Victoria Bamidele Shin-Aba at 60: Untold Stories of an Aviation Amazon


Behind the glorious professional fulfillment of some people lie tattered beginnings hard enough to devour even the strongest men. While many shared their grace weed stories, however, some deliberately let the stories fade in memory due to the emotional trauma bringing to mind almost the present, ugly past experiences forgotten before success smiled upon them.

Really, as they say in this part of the world:life without balance“. However, it is amazing to know that some people prefer to rearrange the unfavorable conditions that life throws at them instead of feeling sorry for themselves or blaming others for their misfortune.

The above sums up the multi-dimensional and inspiring story of the former Terminal Regional Manager (South West) of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Victoria Bamidele Shin-Aba, the first woman to be so honored with such a post. Her entry and subsequent growth through the FAAN ranks to the top is almost one of divine arrangement and uncommon courage, as she explained in her soon to be launched book “My Resilience”. The book launch and retirement party is taking place today, June 2, 2022, in Lagos

Humble beginnings

Born on August 31, 1962, Shin-Aba who is due to retire this week and who would be 60 in a few months, was just six months old when she lost her father while they were staying in faraway Ghana. Apparently, she didn’t know or feel what her father was before he died. Thanks to the magnanimous love and efforts of a “never say never” mother who, despite all odds, kept her husband’s words “even if there are still pants in my wardrobe, my children must receive a quality education” to keep her six children (including Shin-Aba) on track and ensure their access to a quality education without a support system.

However, life has not ceased to give him a great blow despite the loss of his father. From the brutal rejection of her husband, Nasiru Kolawole Shin-Aba by his mother and other family members due to religious differences, to his illness, loss of sight, depression and death after just a eight-year marital journey that lasted from 1985 to 1993, Shin-Aba has been through it all. To add to the horrible situation already accumulated, she lost her last child, Segun, whom she had with her husband during his lowest ebb in life at the age of 10; days after being diagnosed with cerebral malaria. However, in all these vicissitudes of life, she remained firm and focused despite the ardent pleas of her friends and family to abandon her sick husband. As she was overwhelmed by the myriad of challenges thrown at her at just 37 years old, her loving mother who later welcomed her husband with open arms encouraged her to disregard bad advice, but instead stick with it. her husband that she met a complete man.

According to his HRM, Oba (Prof) Akintola John Akintola, who is also a professor of entomology in the Department of Biology at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) and the Okinapa Alapa who wrote the foreword to his book : “The death of her father at a young age, who denied her paternal care, did not prevent her from achieving greatness. She was single-handedly shaped by her uneducated mother who had a passion for education; and with God’s help, she did not derail on the right track as many of her peers, who found themselves in such circumstances, would have done. There was a repeat of an ugly event in her life; she lost her beloved husband in the journey of life. She also had to raise her children on her own, due to some challenges in her family. She did not allow religion to create a throat in her immediate family; she handled challenges with elasticity. When opportunities presented themselves in her favor , she was there for everyone, to uplift them in her limited capacity. What a demonstration of love! Mrs. Victoria Shin-Aba is a woman of extraordinary love and humility. She extended love to all, immediate and distant relatives. Its humble beginnings have come to play in many stories and stories too numerous to mention. This is what many failed to do and regretted after retirement,” Kabiyesi wrote enthusiastically of the accomplished woman.

Trip to FAAN

While many would have accepted fate and ended their careers altogether, Shin-Aba was pretty focused throughout the challenges. She did not snag her boots or drift off to the classroom as many would have expected after she graduated from the College of Education and received her certificate in 1984. She went on to earn her first degrees, local and international training/certifications while combining a number of secondary activities, especially at the start of his career in the agency.

Her career with FAAN (formerly Nigeria Airports Authority) dates back to 1987 as Deputy House Manager. She joined her husband who was then head of civil engineering at Ibadan airport.

Steady growth in FAAN ranks

As typical of anyone who works hard, Shin-Aba quickly became the focus of all eyes at FAAN. She has held several positions within the Authority’s Operations Department, including; Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) Airfield Operations Officer; MMA Apron Control Officer; ITZ MMA Airport Duty Officer; and Terminal Operations Officer; General Aviation Terminal (GAT); Hajj and Cargo Terminal (HCT) and International Terminal MMA.

She was promoted to Akure Airport Manager in 2011, a position she held until 2014 when she was redeployed to MMA as Chief Operations Officer.

In September, Shin-Aba scored another first. FAAN management appointed her the first female Regional General Manager (South West)/Airport Manager, Murtala Muhammed International Airport and later rose to the rank of General Manager, Airfield Operations.

As HOD Operations, she led the team that prepared MMA for Pioneer Certification in Nigeria and organized the review and unbundling of MMA Technical Manuals and associated Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Authority of Nigeria (NCAA). The coveted Aerodrome Certification to MMA, issued by the NCAA on September 15, 2017, is to the credit of his team. His experience also came to play during the coronavirus pandemic which has shut down flight activity worldwide for months.

Multiple awards and recognitions

In recognition of her hard work and selflessness towards the motherland despite initial setbacks, the Nigerian Aviation Award (NIGAV) in 2018 honored her as “Airport Personality of the Year 2018”; the same year, she also won the 2018 National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE) award. More recently, it won the ‘Airport Operations of the Year 2021 and Operational Resilience Airport of the Year 2021’ award.

Resolve generational issues

Having spent a better part of her life taking on challenges against herself and those around her, one would have expected her to roll up her sleeves and eventually go on vacation to enjoy her retirement. But Shin-Aba has other plans. As retirement approaches, Shin-Aba hopes to use her time and resources to solve generational issues/challenges. .

“This is the further reason why I have a growing interest in trying to address the generational issue through a yet to be unveiled program that aims to address human capital empowerment and entrepreneurship development. in the community when I retire,” she said in her book.

It is therefore the right thing to do, in the spirit of unity, to unroll the drums and celebrate with a rare woman of courage and virtues, Mrs. Victoria Bamidele Shin-Aba, as she marks her retirement from the service, to launch his book today and also mark his 60th birthday in advance.

Oluwadamilare is a Lagos-based journalist

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