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When Hadiza Bala Usman And Others Bagged FIN Award

–By Benjamin Ike

Recently, the 2019 Petroleum Industry award was bestowed on Hajia Hadiza Usman, MD/CEO, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) by Foreign Investment Network (FIN), a United Kingdom – based global consulting and publishing company established in 2001 out of the necessity to meet the needs of promoting emerging economies in Africa.

A consultant in Oil and Gas, Agriculture, Telecommunications, Metallurgical and Engineering as well as Maritime for financing, project assessment and risk analysis, the strategic marketers of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has assisted many developing economies to attract quality FDI and infrastructure financing.

The Petroleum Industry Award is an arm of the Foreign Investment Network whose main function is to recognize the outstanding achievements made within the Upstream, Midstream and Downstream sectors of the Oil and Gas Industry, and rewarding excellence.

Not surprisingly, Hadiza Bala Usman made the distinguished list. She became the first woman to head the Nigerian Ports Authority when she was appointed Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer by President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2016. Before then, she had served as Chief of Staff to Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai of Kaduna State, again as the first woman to hold that position not only in Northern Nigeria but the whole of the country.

Hadiza Bala Usman had indeed played active roles across the government and non-governmental sectors starting with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), when she was hired by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as Special Assistant on Project Implementation to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) from October 2004 to January 2008, after which she worked as Director of Strategy of Good Governance Group.

Moreover, in the wake of the cruel abduction of 219 young girls from Chibok Secondary School in Borno State, by the insurgency group dubbed Boko Haram in 2014, she co-founded the global movement #BringBackOurGirls (#BBOG), even as she is also a member of the Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC). The same year, Ms Bala Usman, daughter of the fiery Ahmadu Bello University social critic of blessed memory Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman, was named one of Financial Times’ most influential women, as well as the Cable News Network (CNN) most inspiring women.

Ebony Magazine followed suit in the same 2014 by naming her among the 100 most influential black women in the world; while bagging BUSINESSDAY Excellence in Public Sector Transparency and Open Budget System Award, 2017.

And to crown it all, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman is currently Vice President (African Region) for the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH), as well a member of the 2018 class of Most Influential People of African Descent.

Among the personalities honoured at the Monday, January 28 event which took place at the prestigious Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja were Nigerian-born Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President African Development Bank (2015 – date); Alhaji Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian business mogul, investor, and owner of the Dangote Group, with business tentacles spread across Africa; Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Uma, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons Equatorial Guinea, who presides over the third largest oil-producing market in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Minister is highly regarded for his incisive leadership and for his guidance of Equatorial Guinea’s energy industry through a period of growth and renewal; Dr. Amy Jadesimi, Managing Director/CEO of LADOL, the sustainable industrial special economic zone in Lagos, Nigeria. Dr. Jadesimi is a member of the Prince’s Trust International Global Advisory Board, a founding Commissioner of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Global Maritime Forum, she was named Young CEO Forum as well as Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Others included Kebbi State governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu. Under the able leadership of His Excellency, Kebbi State government entered into a partnership with the Lagos State government on the establishment of a commodity value chain that will give a quantum leap to food processing, production and distribution. This partnership which is the first of its kind in the history of the Nigerian agricultural sector, is aimed at bringing about national food sufficiency and food security. Again in 2018, as part of efforts to transform the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into an integrated energy company, the Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kebbi State Government on Biofuels production (To build an 84 million litres per annum capacity fuel-ethanol project); and Adewale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive of Oando Plc; Africa’s leading indigenous energy solutions provider listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and the first African company with a cross-border listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. In 2016, Tinubu oversaw the largest o inflow (USD 300 million) into the Nigerian Oil and gas sector via partnerships in its Downstream and Midstream businesses with Vitol, the largest energy trader and Helios, Africa’s largest private equity firm. This was achieved against the backdrop of the largest depression in the sector in 10 years and a recession in Nigeria.

These, among others were honoured at the august occasion