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Sadiya El-Rufai (Non-Executive Director)

Sadiya El-Rufai is an Attorney, and qualified Arbitrator with over 18 years multifaceted legal practice and management experience with proficiency in Corporate & Commercial Law and Arbitration. She is also a qualified Chartered Secretary, Data Protection Practitioner, a Certified Islamic Arbitrator & Expert and Sukuk Specialist. Sadiya’s experience cuts across public and private sector. She began her legal career in 2006 at the Dikko & Mahmoud law firm, where she worked for eight years. During her time there, she steadily progressed to the position of Practice Manager of the firm’s Abuja office and was later appointed as a Partner at the firm. Sadiya held the position of North Central Regional Legal Officer at the Bank of Industry where she introduced practical innovations in the regional office such as standardization of loan documentation for major projects, review of loan disbursement process which involved creating templates and guidelines for loan agreements and related documents, to ensure consistency and efficiency as well as enhancing stakeholder relations. Sadiya was the pioneer Legal Counsel at the Development Bank of Nigeria Plc (DBN), Nigeria’s first wholesale licensed Development Finance Institution (DFI), where she spearheaded the structuring of the Legal Department including the development of manuals, service level agreements, policies & procedures; established document managements protocols and standardization of the credit appraisal and approval process. Sadiya facilitated the bank’s first examination and board evaluation exercise, which involved coordinating the assessment of the bank’s operations and governance practices to ensure compliance and effectiveness with the relevant codes of corporate governance and other requisite regulations. This process helped identify areas for improvement and strategic planning for the DFI. In the course for her career, Sadiya has led various legal advisory projects advising top tier corporations and government institutions on significant commercial and PPP transactions ranging from mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, policy formulation and implementation and project finance. Sadiya is a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and holds a Masters’ degree in Business and Commercial Law from the Bayero University, Kano (BUK). She holds an advanced certificate in International Arbitration awarded by the Chartered Institute of Arbitration, UK and was admitted as a Member of the Institute in 2017. Sadiya has undergone training at various institutions, including the Smith’s School of Business at Queen’s University in Canada, the International Law Institute, and the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. Sadiya is currently the Managing Partner at El-Rufai Attorneys at Law.