By BEN NGWAKWE, Gombe
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has, since his inauguration on May 29, 2019, been assembling new engine house of governance for effective and efficient service delivery for positive change and rapid socio-economic development of the state in the next four years. The Governor defied partisan pressures to appoint professionals and skilled administrators to coordinate different sectors of governance towards delivery of necessary dividends of democracy to the people of Gombe State in fulfillment of the social contract of governance and mandate of the people at the polls for better standard of living.
Accordingly, Governor Inuwa Yahaya appointed Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi, former Vice Chancellor of University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Borno State, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), to coordinate the Cabinet Office from where flow public policies of the State Government. The Governor further appointed Alhaji Bappayo Yahaya, Head of Civil Service. Yahaya was a Permanent Secretary in the State Civil Service.
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya apparently mandated the two Principal Officers in the State Government to apply their sterling leadership and administrative experiences to uplift the state bureaucracy for optimum performance in service delivery for the rapid socio-economic development of the state.
Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi has established indelible leadership legacy capable of guaranteeing requisite confidence building in Governor Inuwa Yahaya towards rejuvenation of the engine house of governance that can move Gombe State forward in the right direction.
The SSG demonstrated leadership sagacity in the development of manpower as a university Don, as well as development of infrastructures when he was Vice Chancellor of UNIMAID. Some of the infrastructures the former UNIMAID VC developed include the building of new structures for several faculties namely – the Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences, Education; Centre for Urology and Renal Research, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development and UNIMAID Radio. While some of the projects have been completed, a few were at advanced stages of completion at the time of exit from office. Professor Abubakar Njodi most significant project was the newly completed and commissioned Senate Building of the University.
Professor Abubakar Njodi further deployed his leadership dexterity to exploring development opportunities beyond the bounds of the University. This commitment culminated in the establishment and strengthening of collaboration the University of Maiduguri had with other universities, including local and international agencies to enhance capacity building, research support and human capital development. He led the University to sign several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), including partnership agreements with other universities and agencies within and outside the shores of Nigeria.
The new Gombe State SSG also developed leadership capacity in mobilizing, inspiring and motivating subordinates to attain set goals through the various positions he held over the years.
Professor Njodi was Captain, Assistant Head Boy when in primary school; he was Class Prefect, Deputy Head Prefect and Head Prefect at different times at the Teachers Training College, Jama’are.
The SSG was Secretary and President of the National Union of Kaltungo District Students, and Tangale Waja Students’ Union between 1976 and 1980. He won elections into different unionism leadership positions which include President, NAPHER-SD, Unimaid Branch; and Secretary-General, NUBASS, Unimaid Branch, between 1983 and 1985.
Professor Njodi was Acting Dean, Faculty of Education, later became substantive Dean of the faculty in 2010. He became Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Services) in 2010 and subsequently, Vice Chancellor of the University from 3rdJune 2014 to 3rd June, 2019.
Professor Njodi has been active participant in various national and international academic conferences, workshops and seminars. He had published papers in several Journals and Chapters in books, as well as books he has personally published. Professor Ngodi has over 50 publications to his credit.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Economists of Nigeria, Fellow, Society for Peace Studies and Practice as well as Fellow, Institute for Government Research Leadership Technology.
Professor Ngodi has been a recipient of several Awards of Excellence, the most outstanding being the National Productivity Order Merit (NPOM) Award conferred on him by the Nigerian President and the 2017 Distinguished Leadership Award conferred on him by the Society of Nigeria Theater Artists (SONTA).
Professor Ngodi holds a Ph.D in Health Education.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya setting the framework for innovative governance appointed Professor Ngodi SSG in anticipation that all the potentials in the erudite professor would lubricate the political machine of Gombe State for optimum performance and effective and efficient administration and service delivery in the state in the next four years.
The Office of the Secretary to the State Government is the engine house formulation, coordination, implementation and monitoring of Government policies and programmes.