Governor Babagana Zulum has approved the appointment of Nigeria’s former Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Bukar Tijani, as Secretary to the Borno State Government.
The Governor has also reappointed Professor Isa Hussaini Marte as Chief of Staff.
The two appointments were announced by the Governor’s spokesman, Isa Gusau, in a statement issued on Wednesday.
The statement noted that Zulum considered Tijani’s very high level experience from his services as minister from July, 2011 to September, 2013 and as Assistant Secretary-General/Assistant Director-General (ASG/ADG) of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
Through both offices and other national positions such as being the national coordinator for Nigeria’s National programme for Agriculture and Food Security as well as his coordination of the World Bank’s Fadama project, the former minister visited about 50 countries for different official engagements and he made significant contributions to the development of agriculture and food security in Nigeria, Africa and at the global level.
62-year old Tijani was born in Damasak but hails from Dikwa local government area of Borno State.
The former minister holds a Master of Science (degree) in Tropical Agricultural Development from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom in 1989.
Before that, he obtained his Bachelor of Science (degree) in Plant and Soil Science from 1982 to 1984 at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Alabama, United States of America (USA).
At later years, Tijani attended courses with certificates at the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) at Turin, Italy, in 2014; at Alliance Française, Accra for Diplôme D’études en Langue Française from 2015-2017; at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) at Topo- Badagry in Lagos for Advanced Management Training in 1994; at the University of Reading, UK for Management Skills on Rural Development in 1993; at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, Ibadan for Cowpea and Soya Bean Production and Utilisation in 1987 and at Borno College of Agriculture, Maiduguri for Diploma on General Agriculture from 1978- 1980.
At his earliest stages of growth, the former minister attended Yerwa Government Secondary School, Maiduguri, from 1973 – 1978; Gubio Primary School, Gubio from 1970 – 1973 and Monguno Primary School from 1967 – 1970.
The former minister is a Fellow of the Agricultural Society of Nigeria (FASN), Fellow, Soil Science Society of Nigeria (FSSN), Fellow (Honourary), P.R China, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences (JAAS), Recipient of Letter of Commendation for Meritorious National Service as a Minister of the Federal Republic by Nigerian President, Recipient of letter of Commendation for a job well-down on the formation of first Farmer’s Council in Borno/Yobe States, Certificate of Merit – American National Dean’s List (1984), Certificate of Merit – American National Dean’s List (1983), Recipient of Honour Roll Scholastic Achievement Certificate of Tuskegee University, Alabama, USA (1983) and be best overall student during his Diploma in Agriculture at Borno College of Agriculture, Maiduguri (1980).
The statement further conveyed Governor Zulum’s congratulatory message to the former minister and he looks forward to utilizing the former minister’s huge experience for effective and efficient coordination of Government activities with focus on multi sectoral development especially that of agriculture and food security which the minister is very knowledgeable about.
The reappointed Chief of Staff, Professor Isa Hussaini Marte hails from Marte local government area of Borno State.
He had served as Governor Zulum’s Chief of Staff from August 17, 2020 to May 26, 2023.
The Professor had previously served as Borno State’s commissioner for Higher Education from August 2019 to August 2020.
He also served as overseeing commissioner of health in 2021 while being chief of staff. He held both positions under the Zulum administration.
Marte is professor of pharmacology with specialty in cancer research and he is a fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science, member of the Society for Neuroscience, member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and member of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria amongst others.
Marte received a doctorate degree (Ph.D.) in pharmacology from King’s College London in 1987. He holds a Master’s Degree in pharmacology from Chelsea College, University of London in 1983. In 1997, he obtained an MBA from Averett University, a private non-profit college in Danville, Virginia, United States of America. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Prior to his tertiary education, Marte attended Yerwa Central Primary School Maiduguri, before moving to Yerwa Government Secondary School Maiduguri, where he obtained his West African School Certificate in 1975.
Marte joined the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Maiduguri in 1981 but left in 1982 for a Graduate Programme at Chelsea College University of London.
After he received doctorate degree (Ph.D.) in Pharmacology from King’s College London in 1987, he returned to Nigeria to join the services of Ahmadu Bello University, where he was appointed a senior lecturer in 1991.
He left the university to join the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Development (NIPRD), Abuja as chief research fellow and was later appointed head of Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology.
In 1993, he joined the University of Virginia School of Medicine as a research associate at the Department of Pathology.
He served in that capacity for two years and in 1995, he was appointed professor of research. He served in that capacity for five years and in 2004, he was appointed as visiting professor, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy, ABU Zaria.
In 2010, he was appointed dean of pharmacy and professor of pharmacology at the University of Maiduguri, a position he held till 2014. In 2013, he was elected as fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science, the same year he was appointed as visiting professor at the Department of Pathology, University of Virginia.
Marte is widely known for his high integrity that aligns with Governor Zulum’s principles and he has proven capacity and strong passion for societal development,
The statement noted that Governor Zulum congratulates Marte and looks forward to the Chief of Staff resuming office with his proven efficiency in coordinating all affairs of the government house to enable the full attainment of governor Zulum’s bold vision that has been substantially achieved during the first term and now being continued with greater zeal.