100 Most Influential Women in Nigeria

This article covers a list of Nigerian women who have made a mark in their fields and careers through their achievements. This list is drawn from a diverse range of sectors such as Business, Politics, Advocacy, entertainment, Governance, and Enterprise. Read on below:

100 Most Influential Women in Nigeria

Most Influential Women in Nigeria

Folorunsho Alakija                                                          

Folorunsho Alakija unarguably leads the pack; she is described as the richest woman in Nigeria.

She owns 60% of Famfa Oil Limited.

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is a highly respected international development expert and influential global leader, economist, and policymaker. She was the Minister of Finance twice. She is one of the board members, Standard Chartered Bank, Twitter, and other companies.

Oby Ezekwesili

Oby Ezekwesili is an Accountant, Policymaker and social activist who once served as Nigeria’s Federal Minister of Solid Minerals and also as Federal Minister of Education.

She also served as the Vice-President of the World Bank’s Africa division. Due to her activities in Nigeria, she has been awarded the Commander of the order of the Federal Republic (CFR). She is also a former presidential aspirant of the country.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer whose works range from novels to short stories and non-fiction. Her 2009 TED talk, ‘The danger of a single story’, is now one of the most viewed of all time.

Adaku Ufere-Awoonor

She is an award-winning professional in the field of energy. She is particularly committed to addressing issues such as the eradication of energy poverty experienced by women in developing countries. Adaku currently works as an Independent Legal Consultant in the field of Energy, Gender and Development. She is also the Founder/CEO of DAX Consult,

Olajumoke Adenowo

She is the founder of AD Consulting. She is a Nigerian Architect, Speaker, Radio Host, Philanthropist, and Author. CNN once described her as “Africa’s Starchitect”.

Ibukun Awosika

Ibukun Awosika is one of the most successful female entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Her passion for entrepreneurship has always been since her prime years. In 1989, she founded a furniture manufacturing company named Quebees which eventually evolved into The Chair Center Limited. This is one of the biggest furniture companies in Nigeria. She is also the first woman to be appointed chairman of the First Bank of Nigeria

Dr. Adanna Steinacker

She is popularly known for the Adanna vlogs on YouTube. Adanna is also a digital Influencer who is passionate about female empowerment and humanitarianism. She’s the Founder and CEO of Medics Abroad, a global platform that provides a platform for work experience and humanitarian opportunities for medics in Africa.

Catherine Uju Ifejika

Catherine began her career as a junior counsel. She became Secretary for Public and Government Affairs in 2003. She is the founder of the following companies: Data Appraisal Co. Ltd, Nexttee Oil & Gas, Brittania- U Ghana Limited and others. She is the CEO of the Brittania-U group which deals with oil exploration, production, supply, and distribution.

Adenike ‘Nike’ Ogunlesi

The founder of Ruff ‘n’ Tumble. Today, Ruff ‘n’ Tumble is a recognized brand in the designing, manufacturing and retailing of children’s clothing in Nigeria and West Africa.

Bimbo Alase

Bimbo Alase is the owner of the prestigious Leatherworld Furniture Company. She is regarded as one of the most successful female entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

Mosunmola Abudu

Popularly known as Mo Abudu, she is a media mogul who has been described as “Africa’s Most Successful Woman” by Forbes. Mosunmola Abudu is a graduate of the University of Westminster. She emerged Africa’s most influential female media mogul with the establishment of her Media and Entertainment business in the early 2000s.

Debola Deji-Kurunmi

She is a development sector consultant, social entrepreneur, corporate trainer, and author.  She’s the founder of Ideation Hub Africa, a place of education for entrepreneurs and NGO leaders and Immerse Coaching Company, a Personal Transformation Bootcamp. She is also the host of Development Dialogue, a thought-leadership conference.

Linda Ikeji

Linda Ikeji is one of the youngest on the list of the most successful women in Nigeria. She is a Nigerian model turned media entrepreneur.

Fifi Ejindu

Fifi Ejindu is an architect, businesswoman and philanthropist. She is the founder of the Starcrest group of companies.

Amina Jane Mohammed

Amina is a Nigerian-British politician who currently is the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. She formerly served as the Federal Minister of the Environment of Nigeria

Adenike Akinsemolu

Adenike is a social entrepreneur and environmental educator who is known for her advocacy for the inclusion of green education and sustainability in the Nigerian academic curriculum. She is also the founder of the Girl Prize, a platform that provides financial support and mentorship for secondary school girls who are interested in the sciences in Nigeria.

Akindele Olufunke Ayotunde

Funke Akindele is a popular Nigerian actress, producer, and businesswoman. Funke has over 100 movies to her credit as actress, writer, and producer, She is also the CEO of Scene one Film Production.

Genevieve Nnaji

She is a popular actress and producer. Her directorial debut movie, Lionheart, is the first Netflix Original from Nigeria, and first Nigerian submission for the Oscar award.

Joke Silva

She is a well respected Nigerian actress, director, and businesswoman. She is also the pioneer managing director of Malete Film Village, founder of Lufodo Group, and the Lufodo Academy of Performing Arts.

Ndidi Nwuneli

She is a Co-Founder and managing partner of Sahel Consulting. She has a truckload of experience in international development. Through her work with the Sahel, Ndidi has helped shape agriculture strategy and policy in West Africa in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

Tara Fela Durotoye

She is described as the pioneer of the bridal makeup profession in Nigeria. She is the first to set up a beauty school in Nigeria. In 1999, she launched the first bridal directory and an international standard make up studio.

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde

Omotola is a Nigerian Actress, Singer, Philanthropist, and former model. She is also applauded for her remarkable humanitarian efforts. She is reputed to be one of the most-watched actresses in Africa

Stella Chinyere Okoli

Dr. Stella Chinyere Okoli graduated from The University of Bradford and trained as a pharmacist. She is an entrepreneur who has built a multimillion-dollar pharmaceutical company, Emzor pharmaceuticals.

Adenike Macaulay

Adenike Macaulay has become the first female Nigerian general manager at Lufthansa Airlines, one of the largest Airlines in Europe. She was also appointed as general manager sales for Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.

Kiki Mordi

Kiki Mordi is a Nigerian journalist, media personality, filmmaker and writer. In 2016, Kiki won the award of Outstanding Radio Program Presenter (South-South) at the Nigerian Broadcasters Merit Awards.

Folake Folarin-Coker

A Nigerian fashion designer and creative director of Tiffany Amber.

Betty Irabor

Betty Irabor is one of the most powerful female publishers and public speakers in Nigeria. She is the founder of Genevieve Magazine. Currently, Betty is the Editor-In-Chief and Chief Executive Officer of Genevieve magazine.

Adeola Fayehun

Adeola is the host of the popular satirical show, ‘Keeping it real with Adeola’ which is hosted on Sahara TV Youtube channel. The show is known for addressing issues that affect the daily lives of Africans.

Biola Alabi

Abiola Alabi is on the list of top successful and influential Nigerian women. She held the position of Managing Director for M-Net Africa (part of the Naspers Group)

In 2012, she was named one of the 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader by Forbes Magazine.

Adesewa Hannah Ogunleyimu

Adesewa is a Nigerian broadcast journalist who covers both national and international news. She founded Project Smile Africa in 2013 to address issues she has reported on over the years. She won the Xceptional Women in Media Awards in 2014 for her notable efforts in reporting on community development issues in Africa.

Hajia Bola Shagaya

Hajia Bola Shagaya is a business leader who has also worked with the auditing department of the Central bank of Nigeria.  She also became the managing director of Practoil Limited, one of the largest importers, exporters, and distributors of oil in Nigeria.

Adesua Dozie

Adesua Gozie is General Counsel of GE Africa where she has advised on many transactions across the continent, thus facilitating regional growth. Adesua has also worked in senior legal roles as Legal Adviser and Secretary to the Board for the Coca-Cola Company.

Aderoju Ope-Ajayi

Aderoju is the founder of the Dolphin Aquatic Centre and Dolphin Swim School. These facilities train mostly women and children in swimming skills. It also enables young athletes to achieve their professional goals.

Amarachi Nwosu

She is a Nigerian-American self-taught photographer, filmmaker, writer and speaker. She is also the founder of Melanin Unscripted, a movement committed to addressing stereotypes across culture and racial lines.

Anita Kouassigan

Anita is the founder of ‘Investing in Women’ initiative where she empowers women with greater economic opportunities.

Ariyike Lawal-Akinbobola

She is a Nigerian television presenter and talk show host. She works as an associate producer and TV presenter for Spice TV, a fashion and lifestyle channel on the DSTV platform

Audrey Joe-Ezigbo

She is Co-Founder of Falcon Corporation Limited, a wholly indigenous midstream, and downstream Gas outfit.

Ayo Mairo-Ese

She is a broadcaster at Smooth FM, Lagos. In recognition of her work, she has won a number of awards, such as The Future Awards Africa Prize for Radio Personality of the Year.

Bekeme Masade-Olowola

She is a well-respected sustainability and communications entrepreneur. She is the Chief Executive of CSR-in-Action, a group of companies made of a consulting firm, and a training institute dedicated to corporate social responsibility

Belinda Ajoke Olubunmi Disu

She is a Nigerian businesswoman and the executive vice-chairman of Globacom. She is also a non-executive director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.

Betty Abah

She is a Nigerian journalist, author and women, and children’s rights activist. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE HOPE), a girl-child rights and development non-profit organization

Bimbo Balogun

Co-Founder of the popular SoFresh Neighborhood Market- a Nigerian healthy food brand that promotes healthy living.

Bibi BakareYusuf

Bibi is a publisher who started Cassava Republic Press in 2006.

Bimbo Ipaye

She is a popular Aso-oke and beads merchant who focuses on brides.

Bisola Adeniyi i

The founder and CEO of Lady Biba, a women’s ready-to-wear clothing brand that caters to the Modern Corporate woman.

Gbemisola Ruqayyah Saraki

Gemisola Saraki is currently the Minister of State Transportation of Nigeria. She was a former senator who was elected to represent the Kwara Central Senatorial District.

Blondie Okpuzor

She is the CEO and Founder of Africa’s skincare, bath, and body company, BathKandy. BathKandy uses unconventional raw materials such as Garri and chocolate, in beauty and skincare products

Bola Tinubu

She is Partner & Head Corporate Practice, Olajide Oyewole LLP. She has over 25 years’ business experience as a corporate lawyer.

Bukky Akomolafe

She is currently the Commercial Manager of Travelstart, Africa’s largest online travel agency.

Cherry Eromosele

She is the Group Chief Product & Marketing Officer, Interswitch.

Chinwe Bode Akinwande

Chinwe is the Head of Brand Quality Assurance FBN Limited and founder of Chinwe Bode Akinwande Foundation, an NGO that supports widows and their vulnerable children.

Chinyere Anokwuru

Chinyere is an empowerment specialist and an advocate for the economic empowerment of women.
She is the founder of Self-worth Organization for Women Development, a grassroots non-profit organization.

Cynthia Erivo

A British-Nigerian actress, singer, and songwriter.

Denike Balogun

The CEO of The Tea Room and an Event Planner. The Tea Room is a preferred and popular destination for brunch events and great food.

Dupe Olushola

Dupe is the Group Head Marketing for UBA groups, including the non-Bank subsidiaries.

Eyitope Kola-Oyeneyin

She is a Partner at Mckinsey & Company. She has over 15 years of global experience across a broad range of industries.

Eziaha Bolaji-Olojo

Eziaha is a Food and Fitness Coach. She is also the CEO of CoachE’Squad Limited. She is also the founder of Stayhomemomsng- an initiative set up for stay-home-moms.

Farida Kabir

Farida Kabir is a Public health scientist, software developer, UI/UX designer and tech entrepreneur who has a passion for infusing health with technology. She is the Founder and CEO of OTRAC, an e-learning software for African healthcare practitioners.

Fatima Kyari Mohammed

Fatima Kyari is a Permanent Observer for the African Union. Prior to assuming her present position, she was Senior Special Adviser to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission.

Florence Ita Giwa

Florence Ita Giwa is a Nigerian politician. She used to be the Senator for the Cross River South constituency of Cross River State.

Folasade Ambrose Medebem

Ambrose Medebem is the Director of Communications, Public Affairs & Sustainable Development for Lafarge Africa Plc. She is also a board member of the UN (SDG) Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) and the UN Global Compact Initiative both in Nigeria.

Funa Maduka

Funa Maduka is a Creative and Acquisitions executive with Netflix Original Films

Funmi Oyatogun

She is a Travel experience designer and founder of TVP Adventures- a one-stop-shop for exciting travel experiences across Africa.

Onyinye Ough

A Nigerian author, speaker, and activist. She is the executive director of Step up for Social Development and Empowerment in Nigeria, an anti-corruption non-governmental organization in Nigeria.

Bilikiss Adebiyi

The CEO of a recycling company, Wecyclers.

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