Hadiza Bala Usman is a renowned Nigerian activist, astute administrator, and distinguished Abusite. She is currently the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) as appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday 11 July 2016. Making her the first female to hold the exalted position.
Birth and Education
Hadiza Bala Usman was born on January 2, 1976, in Zaria to the historian, Dr. Yusufu Bala Usman. Bala Usman grew up close to the campus of Ahmadu Bello University, where her father, one of ABU’s most famous alumni and lecturer worked.
She started her education at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria Staff Primary School and went ahead to complete both her Secondary and Undergraduate Studies at the Ahmadu Bello University campus, Zaria, with a BSC in Business Administration from 1996 – 2000. She later obtained an MA in Development Studies from the University of Leeds, the United Kingdom in 2008 – 2009.
Hadiza Bala Usman‘s career
She worked for a non-governmental organization, the Centre for Democratic Development and Research Training (CEDDERT) in Zaria as a research assistant for a year starting in 1999. She was hired by the UNDP for the Federal Capital Territory Administration as Assistant to the Minister on project implementation.
In 2011, she worked as Director of Strategy for the Good Governance Group (3G). Her wide-ranging impact on these positions culminated in her appointment In 2015, as the Chief of Staff to the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, again, the first female to be so appointed in that part of the country.
When Boko Haram kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls in 2014, Hadiza Bala Usman began to protest, leading groups around Nigeria and in the kidnapped girls’ hometown of Chibok. She noticed that the Nigerian government was not prioritizing the kidnapping of the schoolgirls. Because of this, Bala Usman joined the campaign started by Obiageli Ezekwesili #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG).
Bala Usman chose the color red for the campaign because it is a sign of “alarm, danger, a warning.” She has encouraged women “to keep the issue in the public eye.” Hadiza Bala Usman has also helped coordinate meetings with the parents of the kidnapped girls and members of the Nigerian government. Bala Usman has continued to protest with the BBOG campaign into 2016.
She was appointed in September 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari to serve as a Member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption.
She was appointed as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in July 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari. She is Vice President (African Region) for the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH).
Hadiza Bala Usman is a member of the All Progressives Congress Party [APC] and has served the party on various Committees, key amongst them are:
- Membership of the APC Strategy Committee from Jan 2014- December 2014. The Committee defined the Policy thrust of the Party and consequently developed the Party Manifesto.
- Member/ Secretary of the APC National Elections Planning Committee – June 2014 – April 2015. The Committee developed and coordinated the Parties election winning strategies.
- Administrative Secretary of the APC Presidential Campaign from Jan 2015 – April 2015.
- Member of the Presidential Inauguration Planning Committee representing the in-coming Administration from April – May 2015.
Hadiza Bala Usman was married to an economic analyst Tanimu Yakubu Kurfi who served under the former (Late) President Umaru Musa Yar’adua as economic adviser and together they have two boys.
A receiver of many awards in the areas of governance, girl child education and women emancipation. Amongst recognition she has include being named by Financial Times [FT] amongst the most influential women of 2014, was named amongst CNN’s most inspiring woman of 2014 and also named by Ebony Magazine amongst the 2014 100 most influential black women in the world.
She is currently pursuing an aggressive 25-year port development plan that would prepare the NPA for the future of the global maritime industry.