Blueprint lectures, awards: Dambazau to speak on security, 2023 polls August 16, El-Rufai, Sanwo-Olu, others for honours

The 17th Chief of Army Staff and former Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-General Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, will Tuesday, August 16, 2022, deliver a keynote address at the 2021 Blueprint Annual Lecture and Impact Series/Awards ceremony.

Chief Operating Officer (COO) Blueprint Newspapers Limited Malam Salisu Umar disclosed this in a statement in Abuja Monday.

He said General Dambazau would speak on “2023 Politics, National Security and Nigeria’s Stability.”  

According to him, General Dambazau was chosen by a team of experts to deliver the lecture based on his vast knowledge of security issues and global political developments.

He said the choice of the topic was informed by the need to contribute to the country’s political development and engender national cohesion.

Umar also said the event is dedicated to finding workable solutions to the challenges associated with elections, national security, peace and stability of the country.

The COO said the event “is also organised to honour key political actors, players in the private sector, individuals and heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) among others, who have proved their worth in specific areas of governance and human endeavours.

“Some of those listed for the awards at the event are Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for their immense contributions to the socio-economic development of Kaduna and Lagos states respectively.”

The two were nominated as Blueprint Persons of The Year.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai

Malam Nasir El-Rufa is a Nigerian politician who is also the Governor of Kaduna state. Born February 16, 1960, Malam El-Rufai won the party’s primaries and emerged as the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate for Kaduna state.

He won the gubernatorial election April 11, 2015 and was formally declared governor-elect Sunday, 12 April 2015.

During his first term as governor, he attained many feats in governance reforms, including ranking number 1 state for doing business by the World Bank Doing Business Report 2018.

He has attracted more than $500 million in new investments into the state; the completion of the 150 million litres per day Water Treatment Plant of the Zaria Water Project, and Phase Two of the projects to pipe the water into homes and businesses; unprecedented attention to human capital development through reforms in Education and Health, including school renovation and the project to upgrade 255 Primary Health Centres; replaced 21,780 teachers who failed a competency test with 25,000 new teachers; introduced electronic voting in Nigeria and moved Kaduna state to the Contributory Pension Scheme as one of the few states faithfully implementing it.

Further to this, the governor, who launched the Kaduna State Contributory Health Insurance Scheme; was also the first to implement Treasury Single Account, mopping up state funds from 470 bank accounts into one account in the CBN; created the Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS) to establish a digital land registry for the state; reduced ministries from 19 to 14; made Kaduna the first sub-national to become a member of the Open Government Partnership.

Similarly, El-Rufai is reputed to be the first governor to attach portfolios to his nomination of commissioners; doubled internally generated revenues without raising tax rates; implemented public service reforms; passed an innovative Mortgage and Foreclosure Law; and paid unprecedented sums as bursaries to qualified students in tertiary institutions.

The governor was re-elected March 2019, and his running mate, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, became the first elected female deputy governor in the far north of Nigeria, just as he appointed women to head six of the 14 ministries in the state.

Several youths and women have also been named heads of agencies or critical advisers.

He appointed a young journalist to head the first state’s Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, and also created a cabinet with people from every part of Nigeria and continues to promote Kaduna as an open place where every resident is treated as a citizen.

So far in his second term, he has launched the Kaduna Urban Renewal Programme, which is remaking the face of Kaduna, with similar programmes lined up for Kafanchan and Zaria. He foresighted a management-led Kaduna state to be the first government to pay the new national minimum wage and raised the minimum pension for retirees on defined benefits to N30,000 monthly.

Before he ventured into politics, El-Rufai had served as a public officer in various capacities. In 1998, he was appointed into the Policy Implementation and Monitoring Committee (PIMCO), which was charged to help manage the transition programme that led to a democratically elected government’s handover in 1999.

President Olusegun Obasanjo also charged him in 1999 to run the privatisation programme as Director-General of the BPE.

The awardee also distinguished himself at the BPE, showcasing a clear-headedness, tenacity and courage that persuaded President Obasanjo to saddle him in 2003 with the difficult job of managing Abuja as the minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

Malam, as he is fondly called, has continued to distinguish himself amongst his peers through selfless determination and hard work.

He is a detribalised Nigerian who is utterly blind to primordial sentiments, a Nigerian who believes every citizen of the country should be free to live and work in any part of the country without any form of fear. Malam  El-Rufai is a committed champion of the equality of opportunity.

El-Rufai was educated at Barewa College. As a junior at the college, President Umaru Yar’Adua was the house captain of his dormitory.

In 1976, he graduated at the top of his class, winning the “Barewa Old Boys’ Association Academic Achievement” Trophy. El-Rufai attended Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, where he received a bachelor’s degree in quantity surveying with first-class honours.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Born June 25, 1965, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu assumed office as the 15th Governor of Lagos state May 29, 2019. Until his emergence, Sanwo-Olu was the Managing Director/CEO of Lagos State Development Property Corporation (LSDPC).

He was also a three-time Commissioner in the state, having served in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions.

Sanwo-Olu is an alumnus of the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School of Government, London Business School and the Lagos Business School.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Surveying & Geo-Informatics and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Lagos.

He is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) and boasts of a membership of the Nigerian Institute of Directors (IOD), Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), and Fellowship of Nigeria Institute of Training and Development (NITAD).

Sanwo-Olu was a treasurer at former Lead Merchant Bank from 1994 to 1997 before moving to the United Bank for Africa (UBA) as the Head of Foreign Money Market.

He subsequently moved to First Inland Bank Plc (now First City Monument Bank), from where he retired as a Deputy General Manager and Divisional Head.

His public service career began in 2003 when he was appointed Special Adviser on Corporate Matters to the then Deputy Governor of Lagos state, Mr. Femi Pedro, and later Special Adviser on Corporate Matters to the then governor, Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

For his outstanding performance, Sanwo-Olu was appointed acting Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget.

In 2007, he became the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry under Governor Tinubu.

After the general elections in 2007, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu was appointed Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions by Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN).

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