Practiced in Public, Private Sector Management, Salamatu Enters the Political Fray

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With a balanced career in both the private and public sectors, Hajia Salamatu Umar-Eluma makes her bid for National Women Leader of the All Progress Congress in the forthcoming national convention of the party. Iyobosa Uwugiaren examines her credentials

Until few weeks ago, Hajia Salamatu Umar-Eluma was the Executive Director, Human Resources and Administration of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Requesting for voluntarily retirement from her organization, which she served for over 17 years, the Anyigba, Kogi State born technocrat has picked and submitted form to contest the position of the National Women Leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in the forthcoming national convention of the party. According to Salamatu, the ruling party at this moment needs a committed national woman leader.

Said, ‘’The constitution of our great party, the APC, spells out the responsibilities of the National Woman Leader as follows: mobilization of women; initiate and implement strategic progammes that will endear the party to Nigerian women in consultation with the Zonal and State Women Leaders as approved by the party; perform such functions as may be assigned to her from time to time by the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee.

‘’Standing on this broad definition, I am committed to use the platform of the National Woman Leader to use every legitimate medium to mobilize women across Nigeria to vote in favor of our party and its candidates in all election; create special messages to propagate the ideals of the party to be disseminated via the social and traditional media.’’

Hoping to create an atmosphere of inclusiveness for all women under the theme, ‘’No woman left behind,’’ she promised to accommodate the various interests of women as they cut across socio-cultural and professional lines; actively pursue and actualize the inclusion of women in positions of leadership in all spheres of our national life and be in active opposition to violence against women in all its manifestations.

A known advocate of women reproductive rights, Salamatu hopes to organize education, enlightenment and empowerment fora for the intellectual and economic enablement of women in Nigeria and influence legislation in favor of women rights and empowerment at the states and national levels.

‘’We will actively mobilize every form of support for female candidates of our party aspiring for elective positions; institute a Think-Tank of women to brainstorm and throw up ideas/solutions on all issues affecting the Nigerian women,’’ she added.
If elected the national woman leader, she said she would create women media platform to track issues and developments relating to womenfolk in Nigeria in order to be pro-active in keying into crucial trends and provide ‘’dynamic, accountable and pro-active leadership’’ for the party at all times

Born into what many of her fans described as ‘’humble Moslem home’’ of Alhaji and Hajia Abdullahi Ademu in Anyigba, Kogi State on November 12, 1965, her quest for education began at the Islamiya Primary & Quranic School, Anyigba, from where she proceeded, on merit, to Community Secondary School, Ejule and then to the prestigious Federal Government College Ugwolawo as a part of the pioneering set of graduates.

Records show that Salamatu was first admitted to the Federal Polytechnic, Idah, and later the Kaduna Polytechnic, where she acquired her National Diploma and Higher National Diploma, Upper Credit respectively in Hotel & Catering Management. Her thirst for higher education also saw her through the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, where she earned an MBA in Global Management.

She began her professional career as a Youth Corps member at the Sheraton Lagos Hotel & Towers, Ikeja, where she served with the Training Department and was subsequently deployed to the Front Desk, having been absorbed as a full staff on completing her national youth service. Salamatu was later to go back to the Training Department as the Officer-in-charge of the management function.

Desirous of experience in balanced career, in both the private and public Sectors, she joined the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, in 2001 as an Assistant General Manager in the Training Department after a keenly contested recruitment exercise conducted by Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).

‘’In recognition of my meritorious contributions to the development of that department through pro-activity, ingenuity and selfless dedication, I was recommended for special promotion after two years as an Assistant General Manager to the position of a Deputy General Manager,’’ she added.

She was later promoted to the position of General Manager, Training & Manpower Development in 2006. Salamatu was said to have distinguished herself in that position, transforming from a cost centre into a revenue generating arm of the organisation. A few years later, 2012, she was promoted to the position of Executive Director, Human Resources and Administration in September 2012, a position she held until May 2018 when she voluntarily resigned.

Described as ‘’a consummate believer in capacity building and personal development’’ in one of her citations, Salamatu has over the past 20 years attended over 30 value-adding training programmes to improve on her competence, managerial and leadership skills. According to her, many of these programmes were organised by Ivy League International Institutions and best-in-class International Consulting Firms. They include courses on general management, human resources management, strategic planning, team building, interpersonal relations, communication, and conflict management/resolution, amongst others.

Throwing her hat into political arena, not many doubt that Salamatu’s belief in the power of networking, mutual support and collaboration for professional development, will hugely assist her in the position she aspiring to.

A member of several professional bodies, she has risen to positions of leadership in many of the groups. Salamatu is a Fellow and member, Governing Council, Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) (Chartered); Fellow, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT); Fellow, Institute of Payroll Administrators of Nigeria; member, Governing Board, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, CILT (Representing Aviation Mode) and member, Nigerian Institute for Training and Development (NITAD).

She is also a member, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM); outreach Chairperson, Women in Aviation International (Nigeria Chapter) and BOT Member, Women in Logistics and Transport (WILAT).

Salamatu holds other important positions of leadership in socio-cultural associations through which she makes her contributions to the development of humanity. They include: Matron, Murtala Muhammed Airport Schools; National Women Leader, Ukomu Igala Organisation; president, Igala Female Ambassadors and member, Board of Trustees, Igala Star Club of Nigeria.

Apparently in recognition of her contributions to the development of various aspects of the Nigerian society, she has received a number of awards, which include: Certificate of Recognition by Dr. Paul Botwev Orhii for her contributions to the development of the LGEA Primary School, Ge-Mbagwa, Lessel, Benue State, 2010; Aviation Rescue & Fire Fighting Service Staff Gold Award, 2012; Award for Excellence by Women in Logistics & Air Transport, WILAT, 2012; Igala Female Ambassador Award by Igala Icons in Lagos, 2013; Award for being the Longest Serving PTA Chairperson, Murtala Muhammed Airport Schools, 2013; Icon of Human Transformation by National Association of Nigerian Students, 2013 and many others.

Salamatu is also the founder of the Hajia Salamatu Baiwa (HSB) Foundation in 2014, a cohesive platform for her numerous philanthropic endeavours, which include sponsorship/scholarship for indigent students, especially the girl-child; youth empowerment through skills acquisition and the economic empowerment of women through revolving loans in cooperative societies.

She is the proud mother of Mariam Amaka, a First Class graduate of Software Engineering, who also holds a Master’s Degree with distinction in Management of Information Technology, MIT; Abdul-Jelil Kelechi, a graduate of Business Economics, and Nuratu Chioma, a graduate of Business Management.