By Ibrahim Abdulfatai

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Hajiya Fatima Nwoye Madugu, Niger State Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology

“Some are born to be great; some achieve greatness while others have greatness thrust upon them” – Julius Caesar

The recent appointment of Hajiya Fatima Nwoye Madugu by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello as Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology in Niger State has been hailed by stakeholders as the best thing to have happened to the state education in recent times. Having come on the altar of change mantra, it is no surprise that the gender-sensitive governor chose to bring a woman with a magic wand to revitalize the education sector at this auspicious time. One can easily conclude that it is to the betterment of the Power State that Governor Bello has brought Hajiya Madugu, who has made her mark in the education sector in the last three decades. In those years, she has been through the walls of elementary and secondary schools, teaching, guiding, leading, and administering schools, counselling, moulding, and mentoring the tender minds in their fold. For a greater part of her life, she has been imparting knowledge, the very activity she knows to do best.

Aware of her new role as the custodian of education in Niger State, Hajiya Madugu, during her maiden meeting with principals of public schools on January 12, 2016 said she has come to raise, re-invent, re-engineer,and reinvigorate the education sector in consonance with the change mantra of the present administration, under the leadership of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello.

At an event, which also had the permanent secretary (Education Ministry), the executive chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), and some heads of parastatals in attendance, she reminded all that the scope of the ministry has now been enlarged to encompass the merging of Ministry of Tertiary Education and that of Science and Technology “with the change from its former name to Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.”

She stressed that the new name must reflect in attitude to work, dedication to duty, commitment, loyalty to constituted authority, making the schools child-friendly, and synergizing with other stakeholders (PTA, SBMc’s, Old Students Association, etc), development partners, etc. As a true mother that she is, she reminded the principals of the need to check vices such asimmorality, examination malpractice, hooliganism, and other social vices perpetuated by the youths and urged all the principals to keep very watchful eyes on students, who are expected to be the leaders of tomorrow and project Nigeria’s image globally.

Hajiya Madugu was born in Zugurma, Mashegu Local Government Area of Niger State on 20th March, 1960.

She started her elementary education at Turaki Primary School, Sokoto, between January, 1968 to June, 1974, from where she proceeded to Government Girls College, Minna, in 1974. She completed her studies there in 1979,with West African School Certificate. Her insatiable quest for western knowledge, which was then the exclusive rights of the boy-child, took her to the College of Education, Minna, from 1979 to 1983, where she obtained the National Certificate in Education.

Destined for greatness and understanding what she wanted in life, she borrowed a quote to guide her in life’s journey from the late American philosopher, Napoleon Hill, who said, “Cherish your vision and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”Cherishing her dream, she proceeded to the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, where she bagged Bsc (Ed) in Home Economics in 1995. She is presently at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) undertaking a Master’s degree in Educational Planning and Administration.

In her career, she distinguished herself as a dependable and reliable person. And at one time or another, she had been saddled with such responsibilities as House Mistress(LadiKwali House, WTC Minna); Head of Department(Home Economics, WTC Minna ); Vice Principal (Academics) Day Secondary School, Bosso, Minna, and Principal, Government Girls Secondary School, Bosso Road, Minna. Before her appointment, she was the principal at Maryam Babangida Girls’ Science College, Minna, since January 2013. She was also an executive member, ANCOPPS, Niger State branch.

Hajiya Madugu is an epitome of hard work and due diligence. She rose rapidly through the ranks, from Master III (GL. 07/2 in August 1984) to Deputy Director(GL16/7 in July 2010) in the Niger State Ministry of Education. Vastly experienced, dedicated, and knowledgeable, it is not a mistake that Governor Bello found her worthy to steer the education sector in the state to the desired level and quality. At one time, she was a deputy director at the Niger State Science and Technical Schools Board, Minna, thus adding depth to her experience.

Hajiya Madugu was active in professional, faith-based or general interest associations. She was a member of the following bodies: Home Economics Teachers Association of Nigeria (HETAN), Kauna Co-operative Union, Minna, Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), and ANCOPPs

During her maiden meeting in the ministry, she said she wanted principals and vice principals to be worthy professional examples in their respective schools, in terms of punctuality, teaching, discipline, dress style or code and leadership. She said she wanted them to serve as mentors and role models for their students.

Hajiya Fatima Nwoye Madugu (Gimbiyan Zugurma) is married with children.