After we launched the debut and premier edition of this monthly article many readers questioned the minuscule listing which highlighted a few of some young leaders at the helm of various public entities. I and my research team decided to scout and unravel this series from the stock pile of qualified men and women noteworthy of readership, and bring to the fore information about them that will spur people to seek to know more. I hope that young readers of my generation will pick up the challenge like these personalities to become participants in life’s great hall than continue to be spectators. Nigeria’s public service is in need of more young and vibrant personalities like these individuals willing to pay the price to serve. Discover my list of Under 50 years of age Leaders in Nigeria’s public service 2021 part 2.
- Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), (Bauchi State, North East), 41; is a graduate of computer science from the prestigious Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, MIT Sloan trained IT expert, alumni of Harvard University in U.S., University of Cambridge, UK and IMD Business School, Switzerland. With about 15 years experience in the IT industry across top industry leaders like Galaxy Backbone and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) where held several. His appointment as the NITDA boss did not come as a surprise to many as at a time when the agency was in need of innovation to set it at par with international contemporaries. The monumental results at NITDA in driving Nigeria’s ICT policy are evident in the leap in GDP of the sector to over 15% from 2018 till date. He is one of Nigeria’s emerging industry leaders.
- Chief Uche Onwude, Commissioner/Member of the Board, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), (Imo State, South East), mid-40s; is one silent achiever from the South Eastern part of Nigeria who’s enormous wealth of experience has earned him a place among kings. He can be easily mistaken for a much younger person than his age with over 18 years in the downstream oil and gas in the country the Enugu State University of Science & Technology graduate with an MBA from the great Nnamdi Azikiwe University he has worked as Account and Finance Offices in MRS Oil and Gas Co. Ltd and other firms. In 2018, Onwude was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as a member, representing the South East Zone on the Governing Board of NITDA before his appointment at NCC.
- Dr. Eberechukwu Fortunate Uneze, Executive Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), (Imo State, South East), 46; is one who’s philosophy of hard work and diligence fashioned by his upbringing paved the way for his success. An Economist by training of the Imo State University bunch, postgraduate education in the United Kingdom and a PhD in Economics from the University of Kent (UK) and a Master of Science degree in Economic Management and Policy from the University of Strathclyde (UK). His very voluminous resume comprises international programmes at top educational institutions like Harvard, Sanford, Duke Universities and so many others.
- Hon. Stella Erhuvwuoghene Okotete, Executive Director, Business Development of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), (Delta State, South South),37; she is one Amazon distinguishing herself in the political and corporate space mainly overcrowded by older men. Her stint in public policy design and implementation, international development and general administration, public-private partnership management, business development and export financing continues to set at the forefront of innovation.
The Benson Idahosa University graduate of International Studies and Diplomacy also holds a Diploma in Law from the Rivers State College of Arts and Sciences, a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Master’s Degree in Peace and Conflict Resolution. Also, an alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School Certificate, Lagos Business School (Pan-Atlantic University) Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and so many other professional institutions within and outside the country.
Since her appointment at NEXIM Bank by President Buhari, she has continued to design products that empower and drive innovation for Nigerian women. She has contributed immensely in the political space of the South-south region and at national level enlisting her as one of the emerging young female leaders from the region.
- Hon. Princess Gloria Akobundu, Chief Executive Officer, AUDA-NEPAD Nigeria (Imo State, South East) 46; a management and administration expert with remarkable people relationship skills that has enabled to work with people of different religious, ethnic and regional background earning her the job of heading New Partnerships for African Development in Nigeria under The presidency.
- Dr. Yemi Kale, Statistician General of the National Bureau of Statistics of Nigeria (Ogun State, South West), 46; in the wake of global standard practice of data analysis and statistics as drivers of investment and economic growth sustainability the NBS has been saddled with the task of providing relevant data and information that could either mar or break the fragile momentum of the country as it recovered from the 2008 – 2013 recession. Dr Yemi Kale, a first class economist with Masters and PhD in Economics & Political Science from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), UK. His career in one of Africa’s leading financial institutions was branded with much success and distinction leading to his later appointment to serve as Special Adviser to Minister of Finance and the Minister of National Planning. The significant achievements recorded at the NBS cannot be attributed to nothing else than his wealth of experience, ingenuity and ability to effectively harness team spirit for optimum results. His efforts have also been celebrated with prestigious awards like the African Financial Analyst of the Year award by the African Investor, 2009 and so many others.
- Dr. Musiliu Olalekan Oseni, Vice President/Commissioner, Market Competition & Rates, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), (Kwara State, South West),39; Nigeria has over the years struggled with stabilizing the electricity resulting to various policies and decisions from deregulation to privatization, and as the major driver of economic development the government has placed the burden on its NERC to ensure the country’s light shines. The local news feeds are full of humungous petitions and proposals to the apex electricity regulatory agency to raise to sector to be at par with other developed economies.
The appointment of Dr Musiliu Olalekan as V.P. speaks for the recognition of the need for innovation and vibrant energy that will deliver on the government’s promises to her citizens. Musiliu holds a PhD in Business/Energy Economics from the University of Cambridge, a Master of Science (distinction) in Energy Economics and Policy from the University of Surrey, UK, and a Bachelor of Science (first class) in Economics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He is currently an honorary research associate at both the Cambridge Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG) and the UCL Faculty of Built Environment. He is a member of the American Economic Association (AEA) and the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE).
- Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), (Enugu State, South East), 50; the emergence of the Corona-virus pandemic took the world by storm leaving millions with irreconcilable pains and losses and brought to limelight the child of necessity; National Center for Disease Control (NCDC). The search for someone who will bear the huge weight bestowed on the agency hoisted on a great deal of competence and wealth of experience, and the choice of Dr Chikwe could not have been better.
A distinct medical professional, expert in epidemiology and public health with tons of publications and experience, his reputation cuts across national and international medical fields. Though a Nigerian born father and German mother he attended University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ruprecht Karls University, Heidelberg, Germany, a Masters in Public Health from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany. His apt and timely coordination of his team at the NCDC has been credited to the proactive response that nullified the verdict by international watchers about Nigeria’s fate during the pandemic. Even though marking his 50th birthday, it is important to feature him in the edition of Nigeria’s Under 50 Leaders in Public Service as a commendation of his hard work.
- Hadiza Santali Sa’eed, Deputy Director, Judges Performance and Evaluation/Legal Department at the National Judicial Council (NJC), (Abuja-FCT, North Central), 45; it is a great excitement to the team at Nigeria’s U50 to mark this edition featuring this starlight who’s silent career success is deserving of magnification as such a feat in a male dominated profession and agency populated by older professionals. The role of the NJC in driving the policy direction of Nigeria’s judiciary positions it as one laden with enormous political interests that could squash a young women like Hadiza to the bottom. The Law graduate from the University of Jos also holds a Masters Degree in International Law, Security and Terrorism, University of Nottingham, UK have invested her life in the pursuit of distinct law practice starting from Private Practice before landing at the National Judicial Commission. She continues to make her mark as a trainer, coordinator and legal policy contributor focused on promoting the best standard practice in the legal profession using world class evaluation and performance framework. Her name may come new to many outside the judicial system but her attainments are worthy of note and should be celebrated as proof that investment in career development truly does reward those who stay focused and commit to hard work.
- Aisha Mahmud, Honorable Commissioner, Consumer, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), (Kastina State, North East) 45; the quiet, humble and friendly economist and distinct administrator holds in Bsc. in Economics and MBA from the prestigious Bayero University Kano. Her appointment did not come as surprise to many due to the fact she has paid her dues and is well deserved with career from commercial banking to private industry and then the public sector. Her 23 year old career depict one of patience, determination and ingenuity with stint in very competitive entities such as Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, Rural Electrification Agency and presently NERC where she leads a team of apt and responsive experts daily attending to droves of consumer complaint as relates to electricity. Aisha Mahmud is a dedicated, relentless, and proactive achiever with impeccable track records of performance, commitment and meticulosity. She is a Utility Regulator with wealth of knowledge and experience in the power sector. With over twenty-three years post graduate degree in Economics and over fourteen years working experience in the Nigerian power sector; an expert in tariff and rates design, with immense familiarity in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry and the Nigerian Electricity Market.
Tuleh, business and finance consultant, writes from Abuja via [email protected]; 08187071845