BY ABDULKADIR AHMED IBRAHIM
Talented, Gifted, Generous and Trustworthy are rare qualities that are not common among the people of any given generation in these modern times. But for the people of Jigawar Dan Ali in Babura Local Government Area of Jigawa State, A cross section of Aviation workers in Nigeria and in the US and stakeholders in the Mortgage Banking Industry, 56 year old Ali Magashi aptly qualified for such attributes.
As a former English Literature Student, I vividly remember Malvalio one of the dramatis personae in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night said that ‘In my stars I am above thee; but be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em.”
I made reference to the above phrase in a Tribute I wrote in September 2016 on my former Boss Late Senator Engineer Magaji Abdullahi a former Deputy Governor of Kano from 2003 to 2007 who died on July 24, 2016. I am now compelled by similar circumstances of achievements to again quote that literary work as I write this profile on Flight Engineer Ali Mohammed Magashi seldom addressed as “Dan Baiwa” (Hausa word for Gifted or Talented) as his admirers fondly refer to him because of his successes and exceptional performances wherever he found himself.
Born during the rainy days (3rd) of August 1964 at Jigawar Dan Ali an agrarian village about 15 Kilometres southwest of Babura town in Jigawa State, Ali Mohammed Magashi is a graduate of Aeronautical Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering, an Air Traffic Engineer, a Licensed Avionics Engineer (X-Electrics & Instruments), a Licensed Flight Engineer and a former Instructor and later National Examiner on the Boeing-727 aircraft.
He trained at Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, (1985 to 1987 and 1988 to 1990), and Avia Training College, California, USA (1993). He had the basic Islamic and Western Education at the Islamiyya/Koranic and the Public Schools in his hometown and proceeded to Government Technical College, Wudil, in Kano State, in 1977 and passed out in 1982 as a Science and Technical subjects trained College graduate.
After a meritorious career in the Aviation industry spanning over a decade, with over 5,500 flying hours on the Boeing-727 aircraft, he went back to Business School at Bayero University Kano and got a Post Graduate Diploma in Management in 2001 and Masters in Business Administration (Finance) in 2002.
Back to his working career in the Aviation, Ali Magashi was a Line Flight Engineer, Senior Flight Engineer, Assistant Chief Flight Engineer, Simulator Instructor and National Examiner with the defunct KABO AIR for Six years (1993 to 1999). He had a stint work with IRS Airlines in 2001 and 2002 as Senior Flight Engineer/Instructor on Boeing 727 and doubled as Technical Adviser to the Chairman and CEO of the Airline.
He founded Kitari Systems Ltd in 1998, a Telecommunications and IT company that successfully provided the local content in the design, site surveys (of all the 27 LGAs in Jigawa State), financing and implementation of the first Broadband Wireless Teleport in West Africa, the Jigawa Wireless Broadband Network (Jigawa Galaxy ITT), among other projects.
He ventured into Mortgage Banking as the MD/CEO of Jigawa Savings and Loans Ltd from 2003 to 2007, where he successfully turned around the moribund and obscure outfit into a national household name in Mortgage Banking, and ended up creating the largest single pool of NHF perfected mortgages till date.
He studied International Housing Finance and Securitisation of Housing Finance programs consecutively at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (2003) at the Fannie Mae Training School in Washington DC (2004) and the Executive Program in Strategic Finance at the Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts (2006) all in USA. He also completed another Executive Program in Corporate Governance at the INSEAD Business School on Value Creation for Owners and Directors at the Abu Dhabi Campus in 2014.
He held the position of Deputy President of the Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN), and was in many state and federal government committees on land reforms, affordable housing development and housing finance, and was the coordinator of the Nigeria/USA roundtable on mortgage reforms and the development of the Nigeria affordable housing and mortgage markets.
Ali Magashi was a consultant to the World Bank on Land Reforms, Housing Finance and Urban Renewal, Doing Business in Nigeria. He was appointed the coordinator for the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 National Technical Working Group on Housing, and later served on the 27 man Central Working Committee that produced the final blue print for Nigeria
He was the pioneer Aviation Consultant and Advisor to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), on the restructuring of its aviation eligible bank assets (EBAs) portfolio, which included Arik, Air Nigeria, Aero Contractors, IRS, Chanchangi airlines, and OAS Helicopters (the largest Aviation portfolio in West Africa).
He is the Chairman, Board of Directors of Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation, the Chairman of Aso Savings and Loans Plc and the Chairman of Countrywide Housing Company, an affordable housing development outfit that just developed a 469 gated community estate for Family Homes Fund in Kano.
Ali Magashi is the CEO of Kitari Consult Ltd, an Aviation and Housing Finance consulting firm based in Kano, with operations in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, and he teaches Real Estate Management and Mortgage Finance to MBA students at the Post Graduate School of Business of Bayero University Kano.
A 13 handicap player, he was in February this year elected Captain of the 112 year old Kano Golf Club where he announced plans to give the Golf Course a new face lift and renovate the Club House to meet International Standard.
He said with the prevailing peaceful environment and the age-long hospitality of the people of Kano, professional and amateur golfers from all over the world will be coming to play at the historic golf course that will in turn boost the economy and develop tourism in Kano and Nigeria as a whole.
In less than six months to that pledge, Kano Golf Course and the Club House are now the pride of all Kano Golfers and the millions of Naira spent in the edifice are from Ali’s Pockets and donations from his Friends and Associates worldwide and the generous contributions from Kano Golfers.
The soon to be addressed with the appellation of His Excellency, Ali Mohammed Magashi was among the 39 Non-Career Ambassadors confirmed last month by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria out of the 41 sent by President Muhammadu Buhari. We await the swearing in and posting.
Ali speaks English, French and Hausa fluently. He is happily married with children and he has traveled widely across all continents.
Indeed, some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. His Excellency belongs to all.
…Abdulkadir Ahmed Ibrahim, FNGE, a Media Consultant, wrote from Kano.