Rukaiya El-Rufai has joined the elite partnership of PricewaterhouseCoopers Nigeria, making her the first female person from the northern region to be elevated into such a position in a ‘big four’ accounting firm.
On Thursday, the company announced its class of 2020 partners, which also includes Akinyemi Akingbade, Chioma Obaro, Kunle Amida, Olusola Adewole, Tosin Labeodan, Wura Olowofoyeku, and Yinka Yusuf, a statement from its publicists say.
Prior to the admission, Rukaiya worked at the company as the Associate Director of Risk Advisory and Head of Sustainability.
PwC is the second largest professional services firm in the world and the largest in Africa with operations in 157 countries.
“It has always been my dream to be the first partner that will be a role model for female accounting professionals because there hasn’t been any partner from the northern part of Nigeria at all in any big four accounting firm,” Rukaiya was quoted to have said.
“To the best of my knowledge, there hasn’t been anyone who has been able to stand there long enough. It is a tough environment so, of course, it’s been a dream come true. I was excited, humbled, honoured; the journey starts on another level.”
37-year-old Rukaiya, who describes herself as results-oriented and having a keen eye for value creation, studied accounting at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, graduating with second-class honours, upper-division.
She is certified by the UK-based Financial Training Company and graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science with a Master of Public Administration in 2007. The following year, she got a Master of Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance in Germany.
She had interned both at the Lagos and Abuja offices of the PwC in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
She also worked at various times as Group Financial Analyst at IHS Nigeria; Specialist, Corporate Quality and Excellence at Etisalat; Associate, Management Consulting at KPMG Professional Services; and Senior Manager, Risk Advisory at Deloitte & Touche ㅡ the last two also members of the “big four”.
Working with Nigeria’s finance minister as a special adviser, she led the development of the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiatives (SRGI), a revenue growth and management blueprint for the country.
“It’s been a very insightful opportunity I will always cherish,” she said about the project, which led to the review of tax laws after many years among other key reforms.