How A Former Nigerian Public Servant Built a Successful Business Career

Biography & Success Story Of Alh. Umaru Abdul Mutallab: Former CEO, UBA
Biography & Success Story Of Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab: Former CEO Of UBA

To excel in any field in life, nothing short of your best efforts are required. This is the guiding principle of the most successful people in the world and it has helped them to not just build conglomerates that provide jobs for communities, cities, and countries, but has helped them forge a name for themselves in the society.

This is the success story of Umaru Abdul Mutallab, a former CEO of UBA bank who is an astute entrepreneur and disciplined individual who has moved from success to success over a long period of time.

Here’s how he did it.

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Early Life And Education Of Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutalla

Umaru Abdul Mutallab was born on the 15th of December, 1989. He attended Barewa College, Zaria; Achimota College, Accra, Ghana, and the South West London College, London. And also bagged a honorary Doctorate from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

Mutallab is a faithful religious man, but he exercised caution on religious extremities and always welcomed people who belonged to other religious groups. Schooling in Barewa College, alongside students from different parts of the country, helped him develop the ability to relate with people of diverse cultures and beliefs.

Umaru is also a member of a group of Nigerian businessmen, civil servants, intellectuals and military officers from Northern Nigeria, which is called Kaduna mafia. He was a close associate of the mafia’s financier Hamza Zayyad, who supported him in his profession as an accountant.

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Journey To Entrepreneurship

In December 1959, Umaru completed his Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) and began to work as a clerk with Pannell, Fitzpatrick and Company, a well-known firm in Kaduna in January 1960.

Later, he travelled abroad to further his education and returned in 1968, when he got appointed as Chief Accountant of Nigeria’s Defence Industries Corporation. Given his position, Umaru Mutallab knew he had to put in a greater deal of effort and hard work.

In the year 1971, he became the financial controller of the New Nigerian Development Company in Kaduna and in 1975, he became the company’s General Manager.

Between 1975 and 1978, Umaru Abdul Mutallab served as a minister under General Murtala Mohammed and General Olusegun Obasanjo. First, he served as Minister of Economic Development (1975), but he was relieved of the position after the 1976 military coup d’etat which led to the death of General Murtala Mohammed. However, Mutallab was later appointed the new Minister of Cooperatives and Supplies in 1976.

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Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab’s Rise In The Banking Industry

In 1978, Umaru Mutallab was made the executive vice-chairman, managing director, and CEO of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), an office which he held until 1988.

From 1999 to 2009, he became the chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Nigeria’s oldest and largest bank. His status of office spread all over, and in 2009, he became chairman of several companies, including Impresit Bakolori Plc and Spring Waters Nigeria Limited (SWAN).

Umaru put his money and influence to good use. He later became a major shareholder in Barade Holdings and Barumark Investment & Development Company. He played a significant role in the introduction of Islamic banking and also occupied the position of chairman of Nigeria’s first Islamic bank, Jaiz Bank International Plc, established in 2003.

Mutallab, who also holds the title of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), one of the highest honours in Nigeria, is also the chairman of Business Support Group, which is one of the greatest importance of the economic policies of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

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Umaru Abdul Mutallab Today

Umaru made a steady, gradual impact on the corporate and political world. He showed patience and diligence as well as diversity in his business approach, putting his funds in different spheres of the Nigerian economy but not without having a network of associates and a pre-set strategy. His expertise and experience in accounting gave him an edge in finance management.

Umaru retired over 25 years ago at the pinnacle of his banking career as the managing director and CEO of United Bank for Africa. He now oversees his private businesses and helps upcoming companies and young entrepreneurs find their feet with professional counselling.

Mutallab also serves (or served) on the board of several companies including Arewa Textile Limited, NEPA, NACB, Nigeria Agip Oil, and Nigeria Cement.


Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab’s Awards And Recognitions

For his diligent role in active service, he is the recipient of the national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), and in 2015, he was ranked as one of the richest men in Nigeria.

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To Sum It Up

Dilgence, loyalty, hard work, and integrity can take you far. It took Umary Abdul to great heights, and can do the same for you if you commit to the process against all odds.


What are your thoughts on this success story of Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab? Let me know by leaving a comment below.




Stan Edom
Stan Edom
I'm an entrepreneur with expertise in supply chain management, international trade, small business development, e-commerce, internet startups, renewable energy, and agriculture. I'm also a network engineer, I.T security expert, and computer programmer. In my spare time when I'm not working out at the gym, I try to solve problems people face in their everyday lives with whatever means necessary.

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