Our Board

Our Board

Mrs. Yemisi Ayeni
Managing Director, Shell Nig. Closed Pension Fund Administrator Ltd.

LEAP Africa Board Chair

Mrs. ‘Yemisi Ayeni is a graduate of Economics from the prestigious University of Manchester, UK. She is also a Chartered Accountant (ACA) and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Starting out her career as an Audit Assistant with Price Waterhouse, London, she rose to become a Manager in the Corporate Reconstruction/Insolvency Department the same firm.

She spent the first few years after her return to Nigeria in 1991, working in Corporate Finance in Price Waterhouse Lagos and Genesiscorp Ltd. Mrs. Ayeni joined Shell Nigeria in 1994 and has held a variety of roles in various Shell companies over the years, starting as Finance Controller - Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd (SNEPCo); and followed by senior roles in Audit; Corporate Planning; Business Services and Pension Fund Investments. In November 2004, Mrs. Ayeni was appointed Finance Director, SNEPCo, earning her the distinction of being the first Nigerian woman ever to be appointed to the Board of a Shell Company in Nigeria. She is presently the Managing Director, Shell Nig. Closed Pension Fund Administrator Ltd.

Mr. Folu Ayeni
Vice Chairman, Tantalizers

He is the Vice Chairman of Tantalizers Plc, one of the largest and fastest growing Fast Food chains in Nigeria, listed on The Nigerian Stock Exchange. He started his professional career with Center for Management Development in 1976 and later joined Lever Brothers Nigeria Plc. as Brand Manager, rising to the position of Marketing Services Manager. He joined Rank Xerox Nigeria Limited in 1986 as Marketing Manager and rose to become the Deputy Managing Director, a position he held until he resigned in 1999.


Mr. Folu Ayeni has held and still holds various Board appointments in several organizations which include: Mr. Folu Ayeni is the Chairman of Sahel Capital’s Advisory Board; Chairman of the Advisory Board, Enterprise Development Centre of Pan-African University, Senkay Nigeria Limited, Baytide Investment & Property Limited, First Bite Foods Limited, Facility Masters Nigeria Limited; Vice Chairman of the Governing Board, University of Ibadan Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Member, Governing Board of University of Lagos Centre for Entrepreneurship and Good Governance; Member, Advisory Board, University of Nigeria, Nsukka Centre for Entrepreneurship; and Member, Advisory Board, Ekiti State Economic Development Council. He was the pioneer Executive Chairman of Tantalizers Limited and successfully led the Company to its public listing on The Nigerian Stock Exchange.


Mr. Ayeni graduated with a First Class Degree in Psychology and a Masters of Business Administration from University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and McGill University, Montreal, Canada respectively. He is a Fellow of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, and Member, Institute of Directors, among others.

Mr. Charles Anudu
Managing Director / CEO of Swift Network

Mr. Charles Anudu Managing Director / CEO of Swift Network, a high flying telecommunications service provider for converged voice, video and data access services to business and consumer subscribers in Lagos, Nigeria. Charles is also the founding Managing Director and Chairman of The Candel Company Limited, a major player in the Nigerian Agricultural industry. He had worked for Rhone-Poulenc Nigeria leaving the company in 1992 as the General Manager (Agrochemicals) to found Candel.

Charles attended University of Nigeria, Nsukka (1978-1983) and University of Ibadan, Ibadan (1996-1997), where he obtained a Bachelor of Agriculture Degree in Crop Protection and Master of Science Degree in Plant Ecology, respectively.

Charles is an Alumnus of Harvard Business School (Owner-President Management Programme), as well as the Owner – Director Management Programme of INSEAD, Fontainbleau, France. He also attended the Advanced Management Programme (AMP) of the Lagos Business School. Charles is currently a member of the Economic Intelligence Committee of the Presidency, Federal Republic of Nigeria and belongs to many socio – cultural organizations including the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).

Charles has also been severally honoured for his stellar contributions to the Nigerian economy, having successfully launched companies in the key sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Adeyemi

Mr. Adeyemi Candide-Johnson SAN
Senior Partner, Strachan Partners

Mr. Yemi Candide-Johnson SAN is the senior partner at Strachan Partners. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in July 1984 and conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in September 2003. After he received his LLM degree from the University of London in 1984, he worked as counsel in the leading chambers of John B Majiyagbe SAN, in Kano between 1984 and 1990. Mr. Candide-Johnson SAN is the author of several scholarly papers and is engaged as leading counsel in ongoing major and high profile commercial and public policy litigation across the courts of Nigeria. He has acted as counsel or arbitrator in several domestic and international commercial arbitrations in the maritime, petroleum and construction industries. In 1988 he was appointed a notary public for Nigeria and in 1996 a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of England (FCIArb). He is now an approved tutor and examiner for the UK Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is an honorary fellow at the Centre for International Legal Studies in Salzburg, Austria, and a supporting member of the London Maritime Arbitration Association.

He also served as member on many panels and has received several awards in recognition of his achievements.

Mr. Babatunde Dabiri
Chairman, Lagos Pensions Commission

Astute and seasoned Banker, Tunde Dabiri holds a B.Sc (Econs) degree from the University of Ibadan (1974) and an MBA from Columbia University, New York, USA (1978). He started his career at Chase Merchant Bank Ltd. (CMB), which later changed its name to Continental Merchant Bank Ltd. While at CMB, he was seconded to Chase Manhattan Bank, London, for fourteen months where he obtained the Global Credit Certification (1979) of the bank. He subsequently joined Prime Merchant Bank Ltd. as the Deputy Managing Director and Chief Executive. Tunde moved from Prime Merchant Bank in 1990 to establish Fountain Trust Bank Ltd. He was the Managing Director /CEO for 8yrs.

Mr. Dabiri later joined Magnum Trust Bank Plc in December 1998 as the MD/CEO successfully transforming it into a full-fledged commercial bank after the divestment of Guaranty Trust Bank. Until his retirement in 2008, he was the Group Managing Director/CEO of Sterling Bank Plc (The consolidated consortium of 5 banks consummated in 2005). He played a major role in change management initiatives to ensure its strategic business focus on trade finance, capital markets and consumer banking services.

Mr. Tunde Dabiri is involved with several organizations which include in the education sector(Lagos Business School, Lagos State University, University of Ibadan, Corona Schools) and the manufacturing sector(Capetex Industries Ltd, Academy Press Ltd, LT& C Colleagues Ltd e.t.c) just to mention a few.

Currently, he is the Chairman of the Lagos State Pensions Commission (LASPEC), an agency of government whose establishment he supervised.

Mrs. Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor
Google Manager, Nigeria

Ehimuan started her career at Shell Petroleum Development Company as Performance Monitoring and Quality Assurance Supervisor. Following that, she worked as Program Manager at Microsoft UK for six years, initially managing Strategic Projects for MSN EMEA. She left Microsoft in 2005 to start SI Consulting Ltd UK, providing collaborative programs that connect African Business leaders with their global counterparts. In the last two years, Ehimuan worked as General Manager, Strategic Business Units at Chams Plc leading four major lines of business, and key nationwide government projects.

Juliet Ehimuan holds an Executive MBA from the London Business School, a Post Graduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge, UK; and a Bachelors degree (1st class honours) in Computer Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. She is a recipient of the London Business School Global Women’s Scholarship, and at Cambridge University she received two scholarly awards – Selwyn College Scholar and Malaysian commonwealth Scholar. She is a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society.

Mr. Oje Ivagba
Director of Programmes, LEAP Africa

Oje Ivagba has eight years progressive experience in social cause management, values reorientation and life skills development as a staff of LEAP Africa – a nonprofit dedicated to developing a new cadre of African leaders, by providing the tools and skills required for individual, organizational and community transformation. In his role as a Programmes Director, he serves as strategy and team lead in the design and implementation of social change interventions targeted at underserved Nigerians.

He has had direct interactions, as a life and leadership skills facilitator with over 25000 youth in states across the states six geopolitical regions of Nigeria.

Given his dedication to youth development, he has been instrumental in the development of over 10 leading youth-led community initiatives by volunteering his time in a personal capacity to mentor and advice a host of other indigenous youth-led community initiatives, providing guidance, best practices and structural support towards the development of budding social innovators. He has led voluntary trainings to post war regions of East Africa – Burundi and Rwanda.

Mr. Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud (SAN)
Managing Partner- Dikko and Mahmoud


Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud, graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1979. He holds a master degree from the same university specialising in Company and Labour Relations Law. He worked for 15 years with Kano State Ministry of Justice rising from pupil state counsel to the position of the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice. He was one of the founding partners of the DIKKO & MAHMOUD in 1993 where he remains as the Managing Partner.

Mr. Mahmoud trained at various times at the International Development Law Institute in Rome, where he obtained a certificate in Law and Development in 1987, and in Legal Aspects of Privatisation in 1990. He also holds a Diploma in Sociology of Law from Onati Institute from the Sociology of Law in Spain (1990) and another certificate in Techniques of Privatization from the Institute of International Development at Harvard University 2000. He was at North Western University Chicago where he obtained a Certificate in Corporate Law and Business (2002). H e also obtained a Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration of the Chartered Institute Arbitrators UK and was admitted as a Fellow of the Institute in 2008.

Mr Mahmoud has appeared in many cases before the Court of Appeal and the Nigerian Supreme Court. He has acted as counsel in many important arbitrations and also acted as arbitrator in several proceedings. He was elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 2001. He is a member of the Body of Bencher's, Nigeria's highest for regulating the legal profession. He was a member of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee. Mr. Mahmoud has served on several national assignments. He was member of the National Committee on Crime Victims Rights (Justice E.B Craig Committee, 1989-1990). He served as a member of the National Presidential Committee on Incentives, Waivers and Concessions (for Investments and Businesses) in Nigeria and currently chairs the National Committee on the review of the Nigeria's Code of Corporate Governance for Public Companies. He is also a member of the Vision 2020, Business Support Group.

Mr. Mahmoud is currently a member of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), He is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Lawbreed Foundation and the Rights Enforcement and Public Law Centre (REPLACE), He sits on the Editorial Board of the 'Justice', a journal on contemporary legal issues of the Federal Ministry of Justice. He is also a member of the NATIONAL Executive Council of the Centre for Research and Documentation CRD, the Governing Council of the Centre for Democratic Research and Training Bayero University, Kano. H e is a member of the National Executives Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association. He chairs the NBA Ethics Committee as well as its Capacity Building Committee and sits on it Arbitration Working Group. He is the Secretary of the Kano Peace and Development Initiative and Kano Economic Summit Steering Committee. In 2006, he was awarded the national honour of the Officer of the Order of Nigeria, OON. He was a recipient of the 'We are Future of Our Nation' role model award for 2008.

Dr. Abudu Mukhtar 
Mason Fellow of Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Dr. Abdu Mukhtar has over 20 years of extensive professional experience in both private and public sectors, having served in the following capacities: Research Associate, Boston University Medical Centre, Boston Massachusetts, USA; Consultant, Harvard Centre for International Development, Boston, Mass; Associate Consultant, Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath (PRTM) Consulting, Boston Mass; Transaction Adviser/Special Assistant to The Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Abuja- FCT, Nigeria, and Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of the FCTA on Economic Matters, FCT Abuja.

He holds membership in many professional and exclusive organizations. He also serves as Chairman of the following organizations: Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company, Abuja Markets Management Ltd, Abuja Film Village Ltd, Abuja Connect Ltd, Abuja Technology Village FZ and Abuja Automotive Village Company Ltd.

Dr. Mukhtar holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School. He also has Doctorate degree in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine from the Boston School of Medicine. He is also a Mason Fellow of Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Mrs. Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli (MFR)
Founder, LEAP Africa
Co-founder, AACE Foods
Director, Sahel Capital


Mrs. Nwuneli has seventeen years of experience in international development. She is the Founder of LEAP Africa and the co-founder of AACE Foods, an indigenous agro-processing. She is also a director of Sahel Capital & Advisory Partners, a leading advisory firm focused on the agribusiness and manufacturing sectors. Through her work with Sahel and AACE, she has shaped agriculture strategy and policy and supported a range of clients in Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia, including ECOWAS, Oxfam International, AGRA, USAID, UNECA, Technoserve, and the Conference of African Ministers of Agriculture for West and Central Africa.

She started her career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, working in their Chicago, New York and Johannesburg Offices, with a focus on fast moving consumer goods. She returned to Nigeria in 2000, to fulfill her passion of promoting entrepreneurship and leadership development in Africa. She served as the pioneer executive director of the FATE Foundation from 2000, and then established LEAP Africa, and NIA in 2002 and 2003 respectively. NIA empowers female university students to achieve their highest potential in life, while LEAP Africa provides leadership, ethics and management training and coaching for youth, business owners, social entrepreneurs and the public sector.

Ndidi holds a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School. Ndidi received her undergraduate degree with honors in Multinational and Strategic Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Ndidi has received numerous honors and awards. She was recognized as a Global Leader of Tomorrow and Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. She received a National Honor, Member of the Federal Republic, from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2004, was recognized as the Young Manager of the Year 2005 by THISDAY Newspapers and received an Excellence Award from the Africa Business Club at Harvard Business School in 2007. Ndidi also received an award from the Government of Anambra State in August 2011.

Ndidi serves on numerous international boards including USAID's Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA) and the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership.

Mrs. Iyadunni Olubode
Executive Director, LEAP Africa

Iyadunni Olubode is the Executive Director of LEAP Africa Ltd./Gte. She has two economics degrees; a B.Sc. from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and M.Sc. in Energy Economics and Policy from the University of Surrey, UK.

Iyadunni started her career in the treasury department of Intercontinetal Bank Plc and subsequently moved into management consulting. She comes to LEAP with specialised skills in strategy development and execution, talent management, project management and business development. During her career at Accenture, she was involved in reorganising enterprises, developing strategies and managing talent for leading public and private sector organisations. She has also worked as an independent development consultant on a number of public sector initiatives.

Iyadunni is passionate about socio-economic development and has a deep commitment to developing people and enabling them to reach their full potential.

Ms. Isioma Ogodazi
Head, Diamond Bank Academy

Her career in Human Resources Management spans 15 years. She spent 8 years as the General Manager/Head Human Resources Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria from 1999 – 2007 before taking up responsibility at the UK office of the Group as Head, Talent Management, Global Support Functions. Isioma has also served on the management team of Guaranty Trust Bank (GT Bank) where she was from 1992 – 1998 first as Manager Head Quality/Customer Service Manager and then as the Senior Manager/Head Human Resources.

Isioma holds a B.Sc Honours Degree in Humanities and a Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management from the London School of Economics.

Mr. Udeme Ufot
Co-Founder and Group Managing Director, SO&U Saatchi and Saatchi

Mr. Udeme Ufot is the Co-founder and Group Managing Director, SO&U Saatchi and Saatchi. He holds BA in Industrial Design from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Certificate in Management from Swedish Institute of Management and Chief Executive Programme from Lagos Business School (LBS).

He was Deputy Creative Director at Insight Communications Ltd in 1984 and Creative Director with CASERS in 1989 before he co-founded SO & U Group in 1990. At SO&U, Udeme contributes to policy formulation and management the Saatchi & Saatchi Africa Network.

He has attended many courses and conferences organized by Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) and Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide Executive Programmes. Since 1993 to date, Mr. Ufot has held several executive positions in the Association of Advertising Practitioners of Nigeria (AAPN) including Vice President and President in 1997 and 1999 respectively.

Mr. Udeme Ufot serves as Board Member on Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) Board, Vice Chairman, Media Subcommittee of Nigeria Economic Summit 8 (NES8) and Advisory Board Member, School of Media & Communication, Pan African University amongst others.