From a Commercial Taxi Driver to a Nigerian Governor

From a Commercial Taxi Driver to a Nigerian Governor

Destiny is unique and has a way in one life's struggles that can never be under estimated as a will of God. Today, Article has been made as Professor Banagana Umara Zulum rises from a Commercial taxi driver, peasant humble background to a University Don and Governor of Borno state.

‘I was commercial driver for 16 years before becoming Governor’-Zulum

A member of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Prof. Zulum also said he never had the luxury of being lazy, since he had to struggle all his life. He began by talking about his humble background, in which he had to join his father in tilling the ground at a tender age in Loskuri village in Mafa LGA of Borno State.

Every day, he trekked for seven kilometers to reach his father’s farm from his home. He combined farming with his primary and school in Mafa and Monguno from 1975 to 1980 and 1980 to 85, respectively. At “class five” in secondary school in Monguno, he began to fully cater for his education.

From 1984 to around 1999 (16 years) he became a commercial driver of taxis, particularly Peugeot 404. At some point, I

he also drove buses carrying passengers to different villages, and neighboring states. At a later time, he drove commercial pickup trucks carrying firewood from forests. While working as commercial driver, he learned how to fix any vehicle he drove.

In 1986, Zulum gained admission into Ramat Polytechnic in Maiduguri, owned by the state government, to study for a National Diploma in Irrigation Engineering, and lived with relatives off-campus in Kofa Biyu, a densely-populated area. He trekked for eight kilometers from Kofa Biyu to Ramat Polytechnic and back whenever he had lectures. But he was already used to long walks all his life, as he couldn’t afford transport to school. Whenever he drove taxis and returned the vehicles to owners, he used what he got for his basic school needs. He later also became a commercial operator of grinding machine, and he owned one in Mafa, and during every weekends he went there to serve customers. He obtained his ND in 1988.

In 1989, Zulum joined to the Borno State civil service as an Assistant Technical Officer in the state’s Ministry of Agriculture. In 1990, he moved into Borno State Unified Local Government Service as Senior Field Overseer. While working, the salary couldn’t cater for his needs and some dependants, so he continued commercial driving to augment his income.

It was still as a commercial driver that in 1990, he secured admission into University of Maiduguri for a degree in Agricultural Engineering, and graduated in 1994. After three years, he again got admission into the University of Ibadan for an MSc in Agricultural Engineering.

As his registration was delayed for three weeks because he could not pay his registration fees. He didn’t have the money when he departed Maiduguri, but he believed he could get some work to do in Lagos. For three weeks, he lived in Alaba Rago working with commercial vehicles and there he raised the money for his tuition. He went to Ibadan, paid his fees and started. He graduated in 1998, returned to the civil service as a Senior Agricultural Engineer and later Principal Water Engineer.

After obtaining a Masters Degree, Zulum joined the University of Maiduguri in 1998 as an assistant lecturer. From 2005 to 2009, he obtained PhD in Soil and Water Engineering from University of Maiduguri, rising through the ranks, at some point Deputy Dean and Acting Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering.

Zulum decided to retain his teaching job in UNIMAID, even while he was appointed into the state government in 2011. Though a he was appointed rector of Ramat Polytechnic in 2011 by Governor Shettima, he preferred to retain his salary of lecturer in UNIMAID. He continued with teaching students in UNIMAID during his lecture hours while also managing the Ramat Polytechnic. “I didn’t want anything to stop me from teaching in University of Maiduguri so I retained that as my main job and I continued doing everything I was supposed to do as lecturer without also compromising my appointment in the state government,” he said.

As rector of Ramat Polytechnic, Zulum is credited with expansions and erecting capital infrastructure using internally-generated revenue and attracting interventions from federal agencies.

In 2015, Zulum was appointed pioneer Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement by Shettima, who told a gathering in Maiduguri last week that one of his attractions to Zulum was the fact that despite being in control of billions of naira for reconstruction of thousands of homes, schools and hospitals, “[He] neither bought a personal house nor a personal car for himself. He also came under attack from Boko Haram twice, but didn’t stop in his efforts to rebuild substantial parts of Borno.”

0/Post a Comment/Comments