Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu: Minister with a difference




Barely two years ago, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu was appointed by President Muhammadu as the Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

Leaders are born, not made, according to a school of thought. Yet, we are educated in the development school which elucidates the values of knowledge, conviction and willpower as instruments to shatter barriers and erect structures and institutions that will steer society towards a better order. That is Ramatu for you.

Immediately she was appointed, Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu hit the ground running. She took a tour of the six area councils of the FCT to get first hand assessment of what was on the ground. She was given some mandate secretariats to oversee and since then, the performance index has shot up as she kept an eagle eye on them to ensure the presidential directives are adhere to.

She is a workaholic and her staff can attest to her desire to leave a benchmark thereafter.

An unassuming politician who believes any position you find yourself, put in the best so that posterity might be kind when history is being recalled.

It will not be right to say that she is the first minister of state, but among those who have held the portfolio, she stands tall and can be counted for her laudable achievements as number two citizen of Abuja.

She has indeed contributed her quota to the growth and development of the territory, and there are facts and figures to back up the claims.

She is noted for her commitment to hardwork, loyalty and to duty in ensuring that those targets of her principal, President Buhari, for the development of the territory were achieved.

In the health sector, which she is overseeing, in an effort to deliver key health interventions and in line with primary healthcare, the minister of state has ensured the establishment of a mandatory Universal Community-Based Health Insurance Scheme.

By so doing, she has flagged off the FCT health insurance scheme by ensuring the enrolment of staff of the six Area Councils.

By dint of hard work, she has shown rare promise, indicating penetrating vision and a clear grasp of issues that will enable her discharge the various responsibilities of her office, despite teething challenges.

On resettlement and compensation, she has ensured the implementation of a comprehensive plan to resolve all resettlement issues in the FCT.

It is heartwarming to note that four plans have been developed for resolving resettlement issues, namely, Gidan Daya Relocation layout to resolve the conflict between the Nigeria military and Kpadnayi community at Kugbo district and the relocation of the community to Gidan Daya at cadastral zone E11, about to commence.

Gude Resettlement Layout is to accommodate six communities namely; Waru, Kabusa, Pigba 1, Pigba 2, Chafuyi and Apo Tafyi, the process is ongoing.

Wasa Resettlement is to accommodate three communities for the first phase, the communities are Alieta, Chika and Piyakasa. Houses built and presently undergoing renovations.

A number of compensation issues have been resolved in respect of crops and economic trees as well as relocation, namely; Kwali compensation has been issue resolved and payment is ongoing. Waru compensation issue has been resolved and payment is ongoing.

Apo community compensation issue has been resolved and payment is ongoing. Kpadnayi community is relocating to Gidan Daya. The issue has been resolved and relocation is about to commence. Karshi compensation issue has been resolved and payment completed.

On fumigation and decontamination, she has also ensured the ongoing decontamination/fumigation of homes, (MDA) offices within and around the FCC, public spaces (including markets) and hotels, to contain the spread of the virus in the Territory.

The exercise has enjoyed wide acclaim in the light of the range of chemicals used to effectively decontaminate the targeted spaces.

On tourism, Ramatu had in different fora acknowledged the potential of the tourism sector in the area of job creation and lifting millions out of poverty in line with the presidential deliverables.

The tourism sector is one sector that the administration is absolutely interested in investing, given the fact that the nation’s projected population by 2050 would be about 450 million people, and with a projected huge population, it is important that all sectors are active in order to avoid crisis.

Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, née Sidi Ali, was born on 12 June 1970 in Wuse, Abuja, Nigeria. She is the daughter of late Alhaji Mamman Sidi Ali, who was the Bawan Allah of Lokoja in Kogi state.

Ramatu got admitted into Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for her undergraduate program to study Urban and Regional Planning, She graduated in 1995 with Bachelor of Science degree (B.Sc) Urban and Regional Planning, after which Ramatu went to Nasarawa State University, Keffi, and done her master’s degree in Public Administration. She was conferred with honorary doctorate degree in Public Administration by the Commonwealth University, London and also earned a certificate in Leadership Skills from the Abbey College, London.

In 2004, Aliyu was appointed special adviser on Women affairs, Youth and Social Development to the chairman of the Gwagwalada area council, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria. In 2007, she ran for political office to represent Kwali/Abaji federal constituency in the Nigeria National Assembly (NASS) but her bid was unsuccessful, later a year in 2008, she was appointed vice national chairman of her party, which was the major opposition political party in Nigeria at the time, All Nigeria Peoples Party(ANPP) which she served as the overseer North Central Zone. In 2010 she was given the national woman leader of the party.

And in 2014, after three opposition political parties in Nigeria merged into one, including her own party ANPP, she was appointed the women leader of the new party All Progressives Congress (APC), which she served until 2018.

Abdul is an Abuja based journalist.