2021: Chronicles of under 50 leaders in Nigeria’s public service (3)




Welcome to the third edition of this publication which began from a zest to promote greater inclusion of young leaders into the public sector and showcasing profiles of outstanding individuals leading Ministries Departments & Agencies of government. Our team having faced the challenges of indulging noteworthy individuals to provide relevant information not available in the public space keeps getting burdensome and the unwillingness to cooperate being another hard nut to crack. It is sheer determination and persistence to facilitate the actualization of our vision that pushes us in putting more resources, manpower and gusto. We have received a few commendations and remarks from people, who appreciate this non-profit self financing initiative, but more than anything is the excitement from readers who get to read the profiles of men and women they never knew.

Nigeria is at one of the most historic times post military rule; young leaders at the center of national change and the need to take the wheel of leadership in the country.

I do not believe it can be achieved by reactive chaotic tendencies as seen by promoters of separatism but by bargaining at the electoral corridors and courts of partisan milieu for increased inclusion of young leaders who must be below 50 years both at federal and state offices.

It is my desire that the brief profile of some seemingly unknown individuals you will read about here will beam the light on germane questions and retrospective quest for a Nigeria that will be run with vibrancy, innovation, energy and vigor.

Mrs Fatima Lawan Muhtar
  1. Mrs Fatima Lawan Muhtar, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is the Company Secretary and Legal Adviser. She holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB) from the University of Maiduguri and obtained an LLM from the School of Economics and Political Science. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1999 and is currently studying to specialize as a certified PPP expert. Her position on the board of one Nigeria’s most important entities responsible for the efficient delivery of power in the country is a great milestone considering how her predecessors were mostly older professionals.
Mr. Kola Taliat Talent
  • Mr Kola Taliat Talent, Special Assistant on Special Duties to the Post Master General/Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Postal Office (NIPOST), (Oyo State, South West), 47 years old; he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and Regional Planning from the prestigious Lagos State University, professional Masters Degree in Geographic Information Systems, University of Lagos and currently studying his Masters in Business Administration in University of Abuja.

He began his working career in one of Nigeria’s oldest and biggest organizations, Nigeria Post Service (NIPOST) as a Postal Controller 2 Cadre after he gradually rose through the ranks holding several positions like Principal Postal Controller and currently Chief Postal Controller giving him enormous experience in the public sector as displayed by his outstanding performance at different committees where he served. Kola’s ability to manage an effective and progressive healthy relationship with superiors, stakeholders, subordinates and those outside the organization makes him stand out from the perceived notion that civil servant cannot be as productive and savvy like those in the private sector. An interaction with him will leave you awestruck by his intellectual stint but yet wrapped in humility and willingness to learn. He is known for his commitment and devotion to his faith driven by his belief of faithfulness to God, family and the society.

As a alma mater of set 1992 of Mafoluku Grammar School, Lagos state and the current president of the alumni where he has also been able to galvanize his mates and friends to sponsor less privileged children on scholarships and also raise fund to renovate the schools dilapidated facilities. His ability to solicit and endear people to humanitarianism is commendable if one is to take into cognizance the supposedly paltry income of a civil servant which could make others focus more on themselves and their family members. Kola has emulated that no one really have an excuse not to make impact, no matter where you are.

Kola is married to Pharmacist Olubunmi Talent and they are blessed with children.

Dr. Bala Bello
  • Dr. Bala Bello, Executive Director, Corporate Services, NEXIM bank, has more than two decades experience in the financial services industry, spanning through banking, capital market and pension fund management. He has worked at senior executive level in the last seven years prior to his appointment as Executive Director at the Nigerian Export Export-Import Bank in 2017. Dr. Bello holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting, and an MBA, both from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He began his banking career with Guaranty Trust Bank Plc; and later joined the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2005, he joined Sigma Pensions Ltd, and was appointed the first Nigerian Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer in 2011 and later Executive Director Operations from 2013 to 2014. In this capacity, he had direct administrative responsibility for over N260 billion ($1.5 billion) funds/assets under management (A-U-M). Dr. Bala established and served as the founding CEO of Marine Capital Limited, a real estate development and business/pensions advisory firm in February 2015; and subsequently joined Apricot Investments Limited in March 2016 as the pioneer Managing Director/CEO. Dr. Bala has completed the High Potential Leadership Program at Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts and Executive Development Program at Wharton Business School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania both in the United States of America. He also holds a certificate in Operations Leadership from the prestigious Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, Canada, as well as Portfolio Management Academy Certificate at the New York Institute of Finance. He has also successfully completed modules 1 & 2 of the highly sought-after GMP programme at the Harvard Business School in March 2020. He is an honorary senior member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, a Fellow of the Institute of Credit administration, a member of the Institute of Directors, a member of the Certified Pension Institute of Nigeria, and a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management. He was conferred with Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) in Leadership and Management by ESAE University, Republic of Benin, and Doctor of Business Administration (Honoris Causa) by Commonwealth University in conjunction with London Graduate School.
Barr. Safe Akpeneye
  • Barr Dafe C. Akpeneye is the Commissioner that leads the Legal, Licensing and Compliance Division at Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).  In this role he is primarily responsible for issuing licenses to all participants in the Nigerian electricity supply industry, enforcing the provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act and resolving industry complaints/disputes. Dafe C. Akpeneye graduated from the Obafemi Awolowo University with a Bachelor of Laws Degree in 2001 and was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 2003.  He worked briefly with the firm of Jude Idigbe & Co. before proceeding to join Ibrahim, Yakubu & Co. in Lokoja for the National Youth Service Corps program.  He joined the leading commercial law firm, Ajumogobia & Okeke, upon his return to Lagos in 2004 where he worked until he joined the Nigeria member firm of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) global network of firms in December 2005. He led the regulatory services practice at PwC Nigeria and was also the general counsel of the firm in Anglophone West Africa until his resignation on 31 January 2017 to take on the role at NERC following his nomination as a Commissioner by President Buhari in July 2016 and subsequent confirmation by the Senate in January 2017. He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK).
Engr. Barka Sajou
  • Engr Barka Sajou, Executive Director, Technical, Rural Electrification Agency (REA); he is a graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering from University Barka Sajou.jpgof Maiduguri, Borno state, a Masters in Electrical Power Engineering from University of Greenwich, United Kingdom and a Post Graduate Diploma in Grid Integration & Distributed Renewable Energy at the University of Zaagoza, Spain. Mr. Barka’s work experience spans over a decade, majoring in the power sector with concentration in electrification, planning, power infrastructure finance, project development, power reforms and operations.

He has worked on various projects such as Nigeria’s debut Green Bond issuance (supported by the World Bank) as a lead off-grid power specialist, a Power Infrastructure Advisor under the DFID-led Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (NIAF) and as a transaction advisor for the development of several solar home systems (SHS), mini-grids and independent power plant (IPPs) projects. His last role was as the Senior Manager, Strategy and Corporate Planning at the Abuja Electricity Company Plc (AEDC) where he led product innovation, strategy & corporate development and project development for decentralized energy solutions. His appointment validates the axiom a square peg in a square hole as the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) is recognized as one of the beaming agencies with remarkable achievements and undeniable success under the leadership of Mr Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad.

Barka brings highlevel technical ingenuity and innovation that will facilitate timely delivery of increasing demand for rural electrification across over 5 million communities with over 30 million people.

Orkuma Simon Tuleh can be reached via 08187071845, [email protected]