Gov. Bala Mohammed: The Man Ahead Of His Time @ 61
Bala’s Humble Beginnings: The family of Abdulkadir Mohammed in Duguri, Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi State, was on October 5, 1958 blessed with the birth of a son who unbeknownst to all would become a force to reckon with in Nigeria’s political firmament even before his 61st birthday.
Rising from obscurity and state imposed persecutions to Limelight – the story of Bala Mohammed, as he himself has unequivocally said on several occasions, was not born in to opulence. As a child, his family experienced real hardship and he admits going through several challenges that have helped to shape his perception of life.
He attended Duguri Primary School, Bauchi from 1965 to 1971 where he secured his First School Leaving Certificate. After that he was admitted into the Government Secondary School Bauchi from 1972 to 1976 where he passed his WASCE. From there he proceeded to North – East College of Art and Science between and 1977 and 1979 for his Advanced Level Certificate. From there he gained admission to the University of Maiduguri in 1979 and graduated in 1982 with BA Degree in English Language. Senator Bala Mohammed attended the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) in 1988 for a general management course. In 1997, he attended a capacity building training in Lagos and was given a certificate of the Institute of Purchase & Supplies.
He began his career as a journalist and rose to the position of News Editor of the Mirage Newspaper, Jos between 1982 and 1983. He also had a stint as a News Reporter with the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN). From there he moved over to the Democrat Newspaper where he worked as the newspaper’s State Editor in charge of Benue from 1983 to 1984.
In 1984, he left his promising journalism career for civil service when he got employed as an Administrative Officer under the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, Abuja. In 1994, he was promoted and redeployed as Principal Administrative Officer in the Cabinet Secretariat of the Presidency.
He was Chief Supplies Officer, Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals from 1995 to 1997. He rose to the position of Assistant Director in the Federal Ministry of Power and Steel in 1997. He held the position until 1999 when he was promoted Deputy Director/SA to the Hon Minister, Federal ministry of transport.
He successfully discharged his functions in that capacity from 1999 to 2003. Following his dint of hard work and innovation, Senator Bala Mohammed was promoted as Director of Administration, Nigerian Railway Corporations in 2003. Later in September that year, he became Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation. In January, he became Director of Administration and Supplies, Nigerian Meteorological Agency.
His Excellency Bala Mohammed was elected as a Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on April 21, 2007 to represent the good people of Bauchi South Senatorial District.
He occupied the respected seat in the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly until his appointment as the Hon Minister of Federal Capital Territory in April 2010. The various duties he performed in the course of his successful civil service career include the following: Assistant Secretary (1984 – 1986); Assistant Secretary I – (1987 – 1989); Senior Business Officer – (1989 – 1992); Principal Business Officer – (1992 – 1994); Assistant Chief Business Officer – (1994 – 1995) and Chief Supplies Officer – (1995 – 1997).
Others are Assistant Director, (1997 – 1999); Deputy Director/ Special Assistant, (1999 – 2003); Director of Administration, (2003 – September 2003); Special Assistant to the Hon Minister of Aviation, (2003 – Jan. 2004); and Director of Administration and Supplies; (September 2003). Senator Bala Mohammed’s main duties which he performed during the period, 1982 – 2003, include working as a versatile journalist and team member to facilitate the establishment of the Mirage Newspaper, Jos; setting of the Democrat Newspaper Office at Makurdi, Benue State; Serving as Secretary, National Advisory Committee of Nigerian citizenship; Secretary, Inter-Ministerial Committee on National Day Celebrations and Secretary, National Advisory Council on Religious Affairs.
He also performed duties as the Personal Assistant (PA) to the Hon. minister of Internal Affairs and Personal Assistant to the Director – General, Cabinet Secretariat, the Presidency; he helped in setting up of Supplies Division Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals; Head of Division; Special Assistant to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power and Steel and Secretary Ministerial Tenders Board, Federal Ministry of Power and Steel. Some ad-hoc duties Alhaji Bala Mohammed performed during the period 1984 to 2006 include the following: Secretary, Administrative Panel on the Re-organisation of the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps; (1985); Secretary, Panel of Inquiry into the circumstances leading to the illegal acquisition of Nigerian citizens matter, (1988); Secretary, Committee on the formulation of illegal and administrative guidelines on Nigerian citizens matters; (1988); Secretary, Department Committee on implementation of Civil Services reforms, (1988) and Secretary, Ministerial Committee on Security fire and theft, Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, Abuja (1989).
Others include: Secretary, Ministerial Committee on the assessment and repairs of un-serviceable vehicles, (1989);
Secretary Board of Survey, (1990 – 1991); Secretary, Task Force on the rehabilitation of old prisons in Nigeria (May 1993); Secretary, Special Assignment Committee, (Project Implementation Committee, Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, (1993-1994); Member, committee on the writing of the blueprint for Family Support Programme (FSP), (May 1994); Secretary, Organizing Committee for the launching of the Family Support Trust Fund (FSTF), the Presidency, (1994-Nov. 94) and Member representing the Presidency to the China on the rehabilitation of Nigerian Railways.
Others include: Chairman, Compilation of Capital Assets, Ministry of Solid Minerals Development; Member, committee on annual report, Ministry of Solid Minerals Development; Member, committee on writing of Ministry’s brochure, Ministry of Solid mineral development; Member, Panel on Cabotage Laws, Federal Ministry of Transport; Member, presidential committee on charges, tariffs and duties in the marine industry; Member, Committee on Inland Container Terminals; Member, Ministerial Delegation to Russia, UK, Liberia, Brazil and Turkey on Nigeria’s nominee for Secretary General, International Maritime Organisation (IMO); Member, International Maritime Organisation Congress.
Member, Committee on the Establishment of Nigeria’s flag carrier – Virgin Nigeria Limited; Member, Recruitment Committee of Nigerian Meteorological Agency; Member, Interim Board for the Repositioning of SAHCOL; Chairman, Staff Audit and Nominal roll of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency; Chairman, Committee on the Implementation of the new Pension Scheme for NIMET; Chairman, Sub-committee on Personnel for the Implementation of NIMET reform programme; Member, NIMET Reform Implementation Committee and Chairman Committee on NIMET’s salary structure, conditions of services and scheme of service. Senator Bala Mohammed has also attended several seminars and workshops. In this direction, he has Certificate of attendance, National Seminar on personnel Budget Implementation, at Lokoja and Certificate of attendance, National Seminar on Budget Implementation Programme at
Kaduna. During his glorious tenure as a member of the Nigerian Senate, he served as the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation; Secretary, Northern Senators Forum; Member, Senate Committee on Communication; Member, Senate Committee on Finance; Member, Senate Committee on Public Accounts; Member, Senate Committee on Rules & Business; Member, Senate Committee on Environment; Member Senate Committee on Labour & Productivity and Member, Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Jos crisis.
The remaining part of the feats that put Sen. Bala Mohammed ahead of his peers will be listed in the concluding section two of this treatise to be released within the week.