In the vast and complex world of security, Dr. (Amb) Victoria Ekhomu has carved out an extraordinary career, becoming a leading figure in a field traditionally dominated by men. 

As the Managing Director and CEO of Transworld Security and the President of the School of Management & Security, she has dedicated her life to enhancing security standards and practices. Her influence extends to her role as President of the Association of Security & Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON) and as a member of the ASIS Foundation Board of Trustees. These roles reflect her unwavering commitment to the advancement of security and her relentless pursuit of excellence.

Ekhomu’s journey began with a strong educational foundation, which she credits to her parents, particularly her mother, who was a teacher.

This early exposure to education and discipline laid the groundwork for her future achievements. Her academic journey saw her obtaining degrees from prestigious institutions, including a Master’s Degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Lagos. She further enhanced her credentials with a Harvard Business School Certificate in Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies and an Advanced Management Certificate from Lagos Business School.

Throughout her career, Ekhomu has broken numerous barriers, becoming the first female to hold several high-ranking positions within ASIS International, a global community of security professionals.

Her career is marked by a series of pioneering roles, from being the first female Certified Protection Professional (CPP) in Africa to serving as the first female Regional Vice President for ASIS. These accomplishment highlights her trailblazing spirit and her dedication to uplifting women in the security sector.

In this story, we delve into Dr. Ekhomu’s early influences, the challenges she has faced, and her vision for the future of the security industry. We explore the traits she believes are necessary for success, especially for women, and gain valuable insights from her advice to young professionals aspiring to make a mark in the field of security. Her story is one of resilience, innovation, and unwavering commitment to making the world a safer place.

Victoria Ekhomu’s journey is deeply rooted in her formative years, where the influence of her parents played a significant role. Her mother, a dedicated teacher, introduced her to the world of education early on.

As a child, Victoria would accompany her mother to school, immersing herself in the learning environment. This early start in education laid a solid foundation for her academic pursuits. At the age of five, she took examinations alongside other students and successfully progressed to higher classes.

Her mother’s initiative in organizing lessons with progressive people in their town further strengthened her educational base, preparing her for one of the best secondary schools in the country at the time, St. Maria Goretti Girls’ Grammar School in Benin City, Edo State.

St. Maria Goretti Girls’ Grammar School was instrumental in shaping Victoria’s character and intellect. The school was known for its high standards, discipline, and moral values, all under the leadership of Principal Sister Henrietta Powers from Ireland. Sister Powers played a crucial role in molding students into accomplished individuals, many of whom went on to become doctors, judges, and industry leaders.

This strong educational and moral grounding from her school years would become a cornerstone of Victoria’s future success.

Victoria’s pursuit of higher education saw her obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Lagos and a Master’s Degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She further expanded her academic portfolio with a Harvard Business School Certificate in Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies and an Advanced Management Certificate from Lagos Business School. These academic achievements provided her with a comprehensive understanding of various aspects of management and security, equipping her with the skills needed to navigate and excel in the security industry.

Victoria Ekhomu’s career in the security industry has not been without its challenges. One significant incident stands out during her tenure as Chapter Chairman of ASIS when she successfully held the first conference with her team in Lagos. The success of this event was a testament to her leadership and organizational skills. However, the subsequent conference in Abuja presented unforeseen challenges. As ASIS Chapter Chairman, with her husband Dr. Ona Ekhomu serving as Regional Vice-President, Victoria faced a major sabotage attempt from critical team members who failed to show up in Abuja to pay the balance for the Hilton Hotel Hall and food.

The absence of the treasurer, who held the association’s checkbook, and other key members created a serious crisis, especially with dignitaries already present at the hotel.

The situation was dire, with the hall remaining closed due to the pending payment, and dignitaries arriving early. Victoria and her husband acted swiftly, writing a company check and arranging for one of their Abuja workers to promptly get the cash from the bank to settle the balance.

This quick thinking and decisive action ensured that the conference on “War Against Corruption” went ahead as planned, receiving significant media coverage despite the sabotage attempt. The event featured notable speakers, including the Bayelsa deputy governor Goodluck Jonathan, who would later become the President of Nigeria.

The successful resolution of this crisis highlighted Victoria’s resilience and ability to handle high-pressure situations effectively.

Victoria Ekhomu’s journey in the security industry has been both challenging and inspiring. As a female pioneer in a male-dominated field, she has continuously proven herself by acquiring the right security certifications, staying abreast of industry trends, and becoming highly knowledgeable about security solutions and technologies.

Her determination and expertise have led her to hold several prestigious positions. She became the first female Certified Protection Professional (CPP) in Africa, the first female Chapter Chairman of ASIS Chapter 206 in Lagos, and the first female Regional Vice President (RVP) for ASIS.

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These groundbreaking achievements paved the way for other women in the industry and demonstrated that gender should not be a barrier to success.

Victoria’s pioneering spirit extended to her role as the first Senior Regional Vice President (SRVP) and the first African Advisory Council Chairman for ASIS. She also became the first female member of the ASIS Board of Trustees.

These roles required a deep understanding of security issues and a commitment to advancing the field. Victoria’s contributions have been recognized globally, and she continues to inspire and mentor the next generation of security professionals.

For women aspiring to succeed in any field, Victoria emphasizes the importance of intelligence, integrity, honesty, confidence, empathy, emotional intelligence, hard work, and a continuous desire to learn. She believes that these traits are crucial for overcoming challenges and achieving success. Victoria’s own journey is a testament to these qualities, as she has navigated numerous obstacles and emerged as a leader in her industry.

Victoria advises young professionals entering the security industry to focus on emerging areas such as globalization, information technology, and artificial intelligence.

She believes that expertise in these areas will be increasingly important as the security landscape evolves and new types of crimes emerge. She encourages aspiring security professionals to pursue certifications such as the Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and the Physical Security Professional (PSP) from ASIS, as well as certifications from the International Foundation for Protection Professionals (IFPO) like the Certified Protection Officer (CPO) and the Certified Security Supervision & Management (CSSM). These certifications provide a solid foundation of knowledge and skills essential for a successful career in security.

Victoria Ekhomu’s vision for the security sector in Nigeria includes the implementation of mandatory security certifications for all professionals. She believes that this requirement will ensure that security practitioners have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively address security challenges.

By empowering security professionals through certification and training, the overall standard of security in Nigeria can be significantly enhanced.

Victoria also advocates for certification training for guards, ensuring they are licensed and equipped with the requisite knowledge to perform their duties effectively.

This professionalization of the security industry will help in maintaining high standards and providing better security services to clients. Victoria’s commitment to education and certification underscores her belief in the importance of continuous learning and professional development in the security sector.

Dr. (Amb) Victoria Ekhomu’s journey is a testament to her resilience, dedication, and pioneering spirit in the security industry. From her formative years, guided by her mother’s educational influence, to overcoming significant professional challenges, Victoria has consistently demonstrated her ability to navigate and thrive in a male-dominated field.

Her numerous firsts, including being the first female CPP in Africa and the first female Regional Vice President for ASIS, highlight her role as a trailblazer and mentor for other women in security.

Victoria’s advice to young professionals emphasizes the importance of continuous learning and certification, particularly in emerging areas like IT and AI.

Her vision for the security sector in Nigeria, which includes mandatory certifications for security professionals, aims to enhance the competence and effectiveness of practitioners in addressing modern security challenges.

Dr. Victoria Ekhomu’s story serves as an inspiration to all, showcasing the impact of strong educational foundations, the importance of resilience in the face of challenges, and the power of leadership and knowledge in driving change and achieving success. Her legacy in the security industry is one of innovation, integrity, and unwavering commitment to making the world a safer place.

 

 

 

 

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