Still on Hadiza Bala Us­man’s NPA ap­point­ment

Daily Trust - - OPINION -

The re­cent ap­point­ment of Mrs. Hadiza Bala Us­man as the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Nige­rian Ports Au­thor­ity (NPA) cre­ated a me­dia furore, par­tic­u­larly the over -hyped Nige­rian so­cial me­dia com­mu­nity. This may not be un­con­nected to her been in­con­spic­u­ous in a world dom­i­nated by rab­ble-rous­ing politi­cians and over­bear­ing op­por­tunists. Her name may not ring a loud bell among such fa­mil­iar ama­zons; but be­hind it is a suf­fi­ciently as­tute, forth­right and out­spo­ken woman whose thun­der­ing voice al­ways echo in chal­leng­ing the peren­nial rot in our body politic. It is be­lieved that some of the great­est in­di­vid­u­als who left re­mark­able traces wher­ever they have a stint are lit­tle known to the pub­lic. This was the case with Hadiza Bala Us­man!

An amaz­ingly fear­less woman, Hadiza is a scion of the eru­dite scholar and un­ri­valled his­to­rian late Dr Yusufu Bala Us­man, whose name res­onates with a vi­brat­ing sound when­ever it is ut­tered in both aca­demic and po­lit­i­cal spheres of this coun­try. Born on 2nd Jan­uary, 1976 in Zaria, Kaduna State, Hadiza started her ed­u­ca­tion at Ah­madu Bello Univer­sity Staff Pri­mary School and rose with her in­sa­tiable quest for knowl­edge that saw her off to the Univer­sity of Leeds in United King­dom where she ob­tained an MA in De­vel­op­ment Stud­ies.

Hadiza started her work­ing ca­reer as a Re­search As­sis­tant with Cen­ter for Demo­cratic De­vel­op­ment and Re­search Train­ing (CEDDERT) Zaria, and then worked at the Bureau for Pub­lic En­ter­prises (BPE), un­til Oc­to­ber 2004 when she was hired by the United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme (UNDP), for the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FCTA) as Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the Min­is­ter of the FCT on Projects Im­ple­men­ta­tion, and later on Phys­i­cal In­fra­struc­ture.

In 2008 Hadiza served as Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of Abuja En­ter­prise Agency, in charge of pro­mot­ing the de­vel­op­ment of mi­cro, small and medium en­ter­prises in the FCT. She was also the Di­rec­tor, Fund Rais­ing and Strat­egy for the Good Gov­er­nance Group (3G).

Hav­ing drank from the foun­tain of her im­per­ish­able rad­i­cal fa­ther, Hadiza made a dra­matic foray into the murky wa­ters of Nige­rian pol­i­tics and so­cial ac­tivism. She was the can­di­date of the de­funct Congress for Pro­gres­sive Change (CPC) for the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives seat for Mu­sawa/ Matazu Fed­eral Con­stituency in her home state of Katsina. She served as Mem­ber and Sec­re­tary of var­i­ous com­mit­tees in­clud­ing the CPC Re­newal Com­mit­tee (2011); APC Strat­egy Com­mit­tee (2014); North Cen­tral Gu­ber­na­to­rial Elec­tions Screen­ing Com­mit­tee (2014); APC Elec­tions Plan­ning Com­mit­tee (2014); APC Pres­i­den­tial Cam­paign Coun­cil (2015); Pres­i­den­tial In­au­gu­ra­tion Com­mit­tee (2015), among oth­ers.

In July 2015, she was ap­pointed the Chief of Staff to the Gover­nor of Kaduna State, the ac­tive po­si­tion she held un­til her re­cent ap­point­ment. A wild ju­bi­la­tion within govern­ment cir­cle in Kaduna greeted her re­cent ap­point­ment, iron­i­cally, not be­cause she has has got­ten an el­e­va­tion, but be­cause the woman who en­sured the en­force­ment of due process was now gone and, busi­ness will re­turn as usual.

Hadiza was a co-founder of the global move­ment Bring Back Our Girls, which has been de­mand­ing for the res­cue of the 219 young school girls ab­ducted by Boko Haram from Chi­bok Sec­ondary School in Borno State.

Her in­de­fati­ga­ble en­ergy shot her to lime­light and promi­nence. With­out minc­ing words, she is a woman of re­silient spirit, men­tal and cre­ative en­ergy with un­matched abil­ity to get things done. It was her in­volve­ment with the Bring Back Our Girls cam­paign and other pa­tri­otic cam­paigns be­hind the scenes that prac­ti­cally set her apart cul­mi­nat­ing into her win­ning in­ter­na­tional awards and recog­ni­tions. She bagged the Fi­nan­cial Time’s (FT) Most In­flu­en­tial Women Award of 2014; the CNN’s Most In­spir­ing Woman Award of 2014 and; Ebony Magazine’s 100 Most In­flu­en­tial Black Women in the world.

Cer­tainly, Hadiza mer­ited her new ap­point­ment, and the NPA is very lucky to have her as the new cap­tain. Her vast ex­pe­ri­ence, shrewd­ness and agility will surely be of im­mense ben­e­fit to the trans­for­ma­tion of that trans­porta­tion sub-sec­tor.

Musa Azare wrote in from Abuja musaazarey@gmail.com

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