Zubaida Umar Gets President Tinubu’s Nod As DG NEMA


BY EDMOND ODOK – President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mrs Zubaida Umar as the new Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

According to a statement by the Presidency, Mrs Umar’s “appointment further underlines the President’s avowed commitment to gender inclusion”.

Signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the statement said Mrs Umar “has over 20 years of work experience in diverse fields, including Human Resources, and Finance and Administration.”

Besides being a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBs) and the Institute of Credit Administration (ICA), she also holds ACCA certifications in Public Financial Management and Digital & Sustainability Financing.

The statement further said; “As Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Services at the Federal Mortgage Bank, Mrs. Umar drove the strategy and repositioning of the bank and successfully facilitated the transformation of the institution into a modern, digitized mortgage and financial service provider.”

Chief Ngelale stated that the “President expects that the new Director-General will bring the much-needed financial and operational discipline and refashion the agency into a performance-driven and proactive emergency response provider with a focus on prevention and climate change readiness in the execution of its core mandate”.

Mrs Umar is taking over from Mustapha Ahmed appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2021.

Forefront’s Note: This is the corrected version of the story from the earlier statement in which the Presidency erroneously described Umar as the first female Director General of NEMA.

For the records, Chief Mrs. Oluwaremilekun Debbie Olowu, nee Komolafe, served as the pioneer Director General and Chief Executive of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) that was domiciled in The Presidency between 1999 and 2002.

A lawyer by training, she was posted to the then National Emergency Relief Agency (NERA) in 1996 as a Director. Thereafter, the outfit was transformed from doling out reliefs during emergencies to a full-fledged Agency, and re-christened National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Amid some rejigging within the Presidency in June 2002, the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Ufot Ekaette, approved her reinstatement as NEMA’s Director General

A letter signed by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the SGF, Dr. O. M. Ojo, directed Mrs Olowu to resume duty immediately

However, in the later part of 2002, Chief Mrs Oluwo, an indigene of Osun State, retired from the Agency to participate in active politics in her home state.

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