Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, Former Governor of Kaduna State

Malam Nasir El-Rufai is a Nigerian politician who is the Governor of Kaduna State. On 5 December 2014, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, OFR, won the party primaries and emerged as the APC candidate for Governor of Kaduna State. He won the 11 April 2015 gubernatorial election and was formally declared governor-elect of Kaduna State on Sunday, 12 April 2015. During his first term as governor of Kaduna State, he attained many feats in governance reforms, including:

Ranking Number 1 state for doing business by the World Bank Doing Business Report 2018. He has attracted more than $500m new investment into the state.

The completion of the 150 million litres per day Water Treatment Plant of the Zaria Water Project and Phase Two of the project to pipe the water into homes and businesses.

An unprecedented attention to human capital development through reforms in Education and Health, including school renovation and the project to upgrade 255 Primary Health Centres.

Replaced 21,780 teachers who failed a competency test with 25,000 new teachers.

Introduced electronic voting in Nigeria.

Moved Kaduna State to the Contributory Pension Scheme, one of the few states faithfully implementing it.

Launched the Kaduna State Contributory Health Insurance Scheme

Was the first to implement Treasury Single Account, mopping up state funds from 470 bank accounts into one account in the CBN.

Created the Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS) to establish a digital land registry for the state.

Reduced ministries from 19 to 14.

Made Kaduna the first sub-national to become a member of the Open Government Partnership.

Introduced electronic voting in Nigeria.

First governor to attach portfolios to his nomination of commissioners.

Doubled internally generated revenues without raising tax rates.

Implemented public service reforms.

Passed an innovative Mortgage and Foreclosure Law.

Paid unprecedented sums as bursaries to qualified students in tertiary institutions.

Malam Nasir El-Rufai was re-elected in March 2019, and his running mate, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, became the first elected female Deputy Governor in the far north of Nigeria. He has appointed women to head six of the 14 ministries in the state. Several youths and women have also been named heads of agencies or critical advisers. He appointed a young journalist to head the first state Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs. He has created a cabinet with people from every part of Nigeria and continues to promote Kaduna as an open place where every resident is treated as a citizen.

So far in his second term, he has launched the Kaduna Urban Renewal Programme, which is remaking the face of Kaduna, with similar programmes lined up for Kafanchan and Zaria. He foresighted a management-led Kaduna State to be the first government to pay the new national minimum wage. He has raised the minimum pension for retirees on defined benefits to N30,000 monthly.

Before he ventured into politics, Malam Nasir El-Rufai had served as a public officer within various capacities. In 1998, he was appointed into the Policy Implementation and Monitoring Committee (PIMCO), which was charged to help manage the transition programme that led to a democratically elected government’s handover in 1999.

President Olusegun Obasanjo also charged him in 1999 to run the privatisation programme as Director-General of the BPE.

Malam Nasir El-Rufai distinguished himself at the BPE, showcasing a clear-headedness, tenacity and courage that persuaded President Obasanjo to saddle him in 2003 with the difficult job of managing Abuja as the minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

Malam Nasir El-Rufai has continued to distinguish himself amongst his peers through selfless determination and hard work. He is a detribalised Nigerian who is utterly blind to primordial sentiments, a Nigerian who believes every citizen of the country should be free to live and work in any part of the country without any form of fear. Malam Nasir El-Rufai is a committed champion of the equality of opportunity.


El-Rufai was educated in Barewa College. As a junior at the college, President Umaru Yar’Adua was the house captain of his dormitory. In 1976, he graduated at the top of his class, winning the “Barewa Old Boys’ Association Academic Achievement” Trophy. El-Rufai attended Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, where he received a bachelor’s degree in quantity surveying with first-class honours.

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1 Comment

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