By Chris Agabi
The new Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Olubunmi Oluwaseun Kuku, has assured all stakeholders in the aviation sector that the agency will continue to be the bastion of excellent service delivery in the country.
She said this while meeting the top management of the agency and the press after receiving the handover notes of the previous leadership from the Legal Adviser/Secretary to the Board, Mrs. Gold Bridget Iwinose.
The new FAAN MD, who said she was glad to be returning to the sector where she had previously worked, thanked the management and staff for the good work they have been doing and assured them she would build on it, a statement by Mrs. Faithful A.Hope-Ivbaze Ag. Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection said.
“My mission at FAAN is simple,” Mrs. Kuku said. “I’m here to complement the good work you have all been doing and consolidate on the foundation that previous managements have laid. We will pursue and deliver on all our obligations to the nation and the international community. Together with you all, we can make FAAN a greater institution than it already is.
“We shall be working within the frame work of the Renewed Hope Agenda as enunciated by the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, and in accordance with the policy and program direction of the Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Chief Festus Keyamo, SAN.”
Describing FAAN as a national asset designed to operate airport infrastructure and equipment and as a tool for economic development, the MD/CE said her vision was to improve on the agency’s professionalism in enhancing user experience, passengers’ seamless facilitation, security, safety and standards. She also affirmed that improving the country’s image will be a core ambition for her office.
“Under my leadership, revenue generation will be optimised and waste will be eliminated as much as possible. Staff welfare will also be a priority but I also expect the staff to be committed to put their best. As every institution is only as powerful as the human resources managing it, we will prioritise the improvement of institutional and human capacity. Working in collaboration with national and international bodies, we will promote the image of Nigeria and strengthen the network of FAAN,” she added.
Clearly aware of the extra challenges the aviation sector faces during the Yuletide, Mrs. Kuku explained that she was already drawing up tactics to deal with this.
She said, “There is an urgency of yesterday in revving up our operations as we have fully entered the busiest season of the year for airline operations. To this end, we shall be interfacing with the various professional interests, sister agencies and partners to ensure we have smooth, safe and secure operations throughout the season. Let us do our jobs with patriotism and a smile on our faces, spreading the joy of the Yuletide.
“Let us join hands to build a FAAN that you will always be proud of. Our mission is to transform the agency into the most efficient and effective institution in Nigeria. As Management, we carry a huge responsibility to the nation, the flying public(s); the airlines; the international community. Join me to give our customers the best airport experience that is efficient, safe, secure and fun.”
In attendance at the meeting were General Managers and Airport Managers from across the country.
Meet Olubunmi Oluwaseun Kuku, the New MD of FAAN
Introducing the accomplished Olubunmi Oluwaseun Kuku, who has made history as the first female Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). With a remarkable career that spans over two decades, Kuku’s professional journey is a testament to her expertise, leadership, and unwavering dedication to the aviation industry.
Olubunmi Kuku’s academic foundation is as impressive as her professional one. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the prestigious University of Illinois in 2000, demonstrating early on her aptitude for complex financial systems. Not resting on her laurels, she furthered her education by obtaining an MBA in International Finance & Strategic Management from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business in 2004. These academic achievements laid the groundwork for a career marked by strategic insight and innovative thinking.
Before shattering the glass ceiling at FAAN, Kuku honed her skills in various high-impact roles. Her tenure as Vice President and Head of Visa Consulting & Analytics for Sub-Saharan Africa at Visa saw her drive significant growth and development in the region.
She also brought her expertise to Ernst & Young (EY) as a Partner in Business Consulting, showcasing her ability to navigate and transform complex business environments. Furthermore, her role as a General Manager at the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) overseeing Business Development & Investment underlined her capability in steering organizations towards success.
Kuku’s influence extends beyond the corporate realm into strategic sectors of the economy. She has played a pivotal role in driving transformative growth, notably in her advisory capacity for Strategy & Infrastructure Development at the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency. Her hands-on involvement with the former Minister of Aviation and as General Manager for Business Development at the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency underscored her deep commitment to the aviation sector.
Collaborating with prestigious development and multilateral agencies, Kuku has engaged with the World Bank, African Development Bank (AFDB), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). These collaborations highlight her ability to work at the intersection of international development and strategic economic planning.
Kuku’s professional affiliations and certifications further underscore her commitment to excellence. Her participation in the Executive Leadership Program, IGNITE, at INSEAD Business School/Visa in 2023, her status as a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Business Development since 2014, her membership in the National Institute of Marketing Nigeria since 2016, and her Executive Education at Harvard Business School in 2004, all speak volumes of her continuous pursuit of professional development and excellence.
Appointed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Kuku’s ascent to the top echelons of FAAN was not just a career milestone but also a significant moment in Nigerian aviation history. Known for her impeccable leadership skills and dedication, she has always been at the forefront of innovation and efficiency, setting new standards in airport management and operations.
Kuku’s achievements extend beyond her professional capabilities. Her appointment as the Managing Director of FAAN is a significant milestone in breaking gender barriers in a traditionally male-dominated field. She has not only paved the way for future female leaders in aviation but also left an indelible mark on the history of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.
In her role at FAAN, Olubunmi Oluwaseun Kuku is tasked with spearheading initiatives towards creating a safer, more consumer-centric aviation landscape in Nigeria. She is set to establish high standards and efficiency within the industry, demonstrating her dedication, expertise, and unwavering commitment to excellence. Her leadership is crucial in promoting the goals of the aviation sector and aligning with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s vision for a renewed and prosperous Nigeria. Kuku’s journey is not just inspiring but also a beacon of hope and a model for aspiring leaders in the aviation industry and beyond.