Hadiza Kabir’s Midas touch at FCT SDS

When on Tuesday, November 22, 2021, Dr Hadiza Mohammed Kabir was appointed the Mandate Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory, Social Development Secretariat, FCT SDS many observers heaved a sigh of relief as she was acclaimed a round peg in a round hole.

As the present administration winds down in few days time, looking at the transformation the SDS has recorded within the last 30 months, then whoever recommended her for the job has no regret but appreciative of her excellent performance that she is leaving the Secretariat on a high pedestral.

The young and energetic Hadiza came hitting the ground running and leaving on her trail a coterie of achievements. Both staff and the public are feeling the positive impact of good governance in the secretariat since she took over the mantle of leadership.

Hadiza’s record of achievements in her 15 months in office can be succinctly captured as enumerated herewith, thus showcasing at a glance an Amazon; an indefatigable, workaholic, dedicated, staff motivator and an achiever that sees only possibilities and driven by the zeal to provide democratic dividends to FCT residents.

In the Arts and Culture department, in the past one year and six months of her being at the helm of affairs in the secretariat, the mandate secretary has supervised the rebirth of several moribund cultural activities, social life and exhibitions. In September, 2022, in line with the mandate to preserve, promote and present cultural heritage in a sustainable manner, the International Museum Day was commemorated.

The annual Music Concert Serenade, which helps to showcase our traditions, culture and ways of life through music which was abandoned several years back, was immediately revived.

A holiday workshop for children with the theme, “Culture, a Tool for Development”, provided opportunity for FCT children to discover their talents in different creative skills; a ‘catch them young’ kind of activity was also carried out. It is worthy of note that this training was last carried out about seven years ago.

The training of students of tertiary institutions on industrial attachment in the Visual and Performing Arts Division of the Social Development Secretariat received a boost as over 200 students have been trained  under her leadership.   

In the Gender Development department, over 400 food vendors and roadside market women were empowered; the first of its kind in the life of the secretariat.

The war against gender-based sexual violence has taken a more forceful dimension as the war is taken to the suburbs and offenders not treated with kids’ glove. The victims of sexual and domestic violence are known to be rescued by the Gender Development Department with special cases sometimes referred to the National Agency for the Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, for prosecution of such offenders.

In the Social Welfare Services department, over 12,500 beggars were evacuated from the streets of Abuja while providing feeding, psycho-social counseling and repatriation to their respective states of origin to decongest the increasing number of shanties that are sprouting across the Capital City Centre.

The secretariat also evacuated 4,519 mentally retarded persons with drugs related cases out of which 502 have successfully been treated and reunited with their loved one while 273 victims of drug misused persons (drug addicts) were rehabilitated through psychosocial therapy, while 81 are currently undergoing rehabilitation at the FCT Vocational Center, Bwari.

Through social counseling, more than 3,000 Commercial sex Workers have embraced skills acquisition and entrepreneurship initiatives for dignified means of livelihood.

The secretariat through the Social Welfare Educational Empowerment scheme sponsored more than 2,000 children of indigent families for tutorial and preparations for NECO/NABTEB, WAEC and IJMB to enable them further their educational dreams.

The Sports Development department is not left out in the administration of Hajiya Hadiza Mohammed Kabir. In the past 15 months, many sporting awards were won by Abuja contingent. The latest was the hosting of the maiden Abuja International Marathon.

Tourism – Desirous of a paradigm shift from the normal and making the FCT a Tourist Destination hub within the West African region where Nigeria commands the largest population, she constituted the tourism Advisory Council made up of seasoned professionals and critical stakeholders in the industry, to conduct in-depth research and come up with workable and realistic modalities that will catapult the industry to an enviable tourist destination as well as becoming a major source of internally generated revenue component to the FCT Administration.

Also, the secretariat is harmonising the activities of hotel and hospitality operations in the FCT in line with global best practices, identifying those operating illegally as well as those that have since converted their residential apartments to guests houses/hotels/motels are made to face relevant sanctions while the processes of reverting to status quo is ongoing.

Youths Development, over 300 youths have been trained and empowered in fish farming and aquaculture; over 1000 youths in what the Secretariat tagged, ‘Technopreneurship’ were young persons in the Territory are trained to champion small business establishments in technology-based fields like solar and computer combined with leadership trainings.

The National Youth Council of Nigeria and the Scout Association FCT chapters are not left out of the midas touch of Hadiza.

Within her tenure, 13,100 youths have been trained in leather works, satellite installation, welding and metal fabrication and ICT, while 5,500 were empowered and given starter packs to jumpstart them in their trained vocations.

From the above, it goes to show that Dr Hadiza Mohammed Kabir indeed is leaving a legacy of achievements as the future beckons on her for higher responsibility.

Abdul writes from Abuja

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