Malagi: Leadership founded on service

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Alhaji Idris Malagi

He remains the frontline candidate in the battle for the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger state. He is not only the most prepared for the job, but this successful media mogul has all it takes to stay the course whenever he decides to go for anything in life. 

Less than 48 hours to the commencement of the APC governorship primaries in states, Alhaji Mohammed Idris Malagi has become the rallying point of  Nigerlites seeking to advance development of Niger state known as the ‘Power State’. 

Young, visionary and someone who does not look back once he puts his hands to the plough, Malagi, who is leaving behind exceptional footprints in private business, is set to make history.

 He has managed human resource in building a successful business empire across various sectors of endeavours, employing hundreds of people and broadening the frontiers of hope for many people. 

Not a talker but a quiet personality, whose intellectual prowess runs deep, Malagi has a rich history of commitment, success and irrevocable disposition in turning human enterprises into stories of success.  

Born on May 2, 1966, his parents saw the need to embrace education as a tool that must be acquired at all cost for advancement. He was enrolled and completed his primary school education at the Central Primary School, Kontagora, Niger state in 1977.  

The young Malagi would, between 1977 and 1982, proceed to the Government Secondary School, Rijau, Niger state. After the completion of his secondary education, he proceeded to the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, where he bagged a degree in English in 1987. 

Malagi would later enroll for his masters degree at the Bayero University Kano, BUK. Apart from engaging in part-time teaching of English and Communications Skills at BUK from 1989-1991, he was also lecturer in English and Communication Skills at the Federal College of Education (FCE), Katsina from 1989 – 1994.

Not satisfied with just being in the classroom, Malagi would launch himself into the business world when he founded a public relations/communications consultancy company, Biofocal Communications Ltd, Abuja in 1993 where he served as the “chief strategist and visionary leader at the company for over 25 years, providing solutions to corporate clients, delivering return on investment for stakeholders and providing employment and mentoring for several Nigerians who have grown to become business leaders in their own right.”

He became the Founder/Chief Executive Officer of Cavalet Publications Ltd that publishes The Market magazine, the first business and economy magazine to debut in the northern part of the country. One of the key achievements of the publication which debuted in June 2004 “created a break from the clutter in the industry with high quality editorial and pictorial content, focusing on business and the economy.”

In May 2011, Malagi broadened his prospects in becoming a media mogul by rallying a good team of media professionals that would midwife the establishment of Blueprint Newspapers. Apart from being one of the best newspapers in the country, the media organisation has been in the vanguard of raising the bar in investigative journalism.

The acquisition of the Abuja WE FM by Malagi demonstrates his commitment in dominating the pinnacle of both the print and broadcast platforms of the media. In all the years, he has weathered the storm of ensuring his media platforms survived the mortality virus that is often the killer of most media organisations in the country, especially in the North.  

In recognition of his astounding contributions to the Nupe Nation, he was bestowed with the title of Kakaki Nupe. He is also General Secretary of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN). 

Since he joined the APC six years ago, he has demonstrated a commitment that has led to his appointment as the Chairman of the Board of Abuja Property Development Company (APDC) in 2017.

Among other positions held by the erudite public relations guru are: Chairman, Catnose Limited; Co-Founder, Easylink Aviation; Chairman, Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) Kaduna Chapter, 2004-2008; Vice-Chairman; Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), 2004-2007 and Assistant Secretary, Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), 2014-till date.

The frontline governorship candidate has left sterling footprints in public relations where he has garnered many laurels in recognition of his efforts in advancing the goals of PR practice. 

They include his appointment as   the Chairman, Security Committee of the World Press Congress to hold in Abuja, June, 2018; Member, Sponsorship and Finance Committee, World Press Congress to hold in Abuja, June, 2018; Recipient, NIPR Presidential Special Recognition Award, 2014; Managed advocacy/public enlightenment for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on the promotion of Agricultural Practice in Katsina state.

Malagi also served as Lead Consultant on Communication and Strategy to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources on the National Programme on Food Security and Development of Livestock in Nigeria and Lead Consultant to the National Primary Education Commission (now UBEC) on Nationwide Enrolment and Retention of Primary School Pupils, among others. 

He is also a member of the following organisations: Fellow, Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR); Member, Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), among others.

As a media professional, he values advice and creates a friendly atmosphere that encourages personal relationships with others. One trait that is found in Malagi is his constant disposition of not allowing a flood of uncertainties to dull his reasoning. 

Even when his newspaper had initial hiccups and was threatened with financial crisis as it is with all newspapers in the country, he stood firm and remained calm, assuring staffers that all is well. Indeed, the newspaper has pulled through and presently achieving greater strides in the media industry.

His acquisition of WE FM station demonstrates how far he has gone in consolidating his gains in the media industry. With Malagi on the driving seat of any project, he is sure to bring to bear that infectious confidence that has remained his trade mark as a true leader.

There is no doubt that having shown doubtless qualities of leadership in private business, his participation in politics and rallying Nigerlites to realise his dreams are clear signals that Malagi is a leader to be trusted. 

Apart from being urbane and developing both national and global connections, it is a fact that Niger state awaits a leader that is committed to development and advancement of citizens’ progress.

As APC delegates in Niger state file out on Thursday to elect a governorship candidate that can defend the interest of the state and bring development to the state, they should not look beyond the man whose successful streaks in business and ability to lead the way in carrying along the people for collective unity and development.

If confronting challenges of development for Niger is the problem, then, Malagi is certainly the answer. His leadership trait has always been founded on service. 

Musa, a media practitioner, is based in Abuja