By Barkindo Abdullahi Yakubu

When Malam Salihu Abubakar was posted as the new Executive Secretary of the Adamawa State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Commission, many Adamawa people knew him only, as a health manager who cut his nitch in the healthcare sector and as an educationist as well as administrator, though a Permanent Secretary in the Adamawa State Civil Service, he was not a visible member of the state’s bureaucratic ruling class.

Thanks to Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri who has continued to discover and throw up new talents into the State’s leadership. When he assumed duties, Malam Salihu Abubakar was also relatively unknown to the Hajj Administration Sector.
Malam Salihu Abubakar’s austere comportment did not help matters as he was on face value, misconstrued as lacking the clout to manage the Commission. Although a well-known bureaucrat. Malam Salihu Abubakar is not only well-read but also a brilliant scholar with a Masters Degree, in his professional field of Nursing. But, he is reticent or temperamentally disinclined to cheap talk.
Malam Salihu Abubakar is known by many in Adamawa State and beyond as a man of integrity, discipline, trust and transparency who is fazed neither by criticism nor by praise; unperturbed by fortune or loss; content with little and unimpressed by wealth, power or position; averse to publicity and showmanship; self-effacing; austere and always simply dressed with disdain for ostentation but neither sanctimonious nor judgmental.
Malam Salihu Abubakar had a clear vision for the Hajj Commission. He knew exactly what he wanted to do to improve Hajj Administration in Adamawa and Nigeria at large. He went to work immediately he assumed duties. Always dressed simply in kaftan with matching cap, Malam Salihu Abubakar started his work by visiting and interfacing with all the Hajj stakeholders around the State to talk to them and also listen to them.
The Permanent Secretary and Executive Secretary also took far-reaching decisions that have started to impact on the Hajj administration in Adamawa.
Sequel to these visits, the Executive Secretary has unveiled blueprint for reforming the Sector in the State. The first focal point is to restore confidence of intending Pilgrims on the commission and close the gap of the workforce as well as build their capacity as a means of reducing the losses with individual capacity.
The Executive Secretary’s headache is yet the problem of coordinating and streamlining the activities of the Commission with its units towards achieving the major objective of providing comfort to intending Pilgrims onshore and offshore. As part of the solution, the Executive Secretary took the pain of reorganizing the Commission to create a conducive environment for a harmonious relationship and coordination of the sector. The development is beginning to pay off as everyone now understands the pressure faced by the Sector to deliver on its mandate.
It only suggests that the sky is the limit, given the commitment of the Executive Secretary to revolutionize and ensure a final solution to the frustrating problem of inefficient services to the intending Pilgrims, Malam Salihu Abubakar in just one year with his redeployment to the Commission as Executive Secretary has proven that the job could be done as he has fine-tuned the Commission to look corporate and a force to reckon with.
Achievements recorded within his one year include the followings:
1. Renovated office complex to create more office accommodation for staff.
2. Procured office furniture for the renovated offices.
3. Formulated staff training policy for the Commission which hitherto non existent.
4. Designed Performance Management Framework for the Commission which was non existent.
5. Designed for the Commission work plan and costing templates for the year 2020.
6. Organised workshops for staff capacity building.
7. Constituted and inaugurated Commission members for the Agency.
8. Chairman, Executive Secretary and Director Operations went for 1st and 2nd Pre-Hajj visit to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to prepare for Hajj2020.
9. Undertook tour of the twenty one local government areas to sensitize intending Pilgrims for 2020Hajj.
10. Organised enlightenment workshops for 2020Hajj intending Pilgrims across the State.
11. Adamawa state is adjudged the highest depositor of 2020Hajj fare with NAHCON in Nigeria with over one billion naira.
12. Organised and commissioned for use Jumuat Mosque built by NAHCON for intending Pilgrims and surrounding communities at Hajj camp in Yola which was hitherto lying fallow.
13. Undertook tour of the twenty one local government areas to sensitise 2020Hajj intending Pilgrims and stakeholders on the cancellation of Hajj for international Pilgrims by Saudi Arabia’s authorities due to COVID-19 pandemic.
14. Interacted with stakeholders and intending Pilgrims across the twenty one local government areas to sensitise intending Pilgrims on the need to either roll-over their deposits to 2021Hajj or apply for refund.
15. Successfully refunded over fifty million naira to fifty two intending Pilgrims who sought for refund in bank draft.
16. Organised a basic first aid training workshop for staff to equip them with the necessary skills to administer first aid to intending Pilgrims during Hajj operations.
17. Government approved continuation of work on the block of offices awarded in 2018 and contractor mobilised to site.
18. The E.S made inputs to the amended law of the commission on removing the stringent requirement of the qualification of an Executive Secretary being a serving permanent secretary in the civil service to read a seasoned administrator amongst others.
19. He put in so much effort on resolving the lingering issue of Encroachment & Compensation of affected persons on NAHCON land.
20. He had introduced for the first time in the Commission, awarding hardwork and diligence to staff.
21.The E.S has introduced the policy of Staff interaction and Meeting from bottom up and Top bottom.
22. He ensured that two meetings were held by Commission members to discuss and make concrete decisions for the commission.
23.The E.S also introduced the policy of Account reconciliation with selected team from the Commission with all the schedule officers of the Commission on hajj deposits.
24.The E.S also introduced a policy of meeting with all schedule officers on strategies for successful Hajj 2020 and briefings with them after the cancellation of Hajj 2020.
25. Hosted NAHCON leadership on nationwide tour to inspect Hajj Development Levy projects in Adamawa.

Barkindo Abdullahi Yakubu,

Department of Public Communications,

October 3, 2020.

Leave a reply