Ex-Permanent Secretary, Dr MK Dikwa, emerges Thinkers Magazine’s 2019 Man of the Year

The pioneer Permanent Secretary (Special Duties), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa
The pioneer Permanent Secretary (Special Duties), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa.

The pioneer Permanent Secretary (Special Duties), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa, has been named Thinkers Magazine’s 2019 Man of the Year.

Dr Dikwa was picked among numerous nominees following a rigorous selection process, Editor-In-Chief of the Magazine, Mr Yahaya Eneji Musa, said in a statement in Abuja on Monday.

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THE IMMEDIATE PAST PERMANENT SECRETARY (SPECIAL DUTIES), FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE, BUDGET AND NATIONAL PLANNING, DR MOHAMMED KYARI DIKWA, IS THINKERS MAGAZINE’S 2019 MAN OF THE YEAR

When Thinkers Magazine was being conceived ahead of its subsequent emergence as a bold, fearless and innovative magazine, among the ideals embedded in our noble vision were high ethical standards, editorial standards of the loftiest level, and so forth. Next on the list was the need to institute an annual award to be known as Man of the Year Award as has been the practice globally.

Our Man of the Year Award is a unique recognition which is reserved for a person who has sparkled beyond expectations in his or her field of endeavour within a given year. Such areas include academics, art, science, sports, politics, philanthropy, law, leadership, community service, business, diplomacy, and so forth. In fact, the list is quite lengthy; suffice it to say that as long as a typical compatriot must have made exceptional contributions to the society in one field or the other of human endeavour, he or she qualifies to be considered for the critical award.

Accordingly, we have remained faithful to this tradition year-after-year since the Magazine made its debut some years ago. Beginning with the first edition through each and every subsequent version down to the latest edition, Thinkers Magazine’s Man of the Year has carved a niche for itself as a highly competitive and universally coveted award that is prized for being uncompromisingly impartial, transparent, incorruptible, and independent.

Little wonder, Nigerians from different walks of life have found it expedient to step forward every now and then to shower encomiums on the highly acclaimed annual award for its quality and uniqueness in giving recognition to whom it is due. Indeed, one of the refreshingly different things about the Magazine’s humble effort is that rather than being a run-of-the-mill, we deliberately decided to make it veritably fresh and unique. So much so that even the unheralded, little-known chap out there making his own contribution to his or her community or nation knows that he too stands a reasonably good chance of being recognised like the well-known or well-to-do fellow.

In view of the foregoing, the nomination of Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa, among numerous others, for consideration for our Man of the Year would hardly come as a surprise to discerning minds. Starting from 1985 when he set out to serve the land of his birth by joining the Borno State Civil Service as an Internal Auditor through the period he transferred his services to the Federal Civil Service to the moment he bowed out of the service, Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa epitomised all the qualities and virtues of selfless contribution to one’s country and its people.

Granted, anyone can assert with the due justification that each and every civil servant is contributing his or her small quota to the progress and development of our beloved nation. In Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa’s case, however, he didn’t just contribute his modest quota. Instead, he went the extra mile to serve his fatherland beyond the call of duty in different capacities and in addition his primary duties and responsibilities.

For instance, even as a Permanent Secretary, he ventured to undertake a number of challenging obligations, including being an examiner, part-time lecturer, public speaker (at seminars, workshops, in-house training, etc.) and author of an impressive array of seminal books. As a real craftsman intent on remaining faithful to his vocation, this uncommon public servant continued to be hardworking and patriotic even as his retirement moment inched closer. In a clime where it is taken for granted that someone who is in the twilight of his career would be forgiven for “taking it easy” with his or her job so as to prepare well for post-retirement life, Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa made it a point of duty to put into his daily chores the same passion, dedication and commitment that has characterised his performance over the years. As many of his colleagues aptly put it, the gentleman remained a workaholic to the end of his tour of duty.

For being such an exemplary public servant, for being an evergreen mentor to generations of civil servants on the one hand and students on the other throughout Nigeria, for being an uncommon legion of professional and trade unions and associations, for being a peerless compatriot in his public and private life to the admiration of all and sundry, Thinkers Magazine is proud to present Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa, mni, as its Man of the Year 2019. We join his friends, family and other well-wishers in congratulating him for this well-deserved honour.

The Man, Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa

Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa is a blessed man from a community with abundant historical antecedents who was brought up by responsible parents in a sane clime with strong ethical, religious and cultural values spanning centuries. He had a sound primary, secondary and post-secondary education in quality institutions in and outside Nigeria that broaden his perception about life and the embedded in him the unbending resolve to render selfless service to the country and its people.

His Ancestral Roots

There is a saying that when men and women of timber and calibre are born, no comets are seen nor special stars visible or the heavens quake. If any confirmation for this timeless truism is needed, one of the places to go for that is the town and traditional emirate in Borno state which bears this distinct name and which, incidentally, is the birthplace of Mohammed Kyari Dikwa, a son of the soil who would eventually rise to prominence as an accomplished civil servant, examiner, lecturer, author and philanthropist.

Dikwa, which is also known as Dikoa, nestles next to the Yedseram River, which flows into Lake Chad, and has road connections to Maiduguri, Bama, Ngala, and Kukawa. Historical records have not established precise date the town was founded and when its famous strong walls were built; but it had undoubtedly become a significant centre of the Borno Kingdom of the Kunuri people by the 1850s.

The Sudanese warrior, Rabeh Zubayr ibn Fadl Allah, captured Dikwa among other parts of Borno Empire, fortified the town and made it his capital between 1893 and 1900. Although Rabeh Zubayr ibn Fadl Allah was killed by the French in 1900 and the region came under French control, Dikwa remained the Shehu’s seat until 1902. Dikwa was occupied by the British during World War I, and in 1922, Dikwa Emirate became part of the League of Nations mandate of British Cameroons. In 1942, the emirate headquarters was moved from Dikwa town to Bama, south-southwest.

Although administered by Nigeria’s Borno province during British rules, the emirate became part of the United Nations Trust Territory of northern Cameroons in 1946. After rejecting union with Nigeria in 1959, its people, mostly Kanuri and Shuwa Arab peoples, voted to join a new province in northern Nigeria in the 1961 plebiscite. A year later, however, they were able to secede from Sardauna and unite with their kinsmen in Bornu province. Dikwa was part of North-eastern state from 1967 to 1976.

Most of the area’s population is engaged in herding and in farming, chiefly cotton, groundnuts, millet, sorghum, corn (maize), and indigo. Fishing is essential, both along the shore of Lake Chad and the Yesseram. Cotton weaving and dyeing are significant local activities, as is the tanning of leather.

Birth and Early Education

Back then in the Northern part of Nigeria and elsewhere, western education was hardly reckoned with by the average family. To the credit of the Malam Kyari and Hajiya Amina, however, Mohammed was enrolled at Central Primary School, Dikwa in the early 1970s and obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1977. And this began an educational sojourn that subsequently took him to Government Comprehensive Secondary School, Gushua, where he acquired his General Certificate of Education (GCE) in 1982.

Quest for Higher Knowledge

His next port of call was Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, the capital city of his home state of Borno, a cosmopolitan society with diverse ethnic groups like Kanuri, Shuwa Arab, Lamang, Babur/Bura and Marghi, among others. Borno state was created in 1976 by the then military regime in Nigeria and was initially part of the North-Eastern state. Despite its colonial heritage dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, Maiduguri remains the capital of Borno state since 1907 when Borno was incorporated into the Northern Nigeria Protectorate by the British.

By the standard of that era, attending school up to the polytechnic level was adjudged by many as a feat. But to Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa, who bagged his National Diploma (ND) in Accounting from the Ramat Polytechnic in 1985, this was more or less a herald of greater things to come. And thus, even as he was still savouring that significant step forward, he bettered at the University of Maiduguri for a course in his chosen profession.

Even with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree which he obtained from the University of Maiduguri in 1991 in his kitty, Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa soldiered on steadily in his quest for higher knowledge. Hence, he soon returned to the University of Maiduguri for his Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance, a credential he gleaned in 1996. This was followed by a sojourn at the National Institute for Policies and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Kuru, Jos, Plateau State, leading to the conferment on him of the prestigious Member of the National Institute, mni, in 2012.

This remarkable scholar took his seemingly insatiable quest for knowledge beyond the shores of the nation. First, he ventured to the University of Bakht Al- Ruda in the Republic of Sudan for his Doctorate Degree in Accounting and Finance, which he successfully completed in 2017. Just when some were convinced that Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa had bagged enough educational garlands to last him for a lifetime, he accelerated further, this time to other continents of the world.

The famed Oxford University in England beckoned, and Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa responded in the affirmative. Here, he enrolled at the Business School, earning a Certificate in High-Performance Leadership Programme in 2014. The no less renowned university of Cambridge was the next to host him at its Judge Business School, where he was awarded a Certificate in Leadership and Governance, also in 2014.

Like a man determined not to relent until he has successfully accomplished every inch of his mission, Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa proceeded to Harvard University with a stint at the Kennedy School of Governance in 2014. The fruit of this endeavour came in the form of a glittering Certificate in Public Financial Management Reforms. He also attended the Business School of World, INSEAD-FONTAINEBLEU, France, where he was awarded a Certificate in Advanced International Corporate Finance in 2018. All these pieces of training are aside from the following foreign programmes which he attended at one time or the other: XVII World Congress of Accountants organized jointly by International Federation of Accountants and Hong Kong Society of Accountants in November 2002 at Hong Kong;

Certificate Course in Senior International Banking and Finance/Treasury Management Business School at the Themes Valley University London, in August 2002; International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) Implementation and Project Management Field trip to USA organised for the Federal Government of Nigeria, IPSAS Implementation Committee by Periscope Consulting Nigeria Limited in May 2014; Financial Management of Development Projects Training Course by the Crown Agent London in August 2005; The Management and Policy Development for Senior Managers’ Course at Royal Institute of Public Administration (RIPA) London in October 2005.

The International Gas Business Management Certificate Programme at IHRDC Boston, USA, in May, 2006; Project Financial Management Course organized by Crown Agent London in 2007; The Public Sector Accounting and Budgeting Training Course organized by Crown Agent London in December 2007; Combating Corruption in Procurement Training Workshop organized by Crown Agent London in November 2008; Senior Executive Course on Management of Oil and Gas Operation by the Global Training Consulting London in September 2009; Governance Programme (A Board Retreat) organized by FITC Consulting London in September 2010; Oil and Gas International Study Tour on Global Best Practices & Comparison of Petroleum and other Extractive Industries Resources Management in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in March 2013; International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) Seminar for Senior Executives organized by PWC in London, May 2013; and a Study Tour Programme on Development Financing Institutions and SME Agencies in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, in July, 2013. And so on, and so forth.

Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa also attended various local courses and trainings. These include the following: A Certificate Course in Computer Appreciation at Kwari Computer Academy in 1996; Senior Executive Course Number 34/2012 of the National Institute For Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Jos; IFRS Executive Briefing/Training Programme organized for Shareholders’ Committee Members of Bank of Industry Limited in March 2013; Leadership and Good Governance Training Course organised by the Global Training Consulting, Lagos, Nigeria, in April 2010; Plan and Budget Management Workshop organised the Centre for Management Development (CMD) Lagos in April 2008; National Training Workshop on Effective Financial Management in the Public Sector organized by the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) in conjunction with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) in October 2007; Training Workshop on Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 Issues and Challenges in Reformed Economy organized by the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) in conjunction with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAG) in November 2006; National Conference for Women in Public Administration organised by the Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria in April 2003; A Two-Day Workshop on the Sanitization of Public and Private Sector Finance organized by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Nigeria (ICPAN) in June 2002; Certificate Course in Internal Auditing and Investigation at the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI) in Ilorin in August 1988; A Two-Day Seminar/Workshop on Accountability in Government: The Role of Civil Servants in Maiduguri in October, 1995; and the Maiden Edition of the Accountants-General Conference in May 2001 in Maiduguri, Borno state.

Professional Bodies

A recipient of the prestigious Nelson Mandela Award and Ambassador of Peace by the United Nations (UN), Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa is an all-round professional in his field of endeavour. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). He is also a fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) and distinguished member of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Study (NIPSS) since 2012 as well as the following bodies: Institute of Corporate Administration (ICA), Association of Forensic and Investigative Auditors (AFIA), Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Institute of Certificate Public Accountants of Nigeria (ICPAN), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (CIOIA), Institute of Cost and Management Accountants (FCMA), Institute of Credit Administration (FICA), Nigeria Economic Society (NES), Life Member LMNES), Nigeria Institute of Management (MNIM), Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria (IPAN) and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS), among others.

From the foregoing, it is evident that even though no comet was sighted on the day Dr Mohammed Kyari Dikwa was born in the first month of 1960, he has shown by his one-of-its-kind exploits in the educational arena and related fields that he is a purposeful gentleman who, once he has put his hands on the plough, doesn’t waiver until he reaches the Promised Land. Little wonder, he enjoyed fairytale-like progress at every stage of his career, culminating in his being selected as this magazine’s outstanding personality of the year 2019.

YAHAYA ENEJI MUSA
Editor-In-Chief



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