Dr. Dauda Lawal (Gamjin Gusau) is a Banker, economic expert, Politician, philanthropist, and distinguished Abusite. He is one of the established leaders in the Nigerian Banking Industry and one of the key players in the financial sector of the Nigerian Economy.
Dauda Lawal, an ethnic Hausa from Zamfara State, was born on 2 September 1965 into a humble family popularly known in the textile industry in Gusau, Zamfara State.
His father was a banker who worked with the current First Bank which was then British Bank for West Africa (BBWA) and later became Standard Bank and after the nationalization policy under the General Murtala Mohammed regime, became First Bank of Nigeria Plc.
Dauda Lawal had his primary school in Guga located in the present day Katsina state where he was being raised by his grandparents and proceeded for his secondary school education in Kachia Local Government Area in Kaduna State.
He proceeds to the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and graduated in 1987 with a B.Sc in Political Science and went on to obtain an M.Sc in Political Science/International Relations from the same university in 1992, and holds a PhD in Business Administration from Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
Speaking about his growing up, Dr. Dauda Lawal said, “My growing up was fantastic, fantastic in the sense that life was so good at that time. We enjoyed communal living even though we were isolated because we resided at the Government Reserved Area (GRA). At that time, only a few people reside there but we had a fantastic life as I said because there was nothing like the fear of being kidnapped or any major security challenges.
“You could walk freely to your neighbors’ house without fear of being kidnapped because, at that time, every child belongs to the entire community, so life was good and even when I left for secondary school, it was a boarding school and then life was also good because we could afford everything in terms food and even the environment was so serene and you would always want to stay in school even during the holidays.” He concluded
The distinguished Abusite went further to develop himself by taking courses at prestigious universities including the London School of Economics, Harvard Business School, Oxford University Business School, and Lagos Business School among others.
Dr. Dauda Lawal started his working career in 1989 as a Political Education Officer with the Agency for Mass Mobilization for Social and Economic Reliance Nigeria. In 1989, he joined Westex Nigeria Limited as an Assistant General Manager.
In 1994 he was appointed as an Assistant Consular Officer (Immigration), and later Chief Protocol Officer, Embassy of Nigeria, Washington, DC, USA. Dauda Lawal left his lucrative Embassy job in 2003 to return back to Nigeria and pursue a career in the banking sector starting with First Bank of Nigeria Plc in May 2003; as Relationship Manager, Commercial Banking.
Explaining why he left the supposedly “lucrative embassy job”, Dr. Lawal said, “When I was working at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC, I felt I was underutilized and I always love to move forward to something more challenging. So, when the banking offer came to Nigeria I grabbed it. And I joined the new environment and something totally different from what I studied in school. In the beginning, it was challenging but I knew what I wanted and was ready for those challenges. I brought myself so low that I was able to learn from my juniors at that time.”
He went on to serve at various times as Senior Manager, Abuja Area office, Business Development Manager, Abuja, Principal Manager, Group Head PSG II, Assistant General Manager (Business Development Manager), Maitama, Deputy General Manager (Business Development Manager), Maitama/Group Head Public Sector, Abuja.
Between October 2010 and September 2011 Mr. Lawal was elevated to the position of Executive Vice President, Public Sector, North of First Bank of Nigeria Plc. In September 2012 he became Executive Director, Public Sector North, of First Bank of Nigeria Plc.
Dauda Lawal ran for office in 2019 for Governor of Zamfara state under the flagship of APC. He believes strongly that Responsible people should join politics.
“During the last election, I ran for the governorship election in Zamfara State, and Zamfara was in the media for what you can imagine and then I was the consensus candidate for the All Progressives Congress, APC, for Zamfara but of course, we have big challenges where the Court nullified everything and give it to the opposition party.
“There is still hope and we are looking at the possibility of coming back in 2023 because it is time responsible people join politics not leaving it in the hands of people that will take us to nowhere. Let’s keep hope alive, committed, and determined in transforming this country.”
He is a philanthropist per excellence. Amongst his numerous philanthropic gestures especially in the educational sector is a multimillion naira Staff offices and classroom blocks donated to his former home, the Faculty of Social Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.
He is a recipient of the FirstBank CEO Merit Award for Outstanding Performance as the “Best Business Development Manager” in 2006 and “The Most Enterprising Staff” in 2009.