NewsExpress banner First Bank Fashion Souk Fidelity bank card banner Umm Sulaim's Thoughts Camano banner

Abu Gidado: Encounter with an incorruptible patriarch, By Yushau Shuaib

By News Express on 05/04/2019

Gmail icon

Views: 655

•Ex-FAAC Chairman, Alhaji Abu Muawiya Gidado
•Ex-FAAC Chairman, Alhaji Abu Muawiya Gidado

On his 66th birthday – April 2, 2006 – I wrote a tribute on the incorruptible nature of Alhaji Abu Muawiya Gidado, Nigeria’s former Minister of State for Finance and Chairman of the monthly meeting of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) during the Gen Sani Abacha military administration.

I was his personal aide and spokesperson when he was minister between 1994 and 1998. As he clocks 79 on April 2, 2019, it is necessary to revisit the life of Gidado as a man of unquestionable integrity, who distinguished himself through selfless service, godliness and simplicity.

Although tribute is usually paid to the memory of heroes, it is certainly more important and instructive to celebrate the exemplary leadership qualities of the living, as a way of encouraging others to emulate their virtues and inspiring ways of life. In any case, why wait for a hero to pass on when we have ample opportunities to testify to their goodness while alive, and whatever gives one the feeling of surviving such a person? Such are the ironies of life!

As a spokesperson in the Ministry of Finance back then, before I was assigned as his aide,  Gidado once said that a responsible person is conscious of his responsibility to the family and society. When he, therefore, encouraged me to marry early rather yield to temptations and indiscretion, I complied and later named my first child after him.

The Ministry of Finance during the military era was very powerful, combining both executive functions and those of the legislature in a democratic dispensation. The minister was responsible for budgetary allocations and the appropriation of funds, as well as approving foreign exchange allocations, tax exemptions, import waivers, and the settlement of contractors and special grants.

As the chairman of parastatals under the Finance ministry and FAAC, Abu Gidado stood for justice and fairness in the disbursement of allocations to all the tiers and arms of government. His official interventions and benevolence rescued a number of financial institutions and business enterprises from full weight of official sanction, while other genuine contractors and consultants thrived appropriately under the dispensation.

Yet, often to the dismay of the beneficiaries of his official magnanimity, Abu-Gidado rejected their various acts of gratitude, whether in the form of the allotment of shares, cash gifts, free products or other forms of appreciation. Not only did he routinely decline the inducements of stakeholders, he always insisted that his aides returned suspicious gifts, with the acknowledgment of the receipt of such by the senders. I and his security orderly, Ahmed Ibrahim, who is currently an EFCC officer were involved, in most cases, in returning these gifts.

Since I was responsible for keeping the finances of his office for maintenance, travelling and other contingencies, he always directed me to refund unutilised funds to the treasury, including unspent estacode for foreign trips. For instance, after a 1994 diplomatic-business tour of more than 10 African countries within a week in a presidential jet, Abu-Gidado instructed me to refund the huge unexpended estacode and contingency funds meant for a month’s tour. The jet was flown by Flight Commander Samuel Atti and Captain Alkali Mamu who both retired as Air Vice Marshalls (AVM) in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

Before the introduction of the monetisation policy by the Federal Government, he keenly guarded against wastage of public funds on frivolities and extravagant social pastime. He was so uncompromising that he withheld endorsements from questionable expenditures and projects. For instance, when it was the practice for top public officers to have official guest houses, with all the services involved and amenities provided by the government, he declined this, even though he is polygamous. He only maintained an official residence in Abuja.

The former minister never allowed nepotism to becloud his sense of judgment, as he did not allow members of his family to benefit from projects and contract awards within the ambit of the ministry. As a man of God who thinks about death as if he would die at any moment, he used to keep a special diary in which he recorded money he borrowed from individuals, with amounts sometimes as meagre as five hundred naira then, for the simple reason that his family had the obligation to settle all indebtedness from his assets at his demise.

With an understanding of his strict lifestyle of contentment vis-à-vis my own need for an additional source of income to augment my meagre official remuneration, I had pleaded with him to support the launch of my first book, Nightmare for the Rich in 1997. Although, he reluctantly gave his endorsement and accepted to be the chief host, for fear of a conflict of interest. He nevertheless allowed me to use his name on the invites . His name attracted top public functionaries, finance commissioners and chief executives of corporate organisations to the event. In fact, Bar Jimoh Ibrahim, Alhaji Waziri Kyari Mohammed, Mrs Cecilia Ibru, Hajia Hamrat Imam and Mr Kayode Naiyeju were among top dignitaries who made generous donations at the book presentation. That was how I built my first house the same year.

When Gidado was relieved of his appointment by the administration of Gen Abubakar Abdulsalam (retd) in 1998, he requested the presence of the Director of Finance and Supply, Mrs Grace Archibong and her staff to take an inventory of the items in his official residence. He accounted for and returned every single bit of public property in his possession, including cutlery, and broken plates.

Immediately after the inventory was taken, instead of the official vehicles attached to him, he used his personal cars to convey himself and his family back to his hometown in Katsina. Mrs Archibong, who later became a Federal Permanent Secretary, was emotionally moved at the astonishing personality of Alhaji Gidado.

Before his appointment into the public service, his career in the private sector was meritorious, as he rose rapidly to the position of Retail Manager (North) for Shell Nigeria Limited, and then became General Manager, Arewa Textiles Limited, before later becoming Deputy Managing Director with Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN).

His patience, after a frustrated attempt at getting into the civil service of the old Kaduna State, was, however, subsequently rewarded with an appointment the following year as a commissioner in the same ministry, where he subsequently became deputy chairman of the State Executive Council, which handed over to the incoming civilian administration of Balarabe Musa in 1979.

His past high-profile engagements include serving as a member of the Boards of Directors of Peugeot Automobiles of Nigeria and Arewa Textiles and DPMS/IBM. He was a member of the Board of Governors, Kaduna Polytechnic; chairman, Katsina State Water Board, and Finance commissioner in the former Kaduna and Katsina states. He also served in TCPC sub-committee for Privatisation and Commercialisation in the Automotive Industry; director of some multinational conglomerates, even as he represented Nigeria’s interest in the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and Afreximbank, before serving as federal commissioner in the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

Gidado’s life is a clear testimony to the existence of incorruptible Nigerians who do not worship money or idolise godfathers to reach the peaks in their careers and earn public respect. Their simple lifestyles and self-contentment give them comforts that elude many powerful and wealthy people in society.

As Alhaji Abu Gidado graciously steps into his 79th year on earth, while remaining hale and hearty, may we learn and imbibe enduring lessons from such a great person.

•Shuaib can be reached on: www.YAShuaib.com; yashuaib@yahoo.com

Source News Express

Posted 05/04/2019 05:11:35 AM

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
Sudden death: Mother of 3 slumps, dies in...

NLC threatens Aregbesola over 50% salary cut

Python Dance: Air Force deploys fighter jets to...

ASUU strike: Our hunger strike successful —HURIWA •Top...

Why Buhari abandoned Chibok trip at the last...

Sri Lanka Government identifies perpetrators of Easter attacks...

Japan donates $9.7m solar power project to Nigeria...

ECOWAS and Singapore to deepen economic ties

Brazil 2014 World Cup Qualifier: E/GUINEA 0, CAPE...

Buhari will balance his appointments, Adesina assures

275 rescued Boko Haram victims moved for social...

Spanish companies await President Buhari's cabinet before making...

 

Latest News I may die in DSS custody - Sowore CONFIRMED: Nnamdi Kanu’s father is dead Angry Nigerians attack Rotimi Amaechi in Spain Sowore: SERAP condemns re-arrest, invasion of Justice Ojukwu’s court Governor arrested over corruption allegations EEDC urges customers to embrace Distribution Transformer Metering and MAP scheme Electrocution of inmates: FG suspends seven officers, personnel of Correctional Service Robbers device new method of attacking bank customers Many feared trapped as multi-storey building collapses Sowore’s rearrest: ‘This has never happened before’, Falana slams DSS Imo community to abolish ' Osu ' caste system December 27 Sex scandal: Ekiti varsity sacks randy lecturer, others

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (569,210 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (455,395 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (405,195 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (339,927 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (306,703 views) 10 cars more expensive than Jets (290,391 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (260,686 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (259,480 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (240,932 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (227,453 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (203,339 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (199,802 views)

 

CBN milk production

CBN banner advert

UBA Wise Savers Promo

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (111) Business & Economy (4,613) Business Verdict (89) Columnists (1,155) Complaints & Requests (97) Enterprise & Opportunities (220) Entertainment (715) Features (852) Global Business Monitor (497) ICT Monitor (72) International (4,300) Interview (216) Live Commentary (30) Love Matters (177) Maggie's Blog (510) News (54,902) Opinion (1,435) Pidgin (18) Politics (11,851) Religion (1,130) Sports (2,244) Stock Watch (40) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

 

 

 

 

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera