Women have historically faced barriers and discrimination when it comes to occupying leadership positions. However, Nigeria has seen a shift in recent years, with women breaking barriers and assuming important roles in government agencies. These women leaders have demonstrated their capabilities and have proven to be instrumental in driving positive change.
In Nigerian government agencies, women have been instrumental in shaping policies, implementing reforms, and ensuring effective service delivery to the citizens. They bring diverse perspectives, skills, and expertise to the table, which enhances decision-making processes and fosters inclusivity in governance. Despite their achievements, women in leadership positions within Nigerian government agencies still encounter various challenges. Gender bias, cultural barriers, and societal expectations often create obstacles that women must overcome to excel in their roles.
Many women have achieved remarkable results in public office in Nigeria. The late Dr. Dora Akunyili, former director General at the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC is reputed to have garnered over 900 awards in her lifetime. Under her leadership, NAFDAC waged a relentless war against fake and counterfeit drugs in Nigeria that saved millions from death through fake drugs. World Bank President, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Hajiya Amina Mohammed are some of the women who have distinguished themselves in public office in Nigeria.
Another high performing woman heading a government agency is Dr. Muheeba Dankaka, NPOM, OON, Executive chairman of the Federal Character Commission. Under her leadership, the agency continues to implement various initiatives to sustain its mandate of achieving sustainable national consciousness to which all citizens can subscribe with conviction. A strong advocate for the promotion of transparency and accountability in the public space, Dr. Muheeba Dankaka has through innovative programs, successfully improved the effectiveness of FCC’s operations.
From the minute she was appointed by President Buhari, Dr. Dankaka has piloted the affairs of the FCC to become the first agency that keyed into the president’s mantra of ‘change’ in the way agencies of government handled government business.
She immediately created the Department of Monitoring and Compliance and sent a strong signal to everyone at the FCC that it was a new dawn. Everyone sat up. This department was charged with the responsibilities of investigating and correcting any anomalies in the implementation of the Federal Character laws.
The presence of women in leadership positions within government agencies is crucial for achieving inclusive and effective governance. Women bring unique perspectives, insights, and experiences that help address diverse needs and challenges faced by the population. Their leadership fosters inclusivity, enhances decision-making processes, and promotes equitable development. There was need for reforms and a reformist-minded leadership at the Federal Character Commission. Fortunately, Nigeria got just that in Dr. Muheeba Dankaka.
Women leading government agencies in Nigeria have made substantial achievements and are driving positive change in governance. To ensure continued progress, it is essential to support and empower more women to assume leadership roles, creating a more inclusive and equitable society. Indeed, Dr. Muheeba Dankaka is proof that Nigeria will be the better for it with more women in leadership positions.