Hafsat Bukari: What to know about Tinubu’s new NFIU CEO

 Hafsat Bukari: What to know about Tinubu’s new NFIU CEO

President Bola Tinubu has designated Hafsat Bakari as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), as disclosed by Ajuri Ngelale, the presidential spokesperson. Bakari’s appointment awaits confirmation by the senate, pending which she will assume the role definitively. 

With a background in law and financial intelligence, Bakari brings extensive expertise in anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and counter-proliferation financing (AML/CFT/CPF). The NFIU, a federal agency, is tasked with gathering and analyzing disclosures from reporting organizations to provide financial intelligence to combat money laundering, terrorism financing, and other financial crimes. 

President Tinubu expressed confidence in Bakari’s ability to contribute significantly to the fight against illicit financial activities, underscoring the administration’s commitment to combating such practices. 

Things to know about Hafsat Bakari

Bakari, the newly appointed Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), embodies a remarkable journey from her humble beginnings in Kaduna, Nigeria, to her prestigious role overseeing the nation’s financial intelligence. Born in 1978 to Abubakar Bakari, a retired civil servant, and Aisha Bakari, a teacher, Hafsat grew up imbued with a fervent passion for knowledge and justice.

Early life and education

Foundation in Kaduna: Raised in a nurturing environment alongside her two brothers and sister, Hafsat thrived in her modest yet intellectually stimulating household.

Academic excellence: Excelling academically and socially, she emerged as a leader at Queen Amina College, where her achievements paved the way for scholarships and accolades, setting the stage for her future success.

Pursuit of legal expertise: At Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Hafsat’s brilliance shone brightly as she assumed leadership roles in the Law Students’ Association and garnered recognition as the best graduating student, laying the groundwork for her illustrious career.

Professional Journey

Legal prowess unleashed: Joining Akinwunmi & Busari after obtaining her master’s degree from the University of London, Hafsat honed her skills in corporate, commercial, and financial law, gaining invaluable expertise.

Crusade against corruption: Transitioning to the public sector in 2005 marked a pivotal moment as she embarked on a crusade against corruption, contributing significantly to high-profile cases at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Leadership in financial intelligence: At the NFIU, Hafsat’s leadership was instrumental in elevating the unit’s strategic direction and international compliance, underscoring her commitment to combating financial crimes.

Appointment as NFIU Director

In 2024, President Bola Tinubu’s appointment of Hafsat Bakari as the Director/CEO of the NFIU not only signifies a historic milestone as the first female to hold the position but also underscores her exceptional qualifications and dedication to advancing Nigeria’s financial integrity.

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Hafsat Baknowari’s ascent to the helm of the NFIU embodies resilience, expertise, and a steadfast commitment to justice, reflecting a beacon of hope for Nigeria’s ongoing fight against financial crimes. 

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