Hajiya Fatima Y. Usman Katsina, an indigene of Katsina State calls herself a product of the Nigerian government because her father worked in the Foreign Service and retired as an Ambassador.
She states enthusiastically that her father instilled a strong sense of patriotism in all his children.
‘‘Baba had always told us about the Golden Age of Nigeria, the time when the educational system was one of the best in the world and transportation, school materials, the quality of education was functioning well and high,’’ said Hajiya.
However, when she came back to Nigeria, what she saw on the ground did not match the stories that she was told. Regardless, Hajiya Fatima believes in a better Nigeria. She wants to contribute to the solutions of the nation.
‘‘I wanted to come back to Nigeria to serve. Service is the reason why I am in Nigeria. I want to give back to the country that gave so much to me,’’ she said.
She adds that even though we are experiencing an extreme security crisis now, she won’t let that take away from her positive outlook for Nigeria.
‘‘The future is bright, and the glass is half-full. I believe in a great Nigeria, and I want to participate in the solution and not just complain about the challenges. I encourage everyone to vote and be part of the solution.’’
Hajiya Fatima recently sat down with the NGF Media team to discuss more on her background, her return to the NGF, and what she aims to bring in her roles as both the Head of Legislative and the Head of the Peace and Inclusive Security unit at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat.
Tell us a bit about your background: (Education & Career)?
I thank God to have received a wonderful education both academically, culturally, and spiritually. My educational background spans from Morocco to France and Nigeria.
I completed my secondary education in Morocco. For my tertiary education, I’d say I'm versatile. My first degree is in International Business Administration with an emphasis on Emerging Markets.
I also hold a second degree in French Civilisation and History from La Sorbonne where I was opportune to study urban planning, management, culture, and civilized structure.
Thereafter, I went to South Korea through a fellowship program that pertained to rural community development, women, and youths. Finally, I attended the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) where I studied International Relations and Strategic Studies.
Why did you choose to work at the NGF?
NGF was the first organization to recruit me in Nigeria. I first joined the NGF in 2009. I later left. As a returning staff, I’m happy to see the great evolution and growth of the forum.
What do you bring to the Forum?
Well, within the 15 years that I was away from the forum, I have experience at all three tiers of government, the parliamentary and the subnational.
I was initially the pioneer Technical Assistant, working with the DG and now, I am blessed to head the Legislative, Peace, and Inclusive Security Unit.
As part of the experience, I bring to this role, I was the Chief of staff to then Distinguished Senator, Gbemisola Saraki. I also ran for the House of Representatives in 2015. I was moved by the notion of making Nigeria great and re-building Nigeria beyond its former glory.
I also served as Senior Special Assistant on Development Partner and Donor Agencies and State Coordinator for Katsina state. That was such an interesting role because it allowed me to work across all ministries, departments, and agencies in the state and make sure we didn’t duplicate and maximize impact.
What I bring to my role at NGF is a vast experience. I’m now in a position where I can impact all the sub-nationals, promote good governance and improve our existing structures.
By Isioma Ononye,
Social Media Officer