sector, Aishatu wears multiple hats as a philanthropist and advocate for social well-being. She is the co-chairperson and founder of Hearty Hands Humanity Foundation, a non-governmental organization committed to uplifting the lives of women and children through education and healthcare initiatives.

She’s not all about career and banking, Aishatu’s commitment to empowering women extends to her role as the Alternate Global Chair of the First Bank Women Network (FWN). In this capacity, she actively contributes to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment within the organization, inspiring and mentoring women professionals.

Adding to her portfolio of responsibilities, Aishatu serves as the Alternate Chairman of the First Academy Governing Council at First Bank of Nigeria and Subsidiaries. Her multifaceted engagement showcases a commitment not only to professional excellence but also to the holistic development of individuals within the organisation.

A Princess
Embracing her traditional title of Maira Aisa from the Pataskum Emirate, Aishatu stands as a team lead for other women, crushing the glass ceilings in the banking sector while championing social causes that resonate with her vision for a better society.

Love for her country
For her country, Nigeria, Aishatu is a strong lover. Recently amid Nigeria’s recent public relations challenges triggered by the exit of global banks HSBC and UBS, Aishatu voiced her concerns about the potential damage caused by negative social media narratives.

She said: “As a dedicated lover of Africa, I emphasize the need for Nigerians to actively contribute to promoting the positive aspect of my country, which is why I caution against the detrimental effects of unchecked public outcry and calling for a shift towards constructive engagement and a collective effort to safeguard our nation’s image, particularly during significant events that could impact the nation’s economy.

“I urge for a more responsible approach to public discourse, emphasizing the role of positive narratives in influencing both local sentiments and international perceptions and advocating for a concerted effort to highlight the myriad investment opportunities and strengths that Nigeria offers.”

Aishatu’s insights underscored the importance of understanding the broader consequences of social media trends coinciding with critical developments.

Guarding the Home
She is happily married with children, yet, she does not allow her drive for career excellence to conflict with the idea that one’s journey is not only defined by professional accomplishments; but also by the impact one leaves on their matrimonial obligations, the community and the lives touched along the way.

Joke Kujenya
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