The English say that a new broom sweeps clean. Generally the expression is used when a new leader in an organisation embarks on sweeping or innovative changes. Barely four months after being appointed the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), are some asking whether Hadiza Bala Usman is a new broom at the government agency regarded as one of the juiciest of the juicy agencies in the country. It is partly because of the perception of the NPA as a cash-cow that her appointment generated negative reviews and conspiracy theories among sections of the media.
Born in Zaria, Kaduna State on January 2 1976, Hadiza, whose father, the late Yusuf Bala Usman, a distinguished historian who helped to define Nigeria’s historiography, neither had maritime-related academic qualifications nor relevant industry experience. She has a B.Sc. degree in Business Administration and also did postgraduate studies in Development Studies at the University of Leeds, UK. She had worked as Enterprise Officer at the Bureau of Public Enterprises (July 2000-August 2004); Special Assistant to the Minister of FCT on project implementation (October 2004 - January 2008) and Director of Strategy at the NGO, Good Governance Group (2011 -July 2015) from where she was appointed Chief of Staff to the Kaduna State Governor, El-Rufa’i. She held the position until her appointment as the MD of the NPA. Ms Hadiza was a co-founder of the Bring- Back- Our Girls - a campaign group founded to advocate the rescue of the missing Chibok girls who were abducted in April 2014.
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