By Stanley O. Nwosu
Oscar Wilde, the famous writer once said, “Birthdays are filled with yesterday’s memories, today’s joys, and tomorrow’s dreams”. Birthdays are moments of joy and celebrations as well as occasions for expressing goodwill to dear ones.
• Always busy NPC Chairman… Alhaji Nasir Isa Kwarra
It is that time of the year again when it is appropriate to rejoice with the digital Chairman of National Population Commission, Hon Nasir Isa Kwarra, and thank God for His grace upon his life. It is his new year, a new year of endless possibilities and blessings on all sides.
Today marks a special day in the life of a man whom I have come to love for his humility, wisdom, depth in knowledge, simplicity and appreciable work ethic. A workaholic man, who works deep late into the night every single day since he assumed office with an intent to turn things around and take the Commission to greater heights. From the time I got to work closely with him, I have wondered if he ever sleeps. Many times, I conclude that he hardly does. But even if he does, his brain stays awake and his thoughts aflame. He is driven by a passion for achievements. He is a restless goal-getter and a very hardworking man. To work closely with him, you must be up and doing.
Philosopher Socrates once said – “Under the guidance of a strong general, there will never be weak soldiers”. He is that strong leader who made us capable subordinates. He is an example of determination and courage for everyone.
It is with elation and gratitude, that I write on this day; a day that marks the 63rd birthday of a great leader – Hon Nasir Isa Kwarra, a respectable and reliable icon, a role model of selflessness and a tremendous source of inspiration to many people.
He is a purposeful and resourceful leader with the Midas Touch and a silent achiever with unassuming nature. He is a cool-headed gentleman, who puts the interest of others above narrow considerations as well as believes in equity, fairness, justice and betterment of the lives of people. He is a man who wishes that all should be well with every human being.
He leaves a mark of excellence in everything he does. He has shown an uncommon strength of character and a quiet resilience that only a true leader can possess.
In the words of an American author, John Calvin Maxwell, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way”. Hon Nasir Isa Kwarra is that messianic leader that leads the Commission to higher levels. When he was elevated to his current position as the 7th substantive Chairman of National Population Commission by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on 28th October, 2020, he wasted no time in putting the necessary machinery in motion to hit the ground running. And within a few months, he had placed the NPC on the path of unprecedented progress. He changed a lot of ways things were done, transformed the Commission from analogue to a digital organisation and earned himself the nickname “Digital Chairman”. He has set the entire operation of the Commission on a pedestal of digitalization, starting with the 2023 Census processes and the registration of vital events (births and deaths). He stabilized and united the members, management and staff of the Commission to work in harmony towards achieving the mandate of the Commission. He is working tirelessly to motivate and incentivize the staff with a better remuneration package as well as approving a series of training and retraining for members and staff of the Commission to build capacity and close skill gaps. He has restored the confidence of staff and brightened their hopes of attaining greater heights in their careers. Promotion exams have been regular, prompt and at when due under his administration. He has intensified efforts towards the completion of the NPC Headquarters building located in the Mabushi District that has been abandoned for years as well as the construction/renovation of all NPC State offices to ensure a conducive and suitable work environment for staff. His regime has procured project vehicles for all the NPC State and FCT offices. He has improved the tempo of collaboration and engagement with development partners, data generating agencies and end users.
Like a man under grace, his aura has unlocked the doors of prosperity and attracted every good thing to the Commission. Without much stress, everything began to work again in the Commission. The Presidency started to pay attention to the conduct of the next census that has been long overdue with the approval and release of funds for the completion of the Enumeration Area Demarcation in over 500 LGAs yet to be demarcated then, since the start of the EAD exercise for the next census in 2015. The Commission embarked on a marathon EAD exercise and demarcated and updated 772 out of 774 LGAs in Nigeria within one year. To cap it up, President Muhammadu Buhari in April this year, finally granted the elusive Presidential Proclamation with the approval for the next census to be conducted in April, 2023 after the general election. Hon Kwarra, instantly turned into a hero that everyone wants to associate with. Some said he is a lucky man for everything to be working in his reign while others who know his capacity believe that he is not just lucky but highly connected. Whichever divide, one thing is certain, Hon Kwarra is a man whose time has come to change the affairs of the Commission. Everything he touches his hands turns to gold.
In his almost 2 years in office as a Chairman, Hon Kwarra has been restless and has defined himself as a man who cannot be afraid to take bold decisions as long as it was in the interest of the Commission. He has shown great determination, commitment and passion to change the face of NPC for the best and lead the Commission to conduct the most credible and acceptable census in the history of Nigeria next year.
A retrospective look at Hon Kwarra’s administration shows that he meant well and possesses the will and capacity to pilot the affairs of the Commission. His footprints are loud and more apparent than the sun. Anyone who knows the Commission before and steps into it now doesn’t need someone to tell him that a transformative leader is at the helm of the affair of the Commission. He is an enigmatic game changer and uncommon transformer. Hon Nasir Isa Kwarra is an astute administrator, consummate leader, grassroots mobilizer and bridge builder. He runs an open-door policy that guarantees access to all staff and visitors at the slightest notice.
Hon Nasir Isa Kwarra was born on 4th October, 1959 in Kwarra, Wamba Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. He obtained his West Africa School Certificate from Government College Katsina in 1978, BSc in Economics in 1983 and MSc in Economics in 1985 from the University of Jos.
Hon Kwarra started his work experience in 1986 as a Trainee Banking Officer and then rose to the position of Deputy Manager between 1989 – 1996 before he moved over to the management board of Petroleum Equalization Fund between 1996 – 2006 and was the Zonal Manager of Operations.
He has held many appointments which include member Board of Directors, Federal Medical Centre Owo, Ondo State 2013 – 2015; member, Nasarawa State Judicial Service Commission 2007 -2010. He was also the pioneer Commissioner of Finance and Planning, Nasarawa State 1997 – 1998 as well as other prominent positions in the State.
In November 2018, he was appointed the Honourable Federal Commissioner representing Nasarawa State in the National Population Commission till he was elevated and sworn in as the 7th Executive Chairman of the National Population Commission on October 28, 2020. He is happily married with children.
As our people say, “more days, more wisdom”. As he grows wiser at 63, I am convinced that being a good man, he will even become better. As a great leader, he will even become greater.
On this auspicious occasion of his birthday, I join the legion of his well-wishers to celebrate him in addition to another valuable year of his life and may he have many more years and sound health to serve humanity. Congratulations!
63 HEARTY CHEERS SIR!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIGITAL CHAIRMAN!
Stanley Onyeka Nwosu, is the NPC Social Media Manager, Political Economist and Development Expert
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