Nigeria’s sporting community and the Abusite family has been thrown into grief once again as the death was announced on Tuesday morning of a distinguished Abusite and former Minister/Chairman, National Sports Commission, Hon. Bala Kaoje. He was 60 years of age.
In a condolence message to the Kaoje family, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, described the death of the former Sports Minister as “a huge loss to not only his family and friends but the country at large.”
Similarly, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) expressed its shock and sadness at the passing of the former Minister, with the NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi describing the deceased as “a dignified and unassuming public servant who showed great passion and interest in the development and improvement of Nigeria sports.
“Quietly intelligent, diligent and a man of high integrity, Ka’oje is on record to have conveyed to then NFA (for onward conveyance to world football –governing body, FIFA) in February 2007, the abrogation of Decree 101 hitherto governing the administration of football in Nigeria, and government’s recognition of the approval by then NFA’s Annual General Meeting of the Statutes and its standing orders as the sole regulatory instrument for football administration in Nigeria.”
Profile: Who is Hon. Bala Kaoje?
Hon. Bala Kaoje is a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he received his bachelor’s and Master of Science degrees in Construction Engineering Management. He has attended several local and international training in various courses of study.
As part of his rich experience, he served in the Sokoto Ministry of Works and rose to the position of Deputy Director. Hon. Ka’Oje participated in the supervision of major engineering and construction jobs in Nigeria, including the Ijora Causeway, Lagos, and the dredging project across the Niger Bridge. He was the Managing Director of Godiya Miyetti Nigeria Limited.
In 1998, he was elected to the Federal House of Representatives and was the Deputy Chairman of the Privatization Committee which produced a blueprint for the National Privatization Policy. He was appointed as the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters.
During his role as the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters., he maintained a good relationship between the presidency and the national assembly. He was instrumental to the national assembly approval of EFCC AND ICPC as parastatals to fight corruption in Nigeria.
Later in 2006, he became the Honourable Minister of Sports and Social Development, a position that took him to the pinnacle of national political glory.
Hon. Bala Bawa Ka’Oje wrote many articles on the Building Industry in Nigeria and was a member of several boards and agencies. He was a recipient of numerous awards by many institutions including the prestigious traditional tile of Dan-Darman Gwandu and was a fellow of many institutions including, the Nigerian Institute of Building.
Hon. Bala Bawa Ka’Oje was elected the National Treasurer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in March 2012. He is married with children.