Without a doubt, one of the brightest minds within the President Tinubu team is the very beautiful, intelligent and hardworking Hadiza Bala Usman, the former Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). She made such huge difference with her transformational policies at the NPA, this is why many who were disappointed at the manner in which she left NPA were extremely happy to see her return to government. She secured a new position under the administration of President Bola Tinubu as the Special Adviser to the President on policy coordination. For Usman, a new dawn has arrived, marking the end of a challenging period.…CONTINUE READING
This is such a big responsibility because Hadiza has to monitor performances of ministers, review them and recommend to the president the ministers whose performances need to be addressed and the ones that have met threshold be applauded. According to City People investigation, the President needed some he could trust for the job and Hadiza was perfect for the job. Her antecedents and accomplishments speak volumes. This is why the President was confident enough to give her such massive responsibility. Let us share with you a few other reasons why we think President Tinubu trusts Hadiza a great deal enough and believes she will deliver on her new task.
First, there is no denying the advantages that well-known individuals possess over their lesser-known counterparts. Usman, a prominent figure in Nigerian politics, has attained a new role accompanied by its inherent benefits. With her wealth of experience, she is expected to blaze a trail of success in her capacity as the Special Adviser on Policy Coordination.
President Tinubu carefully considered the demanding requirements of the position before appointing Usman. Alongside her, several others were appointed to positions with equal potential. Among them are Hannatu Musawa, appointed as the Special Adviser on Culture and Entertainment Economy, and Abdullahi Gumel, appointed as the Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate).
While numerous names were featured in the appointment dossier for Special Advisers, Usman stood out due to her track record and background. Her tenure at the NPA, as well as the circumstances surrounding her departure, particularly her clashes with former Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi, highlight her resilience and integrity as a strong woman.
Usman’s impressive portfolio is undoubtedly influenced by her family background. Her grandfather, the late Sarki (Emir) of Kano Abdullahi Bayero (1881–1953), and her father, Yusufu Bala Usman, a prominent scholar who significantly contributed to Nigerian historiography, have undoubtedly played a role in her success thus far.
Now that Usman has embarked on a new journey as the Special Adviser to President Tinubu on Policy Coordination, it is expected that she will continue to make significant waves, surpassing even the achievements she accomplished during her time at the NPA.
And Hadiza Bala Usman knows she has her work cut out fior her. And she appears weel prepared to deliver on the responsibilities placed on her shoulders. She has stated very clearly that all ministers would sign a performance bond with the President.
Usman explained that the bond would detail what is expected of the ministers in 2024.
She said the bond will contain Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that would be reviewed quarterly.
According to Usman: “We are looking to commence an assessment of the respective ministers in January 2024. We are going to have quarterly assessments of performance which will culminate in an annual score card.
“In addition to that, we are going to have a cabinet retreat in November with Mr. President. At the end, this would culminate in the performance bond that will be signed by each ministry.
“Every minister and the permanent secretary would sign a performance bond with the president which would detail what they are expected to do within the one year 2024 budget cycle.
“And that performance bond is what we are going to use to track the performance of that minister.
“One of the things that we are keen to ensure, and Mr. President has clearly given us that directive is that performance is a very important thing.
“He has made a commitment to Nigerians and that commitment is what he is going to ensure is delivered by his respective appointees.”
Without a doubt, she is a perfect fit for her role. She has the clout and confidence to look any minister in the eye and do her job without fear or intimidation.
Her appointment drew a wide range of applause and acknowledgement fron Nigerians across the country. Individuals, groups, have all hailed her appointment by Mr. President. One of such groups is the Coalition of Northern Youth Organizations for National Unity and Integration. The group joined others who have applauded President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for appointing the former Managing Director of Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman as his Special Adviser on Policy and Coordination.
While commending President Tinubu for the appointment, the National Coordinator, of the Arewa Youth Organisation, Comrade Bishir Dauda who described the appointment as a new dawn, said “Hadiza Bala Usman is not only a highly experienced, innovative technocrat and reformer, but also an incorruptible woman of unquestionable integrity who spearheaded positive reforms at the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) that generated more revenue to the federal government, even as she tackled corruption, fraud, inefficiency and wastage.
“It is a common knowledge that during her time at NPA , Hadiza Bala ensured full implementation of all the federal government policies , including the Treasury Single Account (TSA).”
Bashir further explained that:
“Hadiza being a member of the APC presidential campaign council, played a vital role in the formulation of the Renewed Hope Agenda, describing her as highly cerebral and having the technical know how, discipline, courage, determination and competency to discharge her new role.”
In the same vein, the Northern Youth Organisation wished Hajia Hadiza the best of luck and hope that she will use her office to end policy inconsistencies, summersaults and lack of implementation which have become the bane of Nigeria’s progress and development.”
Hadiza, an indigene of Katsina State, was appointed alongside another female Katsina indigene, Hannatu Musawa, who is now the Special Adviser on Entertainment and Culture.
Perhaps we should tell you a bit more about Hadiza Bala Usman. She is an Nigerian politician who is recognized for her exceptional contributions and leadership in various roles throughout her career.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree (B.Sc.) in Business Administration from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and a postgraduate degree in Development Studies from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. With an extensive professional background, she has made significant strides in public service and governance.
Before her groundbreaking appointment as the first Female Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), a position she held for five years from 2016 to 2021, Bala Usman served in several key roles.
Hadiza Bala initially worked at the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and later joined the UNDP for the Federal Capital Territory Administration, where she excelled as the Assistant to the Minister on project implementation.
Her remarkable achievements led to her appointment as the Chief of Staff to the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, making her the first woman to hold such a position in that region.
Bala Usman’s influence extends beyond her professional achievements. She has received numerous accolades for her exceptional work in governance, advocacy for girl child education, and championing women’s emancipation.
In addition to her significant contributions at the national level, she serves as the Vice President (African Region) for the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH).
Currently, she is spearheading a visionary 25-year port development plan, aimed at positioning the NPA for the future of the global maritime industry.
Born on 2 January 1976 in Zaria, Bala Usman hails from a distinguished Fulani ruling class family of the Sullubawa clan. Her father, Yusufu Bala Usman, was a renowned academic and historian, and her great grandfather, Abdullahi Bayero, served as the 10th Emir of Kano.
Growing up on the campus of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where her father worked, she completed her primary and secondary education there. In 1996, she enrolled at the university, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2000.
She further pursued her education at the University of Leeds, obtaining a master’s degree in development studies in 2009.
Bala Usman’s early experiences in research and public service shaped her career trajectory. As a research assistant at the Centre for Democratic Development and Research Training in Zaria in 1999, she developed valuable skills and knowledge.
Subsequently, she held positions at the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the UNDP for the Federal Capital Territory Administration, gaining expertise in project implementation and enterprise management.
In 2011, Bala Usman contested for the federal constituency of Musawa/Matazu under the Congress for Progressive Change, marking her entry into the political arena.
During this time, she also served as the country director of strategy for the Good Governance Group in Nigeria, a non-governmental organization.
Bala Usman’s commitment to social causes is evident in her involvement as a co-founder of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, which emerged in response to the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls by the terrorist group Boko Haram.
She played an instrumental role in advocating for the rescue of the abducted girls, coordinating meetings between their parents and government officials.
The campaign, represented by the color red as a symbol of alarm and danger, continued to strive for their safe return.
In 2015, Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai appointed Bala Usman as the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kaduna State, recognizing her competence and leadership abilities.
A year later, she was appointed as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority by President Muhammadu Buhari. Despite initial controversies surrounding her nomination, Hadiza Bala Usman succeeded in making significant improvements during her tenure at the Nigerian Ports Authority.
Her strategic vision and strong management skills contributed to the development and growth of the organization.
However, in May 2021, President Buhari approved her suspension as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, citing concerns over the manner of her reappointment for a second term.
This decision was made following a recommendation from Rotimi Amaechi, the former Minister of Transportation, who alleged that the NPA under Bala Usman’s leadership failed to remit an operating surplus of N165 billion to the federal government.
Despite these allegations, an administrative panel of inquiry was established and subsequently cleared Hadiza Bala Usman of any wrongdoing.
In 2022, Bala Usman was replaced as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority by Mohammed Bello-Koko. However, her expertise and contributions to the maritime industry did not go unnoticed.
In June 2023, President Bola Tinubu appointed her as the Special Adviser on Policy Coordination, showcasing the recognition of her valuable insights and capabilities.
Hadiza Bala Usman’s career trajectory and accomplishments exemplify her dedication to public service and her commitment to driving positive change in Nigeria.
As an influential figure in the Nigerian political landscape, she has not only shattered glass ceilings but also demonstrated her capability to lead and make a lasting impact in various sectors.
Her unwavering advocacy for women’s rights and education, along with her expertise in port development and governance, positions her as a prominent figure in the country’s socio-political landscape.
Furthermore, Bala Usman’s appointment as the first female Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority marked a significant milestone in Nigeria’s history.
Her leadership not only broke gender barriers but also showcased her capabilities in a traditionally male-dominated industry.
Her forward-thinking approach and emphasis on strategic planning demonstrated her vision for the future and her dedication to driving sustainable growth and development.
While Bala Usman’s suspension from the Nigerian Ports Authority in 2021 sparked controversy, it also highlighted the complexities and challenges faced by leaders in the public sector.
The subsequent administrative panel’s exoneration of her from the allegations raised questions about the motivations behind her suspension and the political dynamics at play.
Regardless of the outcome, Bala Usman’s reputation as a competent and resilient leader remains intact, and her contributions to the maritime industry and public service continue to shine.
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