Maryam Uwais (MFR) is the current Special Advisor to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investments. She is a legal practitioner and human rights activist with almost 40 years cognate law practice experience, consisting of public service at the Kano State Ministry of Justice, the Nigerian Law Reform Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria and subsequently, private legal practice.
Mrs. Uwais secured an LLB (Hons) from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1980, after which she was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1981. She also obtained an LLM, a Certificate in Advanced Practice and Procedure in 1985 and another in Legal Drafting in 1989 from the Nigeria Institute for Advanced Legal Studies. She also has a Diploma in International Business Organizations (College of Law, England & Wales) a Post-graduate Diploma in Islamic Banking and Insurance and is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) Nigeria branch.
Mrs. Maryam Uwais, MFR served as a Principal Partner of Wali-Uwais & Co, an Abuja-based law firm, before it merged with Sterling Partnerships to form Primera Africa Legal. She has also served on the Council of the National Human Rights Commission, where she was appointed as Special Rapporteur on Child Rights; the Boards of the Justice Research Institute, Leapafrica, Women in Successful Careers, the Nigerian Leadership Institute as well as the Coalition Against Tobacco, amongst others. She has also served on State Government, Federal Government, Regional and Continental Committees such as the Kano State Government’s Almajiri Committee, President Goodluck Ebele Johnson’s Presidential Advisory Council, The Northern Nigeria Committee on Reconciliation, Security Healing, as well as the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, for a period of 5 years.
Maryam served on the Editorial Board of THISDAY newspaper, as well as a Non-Executive Board Director of Stanbic IBTC Bank. She is also currently a member of the Lagos Business School Advisory Board. She founded the Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative in December 2009, which targets the conditions of women and children in education, healthcare, access to justice and empowerment.
Over the years, Maryam Uwais was a consultant to the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, UNICEF, the World Bank, and the British Department for International Development (DfID). She has also published articles on sundry topical matters, such as interfaith dialogue, justice sector administration, women, children and socio-economic rights.
As Special Advisor on Social Investments, Mrs Uwais pioneered the supervision of the Federal Government Social Investment Programmes from inception, in November 2015 to September 2020), comprising the cash transfer, school feeding, youth employment (N-power) and Government Empowerment and Enterprise Programmes, which efforts directly impacted on over 13m Nigerians, across the country. She is currently working directly with the Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo SAN GCON, about to embark on her next assignment.