Our woman crush for today is the Managing Director of the Nigerian Port Authority , she was the former Chief Of Staff to the Governor of Kaduna State from 2015 to 2016, A founding member of the ruling party All Progressive Congress (APC) and also she’s one of the co- founders of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign in 2014.
Hadiza Bala Uaman born on the 2nd of January 1976 in zaria to a Fulani ruling class family. Her father was a well known academician and historian. He founded the Centre for Democratic Development, Research and Training in Zaria. Her great grandfather, Abdullahi Beyero, was the 10th emir of Kano from the year 1926 to 1953.
Hadiza grew up in Ahmadu Bello University campus in Zaria, where her father worked. She attended the university staff school and went ahead to complete her secondary education. In 1996 she went to the university and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2000. She later went for her master’s degree in development studies from the University of Leeds in 2009.
In 1999, she spent a year at the Centre for Democratic Development and Research Training in Zaria as a research assistant.
Hadiza worked at the Bureau of public enterprises from July 2000 to August 2004 as an enterprise officer. From October 2004 to January 2008, she was then hired by the UNDP for the Federal Capital Territory Administration as a special assistant to the Minister on project implementation.
In 2014, following the Chibok Schoolgirls Kidnapping by Boko Haram, Hadiza Bala Usman noticed that the Jonathan administration was not prioritizing the kidnapping, she then co-founded the Bring Back Our Girls campaign group to advocate the rescue of the abducted schoolgirls, She chose the colour red for the campaign because it is a sign of “alarm, danger, a warning. Hadiza Bala Usman has also helped coordinate meetings with the parents of the kidnapped girls and members of the Nigerian government. She has continued to protest with the group into 2016.
In 2015, following his election Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State appointed her his Chief of Staff. She was later appointed as the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in July 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari. Her appointment generated a lot of controversies as many saw her nomination as ethnically based and questioned her qualification for the specific role.
Hadiza became the first female Managing Director of the port authority. She was able to prove herself worthy, by her relentless commitment to the reforms in NPA. She introduced changes through her achievement in the sector, which earned her accolades from staff and other industry operators.
She increases NPA’s revenue by 84.65 percent in her first year in office. In 2017 NPA generated #299.5billion revenue which exceeded the one generated in 2016, making it the highest revenue generated by the authority in the past five years.
She also pursued the collection of the Federal Government’s outstanding revenues with the terminal operators.
The reforms initiated by Hadiza Bala Usman, since her assumption to office, have left no one in doubt about her resolve to right the wrongs of the past, block all leakages and save money for the government.
With these and many more engagements, Ms Bala Usman has boost the confidence in the system and force people that work under her to adhere to the rule of law. She also ensured capacity building for the employees to make them very relevant now and in many years to come.
The Kaduna born lady has also been at the forefront of the campaign to ensure the total success of the Presidential Order on the Ease of Doing Business Directive in the Ports.
Hadiza Bala Usman was married to Tanimu Yakubu Kurfi who served under the former (Late) President Umaru Musa Yar’adua as economic adviser and they have two boys.
By: Firdausi Musa Dantsoho