Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the incumbent current executive governor of Kaduna State is a popular Nigerian politician born 16th if February 1960. He has held positions as former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and a former Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises.
As a politician he is a member of the APC and was elected as Governor of Kaduna State during the 2015 General Elections.
Nasir El-Rufai was born on the 16th of February 1960 in Daudawa, Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State. He lost his father at a young age of 8 years and had to be raised by his uncle in Kaduna.
Hence, having been trained and brought up in Kaduna, his state of origin is Kaduna State. Also he is noted to have said he is a Nigerian first before being Hausa.
Little is known about his nursery and primary education. However, he attended college and secondary school at Barewa College Zaria and graduated as one of the best students. This is reflected in his award. He won the highly coveted “Barewa Old Boys Association Academic Achievement” Trophy in 1976.
At the Barewa College Zaria, he met President Umaru Musa Yar’Adu, the former president if Nigeria who was his house captain at Mallam Smith House.
He attended University education at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, where he earned a Bachelor degree in Quantity Surveying with a First Class Honors.
He has also attended the famous Harvard Business School, Georgeton University for his postgraduate programs and studies. As a well-educated man, who had knack for studies, he obtained an LL.B degree from the University of London in August 2008. He graduated with 2nd class Honors Upper Division. Also he has a masters degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in June 2009.
He got an award while studying, the Kennedy School Certificate in Public Policy and Management. This came as he spent up to 11 months as an Edward A. Mason Fellow in Public Policy and Management (July 2008- June 2009).
As a Quantity Surveyor, he set up a Quantity Surveying and Project Management Consultant Firm in 1982 together with three other partners.
This consulting firm was a successful project which generated millions of money to him and his partners between 1982 to 1998 in their twenties. This firm was able to handle lots of building and civil engineering projects in Nigeria then.
Some of the offices Mallam El- Rufai has held include
Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises between Nov 1999 to July 2003. The While serving in this capacity, he became Secretary of the National Council of Privatization. During this times, he was the force behind the privatization of most govt- owned companies.
Minister of FCT, Abuja from July 2003 to May 2007. In this capacity, he was able to demolish illegal buildings and properties in the FCT including the one belonging to the then chairman of the ruling party in Nigeria that time.
He was appointed to the National Energy Council by the then newly elected President of Nigeria Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2007. This lasted till June 2008 when he resigned. However, he was chairing a lot of High profile cabinet committees that brought in the National ID card system, electrical power improvement supply and succeeded in nagotiations the sale of Federal Government Real Estate in Abuja.
In 2015, he ran for governorship of the Kaduna State under the APC and won. It was a landslide victory over the sitting governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero of the PDP. He is the 22nd governor of Kaduna State.
Personal and Family Life
Governor El-Rufai is married to three wives and he is a Muslim. Their names are Hadiza, Asia and Ummi.
Hadiza El-Rufai is his first wife. She is an architect and international Novelist. According to her husband, they have been best friends for more than 30 years. They had a daughter named Yasmin who died in London in 2011 while she was undergoing a law conversion course.
Her parent set up a Yasmin El-Rufai foundation in her honor which runs programs in creative writing, women literacy especially on women and children.
Facts about El-Rufai
He is a Muslim and according to him, an accidental public servant and who is a Nigerian first before being Hausa. He has a vision to work for a united Nigeria devoid of tribe and religion.
He is a crusader against corruption. He has exposed four senators who according to him had demanded bribe from him in order to be appointed Minister. He is the force behind the Real Estate boom that is supported by radical transformation of infrastructure and land use practises of the FCT.
He set up the Abuja Geographic Information System within 12 months of being FCT Minister. This made Abuja the first Municipal City in Nigeria with computerized land register and information system.
Together with his Economic Management Team, they reformedbthe Nigerian Public Service while also overseeing things at the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Interior
He chaired several high-profile cabinet committee that established the mortgage system in Nigeria, National ID card system and improvement on electric power supply, sale of Federal Government Real Estate in Abuja.
He was tagged as the “de facto vice-president by Nuhu Ribadu. This was during the last days of President Obasanjo who had a fall-out with his vice-president. Governor El-Rufai had earned the trust and confidence of then president Obasanjo.
He is seen as an incorruptible and money-efficient public servant with the credit of getting difficult jobs done easily. He gave the order for the demolition of a house belonging to a chairman of the then ruling party. He was appointed to the National Energy Council in September 2007 as he was believed to be able to contribute positively to the under-achieving power sector.
He appeared before the Nigerian Senate committee on FCT on 30 April and 7 May to explain some exposed and corrupt actions of his administration. Hw justified his actions and rejected views and allegations that he had allocated plots to his friends, brothers and cronies. According to him, it was a vengeance and plot by senators who lost their properties during the Abuja restoration to get their pound of flesh.
Up till date, Nasir El-Rufai has not been accused of money laundering and bribery scandal.
Although it is a speculation, it is said that he was implicated together with former president Obasanjo, Femi Fani -Kayode ( Former Minister of Aviation, Nuhu Ribadu (Former Chairman EFCC), Lawal Batagawara (Former Minister of Defence), Nanadi Usman (Former Minister Finance and Andy Uba (Former Special Assistant to President Obasanjo) by then president Yar’Adua’s loyalist and supporters in a phantom coup. The plan was to charge and try them for treason and encouraging military insurrection. This was the same thing done to Obasanjo during the General Sani Abacha regime.
Governor El-Rufai published a popular Essay on President Umaru Yar’Adua which is titled “Umaru Yar’Adua- Great Expectations, Disappointing Outcomes. The Essay reveals aspect of the president life history, habits and statecraft, and performance of his administration.
This Essay is seen as a reference point for evaluating President Yar’Adua’s adminstration and is serialized in several Nigerian newspapers and available on new sites and blogs.
He is nicknamed Mr. Giant by close friends, a reference to his small size, privatization czar and Mr. Demolition and now the kneeling Governor.
Currently, he is the serving Governor of Kaduna State and is credited with many reforms, improvement on the state’s fiscal situation, Kaduna State public service and ministries. Chief among them is recovering 24.7 billion through the Treasury Single Account Policy set in motion in Kaduna by 1 Sept 2015.
He has angered Christians, mostly the Catholic Church of Nigeria, Apostle Suleman and Dr. Chris Okafor for his descision to amend Kaduna’s ” Religious Preaching Laws of 1984.
Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai’s net worth is estimated at $400 million.