My name is Aisha Ojone Abu. I was born in the late 80s in Navy Town, Lagos . I am the first of seven lovely children my parents had. I am from Ofu local government area of Kogi State.
I schooled in Lagos, Zaria, Kaduna State and Abuja. I had my nursery, primary and secondary education in Nigerian Navy Nursery, Primary and Secondary School respectively.
I had my B.Sc (Biology ) at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and M.Sc in Biology at the University of Abuja.
I started my career during my National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) days in 2010. I met some Millennium Development Goals( MDGs) facilitators in the camp and that sparked my curiosity. I needed to know more and learnt all I could during my stay in camp. I was posted to Ntamante, in Boki local government area of Cross River State. It wasn’t particularly rosy for me as the community did not have electricity or mobile network. I thought of ways to effect positive changes in that community and I came up with free medical services as medical doctors were on strike at that time and the prevalence of malaria was quite high. With my background in medical microbiology, I teamed up with a medical doctor and laboratory scientists and we commenced free malaria test for pupils. My allowance was about N9,800 at that time and I earned N3,000 from the state government. I didn’t have much to finance the project so, I could only afford microscope slides. We bleed the pupils, took the samples to medical laboratory and pupils that had malaria were prescribed malaria tablets by the doctor and drugs handed to the parents of the pupils.
We visited many primary schools in the community.
Fortunately for me, one Sir Paul Edo-Obi, from the local government heard my story. He supported me with N100, 000 ,that was a huge deal for me. He also linked me up with one Engr. Ray who then gave me B.P apparatus and Malaria RDT kits. I also had support from the then Boki local government chairman and late Dr. (Mrs) Rose Oko. I had so much support from a state I was so scared of.
I expanded the medical outreach and reached more than 2,000 persons during my service year. I wrote a report to show the prevalence of malaria and other tropical diseases in the communities.
When I was passing out from NYSC ,the community gave me a chieftaincy, title; Ofere Onyinyi 1 of Nfom and I also bagged the NYSC award, as well MDGs national award.
This was the beginning of my career in Non- Governmental Organisation ( NGO) .
I worked as an environmental consultant shortly after my service year. I learnt so much from the environmental firm and this further sharpened my horizon and broadened my scope. I had to relocate from Lagos to Abuja. I joined the A3 Foundation, an NGO founded by a former first lady of Kogi State, Aisha Emeje after which
I joined partners to start an environmental consultancy firm in Abuja, that didnt go so well. NYSC later trained me as an SDGs facilitator where we carried out SDGs advocacy in camps and recruited corps volunteers to advocate the SDGs in their places of primary assignments and encouraged then to take on pet projects geared towards the attainment of the SDGs.
At a point, I was the President of SCOYAN (Socio-Community Youth Association of Nigeria) which gave me opportunity to join the National Steering Committee on Demographic Dividends which was set up by UNFPA through the National Population Commission. Due to the similarity between the SDGs and thematic pillars of Demographic Dividends, I brought UNFPA and NYSC together and merged the concept of SDGs and Demographic Dividends.
I needed to learn more on HSE, so I interned with Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC), General Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Department (GHSEQ).
I gathered so much experience in general health and safety from the department and after my internship, I worked with Niger Eco Solution ( An environmental consultancy firm and waste management company).
I then went for my M.Sc in Environmental Biology at University of Abuja and joined Better Life Programme for the African Rural Woman as a Consultant, External Initiatives. Funny enough,I am now a certified GIZ facilitator on business development and an organisational development facilitator, all thanks to GIZ.
Well, a lot of people have contributed in shaping my life , especially my parents. I consider them as my greatest mentors. Also, I have learned so much from my boss, Her Excellency, Aisha Babangida. Her humility speaks volumes. She is intelligent and uses situational leadership which I find intriguing. She doesn’t allow sentiments to becloud her sense of judgement and have given me a platform to shine and express myself. She is one of my greatest pillars. Others are Mr Yusuf AbdulQadir, former manager of the QA/QC department of NNPC who also were my wonderful teachers. He particularly believed in me when no one else did.
I am inspired by my sheer determination to succeed, to cater for my family.
I fear living a mediocre life and understand that it takes effort to make dreams a reality.
Not giving my best during my undergraduate days, allowing myself to be swayed by unimportant things.
How are you different from others ?
I consider myself weird! I think differently, analyse differently. I love solitude and can write a whole book in my head while having a discussion with people. Its pretty weird but its who I am.
I look forward to completing my academic pursuits.
How do you combine business with family life?
This is so hard! I have lost friends and loved ones due to my innate desire to grow and progress in my career. I thank God for my parents, they have been so supportive.
I sometime have to travel for days due to my career but my mother is always there to hold down the forth. But, truthfully, it hasn’t been easy, it’s same for most women.
Your advice to fellow women
I would advise women to never give up.. It can be hard and challenging but do not compromise on your standards, remain focus and resolute and the sky will be the starting point.