Written by Vision Africa Magazine   
Friday, 27 March 2015 10:33


It is the dream of every Nigerian youth to see young people assuming leadership position in the country. While women are advocating for 35% Affirmative Action, Nigerian youths are still struggling to be in the National Assembly especially the Senate. In the lower chamber of the National Assembly, we only have few young people which is not up to 7% and this development is very disappointing as our leaders do not create room for young people to succeed them. But all hope is not lost as Nigerian youths will be happy to have one of them as executive governor of Niger State. The aspiration of Umar Nasko is a welcome development and it is on this note that I join the good people of Niger State to support UMAR NASKO for Governors position in 2015. Below is his profile and interview on how he want to govern Niger State.

Born 40 years ago, on 13th March, 1975, at Ogbomosho, Oyo State, Alhaji Umar Mohammed Nasko is a Native of Magama Local Government Area of Niger State. He received his early education at Command Children's School, Ann Barracks Yaba, Lagos from 1980 to 1985 during which period he showed signs of great appetite for education and training.



During his secondary education at the Nigerian Military School, Zaria, Kaduna State, Umar Mohammed Nasko performed very well academically and this impressed his Teachers who saw a bright future in him with a tertiary education. After his Secondary Education, he was enrolled into University of Abuja in 1993 where he undertook a course in Computer Basic Programming and Disk Operating System. At the end of his studies, he was awarded the University of Abuja's Certificates in Computer Basic Programming and Disk Operating System. Immediately after this course, he gained another admission in 1993 into the Remedial School of the Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, Niger State.

After successfully completing his remedial course in 1995, he was offered admission to study Agriculture. He however, decided to proceed to the University of Lodz in Poland. Alhaji Umar M. Nasko also undertook some courses in Polish Language Sciences at the University of Lodz Poland in 1996. His other qualifications include Masters Degree in Political Science obtained from Jagiellonian University Krakow, Poland in 2001 and a Mashav Institute Certificate in Citrus and Mango Farming obtained in the year 2004.

Alhaji Umar Muhammed Nasko worked at the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja in the 311's Air Defence Artillery Detachment as Sky Guard before proceeding to the United Nations Human Rights Office Krakow, Poland in 1999 as a volunteer where he served till 2001.

Between 2001 and 2002, Allhaji Umar M. Nasko served in the capacity of Assistant Secretary , Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes before joining Fathibro Ventures Nigeria Limited, Abuja as Project Manager. As an administrator, Nasko rendered efficient and satisfactory services where ever he was called upon to serve. Perhaps, this accounts for his appointment as Managing Director of Madae & Sons Limited, Nasko, Niger State in 2003, a position he held till 2005.

Young and talented Umar Nasko has served on various Boards and Committees where he contributed his own quota to the progress of the work assigned to the Committees. He was a member of the Transition Committee in Niger State; Member, Niger State Government Committee on Public and Private Partnership 2007; Chairman, Vehicle Verification Committee in the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, Niger State; Member of the Technical Committee on Harmonization of Niger State Action Plan in the State Government, Chairman, Local Organizing Committee for the 2009 National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST), Member of the Niger State Executive Council in his official capacity as the Honourable Commissioner of Tourism and Culture, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Ministry of Youth Development, Special Adviser on Tourism Matters, Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Environment, Parks, gardens and Forest Resources and currently serving as the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Niger State.

As a commissioner at various times and ministries, Nasko contributed immensely to Tourism, infrastructural development, youth empowerment and environmental protection. To date, tourism and hospitality received its highest boost under him. The State is still recognized with its colourful Sallah Durbar and Carnival which attracts both local and international tourists to the state yearly.

Fondly called by many as "Sarkin Aiki", The Chief Servant appointed him to oversee several ministries simultaneously. His major achievements as Commissioner of Transport and Infrastructural Development included renovation of five roads in Minna Metropolis, construction of Lumma-Umma Road, Batati Dabban Road, Kutigi-Fazhi Road, Bonu-Gurara, Mokwa-Raba/General Hospital Access Road, supervision of High Court Buildings at Kuta, Kutigi and Rijau, Minna Judicial Service Commission, Construction of access road to Fuel Dump at Minna International Airport.

Owing to his excellent performances, He was awarded several Merit Awards, from the Media, Academic Institutions and other Organizations. These include: Honorary Doctor of Public Administration by the Atlantic International University, United States of America; Development Merit Award for Excellence by African Age International Magazine, 2007; Distinguished Nigerian Award for Excellence by Time News Magazine, 2007; Distinguished Honour of the Great Achievers Gold Award for Africans, 2007; The Most Resourceful Public Figure of the Year Award, 2008 by NANISS, Africa Success Award in Commerce, Industry, Tourism and Co- operatives by Africa Certified Institute of Public Administrators (CIPA),

Republic of Ghana, 13th February, 2008; Great Achievers Gold Award for Africans 2008 by the Bold News Africa; Fellowship Award by the Institute of Co-operative Professionals of Nigeria 2008; Certificate of Infrastructure in a Marketing Economy, Harvard University, 2008; National Quality Commerce, Industries and Tourism Commissioner of the Year 2008 by the Quality Management Development Institute, Lagos; Youth Ambassador in the North Central 2008 by the National Youth Council of Nigeria North Central (NYCN), Outstanding Great African Patriotic Achiever's Gold Award 2008; Outstanding Leaders Gold Award 2008 by News in Africa; Real Nation Builders Gold Award (RNBGA) 2009 by Realmac; Special Merit Award, 2009 by the Nigerian Who is Who in Management Intelligence; Award of Excellence by the Conference of Nigerian  Political Parties (CNPP), Zone “C” Niger State, to mention a few.

He has also earned Certificates in various fields of endeavour such as Certificate on Benchmarking Emerging Markets, Singapore, 2008; Certificate of Participation in the 2nd Presidential Strategic Leadership and Governance Retreat at the University of Warwick United Kingdom October, 2007. Certificate of Achievement on Designing Legislative, Institutional and Regulatory Frameworks for successful Public Private Partnership from the Institute for Public Private Partnereship, Washington DC, USA.

Nasko is a member of the following professional bodies - Fellow, Civilian Institute of Democratic Administration (FCIDA), Fellow, Certified Institute of Public Administration, 2008 (FCIPA). Member, Harvard University Alumni Society. He was also a graduate member of the Nigerian Institute of Management. And above all, obtained a Honorary Doctorate Degree in Public Administration from the Atlantic International University, Okija, Anambra State in 2007.

His involvement in Politics between 2001 to 2003 proved him to be an active politician as a member of the United Nigeria People's Party (UNPP) under which umbrella he was Chairmanship Aspirant. From 2003 to date, Alhaji Umar Mohammed Nasko has remained a committed member of the People's Democratic Party (PDP).

Umar is an intelligent Administrator, a stickler to excellence and someone deeply committed to the promotion of professionalism in Civil Administration. He is still holding the traditional title of Yariman Nasko, a recognition bestowed on him by his own people for his avowed commitment to excellent service to humanity.

More contributions to the infrastructural development became more glaring when he initiated the “Green the Niger Initiative”. This program saw Niger State, especially Minna city wearing a new look in terms of serenity, cleanliness and evacuation of waste, dust bins were provided while other environment-polluting agents were cleared, thereby restoring high hygiene with far reaching implications on human health and longevity.

Also within the same period, ecological devastating factors such as erosion were brought under control through timely intervention of the Ministry of Environment under Umar Muhammed Nasko. Desilting of drainages around Minna is one of the good things that have ever happened to Minna, which has averted flooding.

Umar Mohammed Nasko is currently the Chief of Staff Government House, Minna , Niger State. His appointment to this office was as a result of his sterling, charismatic leadership style that brought about unprecedented transformation within the system. As the man at the helm of affairs of activities that concern the Chief Servant and Governor of Niger State and personnel of Government House, he has been responsible for supporting high-level executives in making decisions and fast tracking completion of projects.

As a result of his strong team building skills which ensures that offices and departments are running efficientl,y he has also been providing tremendous leadership, with effective management of all personnel of government house.

ALHAJI UMAR MOHAMMED NASKO, FCIDA, FCIPA. has engendered peace and unity among the Youths of Kontagora Emirate and beyond that brought about economic and social development. This prompted his conferment with the Jarman Kontagora in Niger state and Sarkin Kudun Birnin Magaji in Zamfara State.

Why I want to succeed Gov. Aliyu- Umar Nasko

Why do you want to be governor?

First of all, let me say that I am eminently qualified to be governor of Niger State. But beyond being qualified, let me state that I am offering myself for election into the office of governor of Niger State because of the desire to serve the people of my state. My ambition is borne out of my love for the state and its people and the desire to transform it into a model for other states to copy. Essentially, I intend to tackle the socio-economic challenges currently facing my people, especially the poor. I am sure you recall how we started this journey in 2007 and the challenges we had to face but thanks be to Allah that seven and a half years down the lane, we have left developmental imprints that are difficult to ignore. Between 2007 when the current administration came on board and now, we have achievements to show in all the critical sectors of the state's economy. So, I will ensure that we continue to impact positively on the lives of our people if I am elected governor.

"Secondly, the job of providing leadership for a state like ours requires someone who possesses the experience, humility, integrity and all what it takes to do the job. By and large, I am a team player. I believe I represent these values. That is another reason I am presenting myself as a candidate for the office of governor.”

Thirdly, our party, the PDP is lucky because we have been in power since 1999 and as such we have had the opportunity to touch people's lives positively. The party has a lot to show in all the critical sectors of the economy. The Peoples Democratic Party-led government in Niger State has delivered in all spheres of human endeavor. We have done wonderfully well in the areas of agriculture, education, infrastructure, health, security, you name it...Some are intangible and impactful to the socio-economic wellbeing of the people of Niger State.

Fourthly, I am a young man, so I represent the youths in this race and will not betray the confidence of elders as a veritable bridge. And I am sure you know that no sensible person will underestimate the capacity of youth when it comes to elections. So, I am good to go!

You are the latest entrant into the race, a development that has sparked insinuations that your ambition is an afterthought. Do you agree with this suggestion?

No! Not at all. It might interest you to know that the position of the governor of a state is not bean cake. It is a serious business that requires a lot of consultations. That is what we have been doing in the last few years. We consulted widely, beginning from the youths who form a good chunk of my support base to elders who have held positions of responsibility and therefore have some experience to share. I can assure you that I didn't just wake up one day and decided to run for the office of the governor. My supporters urged me to run and then I began to hold consultations. So, my desire to offer myself for the service of the state was reinforced by the conviction of a large segment of our people that I should run for the most coveted position in the state. Majority of the people are convinced about our sincerity of purpose and the need to consolidate on what the present administration has achieved so far. Don't forget that the state has a vision of becoming one of the top three most developed state economies by the year 2020 and a development action plan that provides a guide towards the actualization of our set goals. So continuity is required to actualize these set goals.

How do you intend to defeat other gladiators who have also lined up for the PDP ticket?

I have made this point before but suffice it to repeat that the race will be based on various factors. I have said before that good track records, experience, record of selfless service, humility and grassroots support are some of the issues that will shape the PDP governorship primary election slated for November 29th, 2014 and I have no doubt in my mind that I will emerge victorious since these are the qualities that I am bringing to the table. I am very optimistic that I will emerge victorious at the primary election and go on to win the gubernatorial election come February 2015 Insha Allah.

So, what are the challenges that will confront the next governor of Niger State?

You mean the challenges that await us or the things we want to achieve?


Well we will continue to develop all the critical sectors of the state's economy but I have a soft spot for agriculture. Our focus will be on investing in agriculture which is our competitive advantage. As you are aware, Niger State represents almost 10% of Nigeria's entire land mass, 80% of which is arable. Our landmark achievements in the area of rice production, for instance, is the establishment of the Niger Rice Investment Consortium (NSRIC) Project to boost rice production and position Niger State as the major producer of high quality rice globally. This and other agriculture related endeavours will enjoy priority attention. But let me point out that the incumbent governor has made a great impact on the development needs of this state. It is important to say that the Vision 3-2020 document has remained our guiding principle and a standard by which performance of the various ministries, departments and agencies is bench-marked. And I am happy to say that we have recorded successes in all our priority sectors of education, agriculture, health and infrastructural development. We have also done well in the areas of tourism and culture, urban and rural transformation, water supply, environmental sanitation and housing, among others.

Finally, you have my word that no sector will be left unattended to. However we shall approach the game with humility, doggedness and indeed consolidation on the gains recorded by the current administration of Dr Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu, and fast-track all his laudable initiatives and complete all ongoing projects in the interest of Niger people and humanity as a whole. Umar Nasko, who is currently the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Niger State, stressed that the uplifting the state in the areas education, agriculture, and sports would also be on his list of priorities, if he emerges as the state's next chief executive. He added that his initiation of the “Green the Niger Initiative” when he was a commissioner of environment, remains a glaring evidence of his commitment to speedy infrastructural development in the state.

“The “Green the Niger Initiative” saw Niger State, especially Minna city wearing a new look in terms of serenity, cleanliness and evacuation of debris, dust bins, and other environmental-polluting agents, thereby restoring high level of hygiene with far-reaching implications on human health and longevity”. He noted. Nasko who also holds the traditional titles as the Jarman Kontagora in Kontagora Emirate and Sarkin Kudun Birnin Magaji in Zamfara State, also stated that during his service at the ministry of environment, ecological devastating factors such as erosion have been brought under control as a result of his timely intervention and initiative. “Desilting of drainages around Minna is one of the good things that have ever happened to Minna because dangers of flooding have been averted. He said.

Culled from Social Media & African  Searchlight



Last Updated on Thursday, 26 October 2017 07:33

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