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Hadiza Bala Usman Buhari to appoint #BringBackOurGirls co-founder NPA Director

The 40-year-old will become the first female chief executive of a top tier federal government agency and of the NPA if the President confirms her appointment.

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The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, has recommended Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman to President Muhammadu Buhari as a capable hand to take over the position of  managing director of the NPA, THISDAY reports.

The 40-year-old will become the first female chief executive of a top tier federal government agency and of the NPA if the President confirms her appointment.

Ms Usman would take over from Alhaji Habib Abdullahi, who was reinstated by Buhari in August 2015 as the managing director of the agency, after he had been sacked by former President Goodluck Jonathan in April 2015.

According to the newspaper, sources in the Presidency confirmed that Usman's name has been submitted to Buhari, adding that Amaechi picked her in order to overhaul the NPA - he is said to be unsatisfied with the way the agency is being run.

It was gathered that the President would be happy to confirm Usman as the new NPA boss due to the relationship he had with her father, the late Prof. Yusufu Bala Usman, who was a renowned Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) academic, historian and activist.

It was also learnt that Amaechi recommended Usman because the two chief executives of the foremost parastatals under his ministry – Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) – are from the south, and he would prefer to have an equitable distribution of appointments into the agencies under his ministry.

Ms. Bala Usman, who is currently the chief of staff to the 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.

READ: 'We still don't know where Chibok Girls are' - Presidency

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 was 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.

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