In a major restructuring of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, the founder of the Bring Back Our Girls Group as Managing Director of the Authority. Other directors were also appointed.
This was disclosed through the Federal government Twitter handle @AsoRock which states in addition that her appointment takes effect from July 11, 2016.
Before the announcement, sources in the presidency, who confirmed that Ms. Bala Usman’s name had been sent to the president, said the changes were made in order to overhaul the NPA because he is not particularly impressed with the way the NPA was being run.
By that restructuring, Usman takes over from Alhaji Habib Abdullahi, who was reinstated by Buhari in August 2015 as the managing director of NPA, after he had been shown the exit by former President Goodluck Jonathan in April 2015.
The sources also disclosed that when Ms. Bala Usman’s name was submitted to the president, Buhari was excited to consider the recommendation, given the past relationship he had with her father, the late Prof. Yusufu Bala Usman, who was a renowned Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) academic, historian and activist before his death some years ago.
Ms. Bala Usman, who until her appointment was chief of staff to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was born in Zaria, Kaduna State, on January 2, 1976.
She grew up close to the ABU campus where her father worked and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2000 from the same university and her Master’s degree from the University of Leeds in 2009.
She worked for a non-governmental organisation, the Centre for Democratic Development and Research Training (CEDDERT) in Zaria, as a research assistant for a year starting in 1999.
She also worked for the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) when el-Rufai was the director-general of the privatisation agency and moved with him to work as his Special Assistant on Project Implementation.
In 2011, she worked as Director of Strategy for the Good Governance Group (3G). In 2015, she was appointed Chief of Staff to the Kaduna State governor.
She shot to national prominence in 2014 when Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped 276 girls from their secondary school in Chibok, Borno State.
Following in her father’s footsteps, Ms. Bala Usman, in conjunction with the former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, co-founded the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG), which brought global attention to the plight of the kidnapped schoolgirls.
She is married to Dr. Tanimu Yakubu, former Chief Economic Adviser to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and they have two sons.
The President also appointed three persons as Executive Directors at the NPA. They are: Mohammed Bello-Koko (Finance), Professor Idris Abubakar (Engineering) and Dr. Sekonte Davies (Marine Operations).

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