The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Professor Ibrahim Abukar Njodi is an erudite academic and former university administrator. As the SSG of Gombe State, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi, is the principal officer responsible for the implementation of Government’s decisions, policies and programmes. He also oversees the operations of all ministries, agencies and parastatals in the State. Born on January 13th, 1959 at Kaltungo Local Government Area of Gombe State, Prof. Njodi attended L.E.A. Primary School, Kaltungo, from 1967 to 1973 and later, ECWA Primary School Kaltungo from 1973 to1975. He proceeded to Government Teachers’ College, Jama’are, in Bauchi State from 1975 to1980. He also studied at the University of Maiduguri from 1981 to1985, where he obtained B.Sc. Physical and Health Education. He joined the services of the University of Maiduguri as a Graduate Assistant in 1987 and later proceeded for his Master’s Degree from 1988 to 1991 in the same University, specializing in Health Education. In 2003, he obtained a Ph.D in Public Health Education from the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
From the onset of his long and fruitful academic career, Professor Njodi was saddled with series of responsibilities, which prepared him for the task of grooming future leaders in Nigeria and beyond. He commenced this leadership training by serving as a Captain and Assistant Head Boy at the primary school level. While at Teachers’ College, Jama’are, Ibrahim held the positions of Class Prefect, Deputy Head Prefect and Head Prefect at different times. The award recipient also served as Secretary and President of the National Union of Kaltungo District Students (NUKADS) and Tangale Waja Students’ Union between 1976 and 1980. His leadership skills were sharpened as a student unionist following his election into different positions, including President, NAPHER-SD, Unimaid Branch, and Secretary-General, NUBASS, Unimaid Branch, between 1983 and 1985.
From 2008 to 2010 Professor Njodi served as Acting Dean, Faculty of Education, and was elected substantive Dean of the same faculty in 2010, thereby becoming the first alumnus of the University to serve as Dean of the Faculty. Professor Njodi became Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Services) in 2010 and, eventually, Vice-Chancellor of the University from June 2014 to June 2019, thus becoming the first and second alumnus to serve in these capacities, respectively.
As Vice-Chancellor, Professor Njodi has demonstrated sterling leadership qualities as eloquently reflected in the aggressive and articulate pursuit of his goals. Instead of chickening out in the face of the devastating Boko Haram insurgency, he has not only kept the University open, but has successfully stabilized its academic calendar, thereby making it possible for staff and students of the institution to enjoy the much cherished long vacation.
Professor Njodi has recorded significant successes in terms of physical development of the University, which has become a giant construction field with various categories of projects, many of them completed and put to use, while others are almost completed. The completed ones include the new Faculties of Arts, Social Sciences, Education, Centre for Urology and Renal Research, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development and Unimaid Radio. The most significant of all the projects, which has eluded past administrators, is the recently completed and commissioned Senate Complex of the University.
Under his leadership, the University of Maiduguri has established and strengthened linkages with Universities, local and international agencies to enhance capacity building, improve the existing infrastructure, support research and human development over the years. Several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and partnership agreements have been signed with Universities and agencies within and outside the shores of Nigeria.
As a scholar of distinction, Prof Njodi has actively participated in numerous national and international conferences and seminars and published papers in several high quality Journals and chapters in books and books in his area of specialization. To date, he has over fifty three (53) academic publications to his credit, in addition to rendering selfless service to several communities, states and international organizations.
Professor Njodi is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Economists of Nigeria, Fellow, Society for Peace Studies and Practice (fspsp) as well as Fellow, Institute for Government Research Leadership Technology. He is a recipient of numerous Awards of Excellence, the most outstanding being the National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) Award conferred on him by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the 2017 Distinguished Leadership Award conferred on him by the Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA). He holds membership of several professional Organisations and Associations.
In recognition of his numerous contributions to community development, the Mai of Kaltungo conferred on him the prestigious traditional title of Madakin Kaltungo, and appointed Secretary to the Gombe State Government on 2nd June, 2019, a day before he hands over office as Vice-Chancellor, University of Maiduguri. Also, for his sterling educational qualities and leadership style, His Royal Highness, the Shehu of Borno conferred on him another traditional title of Shettima Ilmube of Borno. Professor Njodi, due to his amiable disposition and good social standing has earned a number of traditional titles in his home state, Gombe. These include the Kaigamma Dadiya conferred on him by the Emir of Dadiya, the Wakilin Ilimin Gona by the Emir of Gona, Magayakin Yamaltu, by the Emir of Yamaltu, Jakadan Ilimin Shongom by the District Head of Shongom, Shettiman Ilimin Lakweme by the District Head of Lakweme and the Muqaddam of Akko by the Emir of Akko. Other conferred traditional titles include the Madakin Tungo, Dan Malikin Ture, Dan Masanin Kalaring, Sarkin Rafin Pindiga, Dan Amar Koman Adamawa and Barayan Awak.
He is happily married and blessed with children.