Former NNPC Boss Yusuf Joins AUN

The American University of Nigeria (AUN) has appointed a new dean for its School of Business & Entrepreneurship (SBE).

A former group executive director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Attahir Yusuf, now heads the SBE, one of AUN’s five schools and host of the university’s prestigious Business and Entrepreneurship programs taught by an experienced global faculty.

President of AUN Dr. Dawn Dekle enthusiastically welcomed the new dean: “I am delighted Dr Attahir Yusuf has accepted our offer to become the next dean of SBE. He brings the right combination of academic credentials and industry experience to lead SBE to the next level of development. His infectious smile and professionalism have already captivated our campus community, and we look forward to learning from him and supporting him in his vision for SBE in the years to come.”

Dr Yusuf received his PhD in Management from the University of Sussex in the UK in 1986.  He has an MSc in Management Technology from the University of Wales Institute of Science & Technology (now University of Wales, Cardiff, Business School) in 1984.

Following a long and productive international academic career, in 2005, Dr Yusuf was appointed as general manager, corporate planning, NNPC, and a year later was promoted to group general manager, corporate planning and development, a position from which he oversaw strategy, budget, and business development matters.  He rose to the position of group executive director, corporate services, in April 2009 and was in charge of human resources, medical, pension, security, and the London office.  He later became the group executive director, commercial and investment.  In this position, he oversaw nine subsidiaries.  Dr Yusuf was also the group executive director of business development and a member of the board of NNPC.

Dr Yusuf has chaired the boards of several other companies and is credited with establishing several companies for the NNPC, including crude and liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping companies (Nikorma and Nidas), and revamping the NNPC Retail Ltd and Duke Oil into profitable ventures.

Before joining the NNPC, Dr Yusuf taught in a variety of universities in Nigeria and abroad, including the University of Maiduguri; The University of the West Indies, Barbados; PNG University of Technology, Papua New Guinea; the University of the South Pacific, Fiji; Massey University, New Zealand; Sultan Qaboos University, Oman; and the University of Sharjah, UAE.

Dr Yusuf has also consulted for companies in New Zealand, the Middle East, the West Indies, the South Pacific, and Africa. His expertise in consulting includes organizational development, strategy implementation, change management, strategic information systems management, and small business development.

Dean Yusuf’s scholarly research and professional activities have included the publication of more than 20 articles in academic journals such as the Journal of Small Business Management, the Journal of Entrepreneurship, and Journal of International Management.  He has also given over 30 international conference presentations and is a member of several international professional organizations.

Being himself from Adamawa State, Dr Yusuf plans to play a huge role in helping AUN as a development university and in uplifting the region.  “This university is great. I would say the AUN system is probably 80 per cent of the economy of Yola, if not Adamawa State.  Therefore, if it succeeds, it is going to be more than just a success for me.  It will be most fulfilling for me.  And I came here purposefully to be part of that success.”

Founded in 2003, the American University of Nigeria was created to be Africa’s first development university; its mission is to promote service learning and to educate leaders who will be prepared to tackle the development issues of Nigeria and Africa.  The university offers an American-style education modeled after the curriculum of American universities, using the latest in Internet technology and e-learning resources.

–By Dan Okereke, ED, communication & PR, AUN

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