Kashim Shettima

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Meet Kashim Shettima

Kashim Shettima Mustapha (born 2 September 1966) is a Nigerian banker and politician who has served as Senator for Borno Central since 2019. He previously served as the Governor of Borno State from 2011 to 2019.
Shettima attended Lamisula Primary School in Maiduguri from 1972 to 1978; Government Community Secondary School, Biu in southern part of Borno State from 1978 to 1980; transferred to Government Science Secondary School, Potiskum (now in neighbouring Yobe State) where he completed his secondary education in 1983. He studied at the University of Maiduguri and earned a Degree (BSc) in Agricultural Economics in 1989. He had his one-year compulsory membership of the National Youths Service Corps, NYSC, at the defunct Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative Bank, Calabar, capital of Cross River State in South-South, Nigeria, from 1989 to 1990. He obtained a master's degree (MSc) in Agricultural Economics in 1991 at the University of Ibadan in Southwest, Nigeria. Shettima joined the University of Maiduguri as a Lecturer with the Department of Agricultural Economics and was in the academia from 1991 to 1993.
In 1993, he moved into the banking sector and was employed by (now defunct) Commercial Bank of Africa Limited as head of accounts unit at the bank's office in Ikeja, Lagos State, Southwest, Nigeria. Shettima was there from 1993 to 1997. In 1997 he crossed over to the African International Bank Limited as a Deputy Manager and rose to become a Manager in 2001. In 2001, he moved to the Zenith Bank as head of its main branch in Maiduguri. At the Zenith Bank he rose to Senior Manager/Branch Head; Assistant General Manager (AGM)/Zonal Head (North-East), Deputy General Manager/Zonal Head (North-East) before he stepped out of the Zenith Bank as a General Manager in 2007 following his appointment as Commissioner for Finance in Borno State.
Shettima worked with the Commercial Bank of Africa as an Agricultural Economist at its Ikeja Office, Lagos State (1993-1997). He then became a deputy manager, later manager, at the African International Bank Limited, Kaduna Branch (1997–2001), and was appointed Deputy Manager/Branch Head of the Zenith Bank's Maiduguri Office in 2001, becoming General Manager five years later. In mid-2007, Shettima was appointed Commissioner of the Borno State Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. Later he became Commissioner in the Ministries of Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs, Education, Agriculture and later Health under his predecessor as Borno Governor Ali Modu Sheriff
From 2007 to 2011, he served as Commissioner in 5 Ministries. In the January 2011 ANPP primaries, Engineer Modu Fannami Gubio was selected as candidate for the governorship. However, Gubio was later shot dead by gunmen, and Shettima was selected in a second primary in February 2011. In the 26 April 2011 elections, Shettima won with 531,147 votes while the People's Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Muhammed Goni, gained 450,140 votes
Shettima emerged the 2014 Governor of the Year (Leadership, Governor of the Year, 2015, (Nigeria Union of Journalists, national body); Governor of the Year, 2015 (NewsWatchTimes n); Governor of the Year, 2015 (Vanguard newspapers); Governor of the Year, 2016 (Tell magazine; 2017 Zik Prize for Leadership; Kaduna NUJ Award for courage and exceptional leadership (2017), FCT NUJ Merit Award for exceptional Leadership, 2017.
In February, 2019 he became the winner of the Borno Central Senatorial District election, thereby replacing Senator Babakaka Bashir

Kashim Shettima IS NOT A BOKO-HARAM

I saw a picture of Kashim, breaking bread, with Fulbe Maigadis of the Muhammadu Buhari megaschool that his administration constructed, in Maiduguri. It was promptly captioned, as “Shettima eating with members of Boko Haram”! In the first place, he was Governor of Borno in that tragic phase, and I was lucky to be a direct onlooker, from the vintage point of trust and friendship, to make certain points. 1. He NEVER had anything to do with Boko Haram, either doctrinal or organisational.
2. He provided incredible, and I mean unprecedented support, for the Nigerian security forces to fight the insurgency. He never failed to offer material support to members of the security forces.
3. He NEVER discriminated against the Christian community of Borno State, before, during, and after the worst excesses, of the Boko Haram insurgency. The testimony from Borno Christians, vitiate any effort to tar his name, in that respect
4. Unlike some of his colleagues, who abandoned their states, he stayed; he visited communities under attack, sometimes being open to personal danger too. But his argument was always that he must respond to the people; and they must see him as always being there to respond to them; to provide succour and leadership.
5. He organised a systematic reconstruction and rehabilitation program for communities that the insurgency deliberately destroyed. Whole communities were rebuilt; infrastructure was reconstructed, in a manner that’s unprecedented in most communities faced with insurgency, especially in Africa. My PhD in Political Science, specialises in Defence and Strategic Studies, so I can offer some insight on that. The Commissioner in charge was Professor Babagana Umara Zulum. And it was the dedicated and honest job he did, that made Kashim Shettima eventually settle for him as his successor.
6. It is also noteworthy that despite being Governor in those tragic years, Kashim Shettima did not take his eyes off the development agenda in Borno: agriculture (his passion) ; education (mega schools; state University; rehabilitation of historic Borno schools); vocational projects; empowerment of the weak and poor; housing projects; rehabilitation of roads; construction of industrial projects; mosques and churches, etc.
7. Kashim was a very effective leader as Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum. I worked in a Committee that prepared a document to secure access to funding for projects, from the Islamic Development Bank, amongst others.
8. He reads! And that’s not what you can say for most members of the Nigerian political elite. I think that’s a factor that you and I can relate with.
Kashim is a man of genuine empathy for people. He has a very strong sense of justice and compassion; he’s not vindictive; and I’ve watched him at close quarters, in Maiduguri and other locations, to attest to his emotional maturity; his intellect and genuine patriotism

Optimism and determination in the ‘Home of Peace’

Governor of Borno State speaks about the determination of its inhabitants and of those in office to secure a peaceful, prosperous future for the self-proclaimed “Home of Peace”

According to Kashim Shettima, Governor of Nigeria’s north-eastern Borno State, British Prime Minister David Cameron “was right when he referred to Nigeria as a ‘dream waiting to happen’. The country has tremendous resources that when properly harnessed, can provide the platform to catapult the nation to a higher level, in the same way that it has happened in Singapore, Korea, Brazil, and China. With the right leadership and corporate governance, Nigerians are set to reach the promised land.”
A Nigerian agricultural economist, Mr Shettima was elected governor in the 2011 national elections and firmly believes in Borno State’s nickname of the “Home of Peace” and its potential for a prosperous future. He says, “Borno is the second largest state in Nigeria, with a population of 4.7 million people, and a land mass of 70,989 square kilometres, covering a deep and diverse range of ecological zones. It is the largest producer of livestock, cowpeas, and groundnuts in the country. The fish from Lake Chad whets the appetite of almost half of the Nigerian population. We have around 67,000 hectares of land for irrigation around Lake Chad alone (of which a mere 10,000 hectares is being utilised). There is amazing potential there.”
Contributing as a guest columnist for Nigeria’s Leadership newspaper, last year he highlighted the challenges of insecurity facing Borno State and his government’s commitment to ensuring a better future for its citizens.
He wrote: “The government has visited Egypt and Thailand to borrow experiences to increase food production in the state, especially farming in the Chad Basin, and entered into memorandum of understanding towards changing farming methods. The whole mantra is on increase in yield and we intend to unleash the potential of our youth by investing N10 billion ($63.5 million) into the agricultural sector. In the same vein, the government has put in place a machinery to create 500,000 jobs to address grassroots socio-economic empowerment drive, total overhaul of the education sector, infrastructural renovation and improvements and putting in place quality assurance monitoring taskforce and enhancement of the feeding system to encourage children to attend and stay in school. In addition, vocational and farming skills acquisition centres are being provided and rehabilitated while all our dormant industries are receiving attention and very soon they will engage substantial number of the unemployed. We are also collaborating with all donor agencies and relevant federal agencies such as ETF, DFID, IDB, UBEC, the EU, etc to access funds for the development of the state.”
From the state capital Maiduguri, Mr Shettima also highlights the great strides that have been made in the state’s education, agriculture and health sectors. “The healthcare delivery system has vastly improved,” he says. “We have recorded a lot of successes in our fight against polio and other childhood diseases. In the past year, we have opened five general hospitals, and commissioned five new ones. We are in the process of rehabilitating seven more general hospitals. My health commissioner is in the US. He is working to get seven new ambulances, and seven mobile clinics. It is all part of our vision to spread 36 hospitals across the state. I can assure you that the next few months will bring about a quantum leap.”
He adds: “Borno has been a torchbearer as far as education is concerned in the northern part of Nigeria. I have signed a bill for the Borno State University to meet the educational needs of our people. We have a contract for the rehabilitation of 18 secondary schools across the state worth N7.8 billion. We set up a Quality Assurance (QA) team, tasked with the responsibility of ensuring quality in public schools. Every Nigerian above the age of 30 (including myself) is a product of the Nigerian public school system. I believe that posterity will judge us harshly if we allow the public school system to collapse. Right now, I can afford to send my kids to very expensive private schools. Other people with resources will perhaps do the same. But what of the sons of the poor? Part of the reason why Boko Haram festered was because of our disconnection with the people. Unless we identify personally with the people, work for them, and improve the quality of governance, we will be in trouble.”
As part of a drive to ensure unbanked Nigerians have access to financial services, the Bankers Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently announced that Borno State had been added to the pilot scheme of the national financial inclusion strategy. Of the state’s 4.7 million inhabitants, only an estimated 280,000 people currently have access to financial services, and Borno is rated as one of Nigeria’s states with the highest level of financial exclusion.
Part of the project’s aims includes raising the number of ATMs in Borno from the current 95 to more than 770 by 2020. It also intends to expand the network of branches in the state from 72 branches to over 120 and points-of-sales from under 300 to around 10,000.
To ensure the success of the pilot scheme, extensive consultations have been held among key stakeholders, including the CBN, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Nigeria Communications Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, Consumer Protection Council, and the Borno State government. The successful implementation of the project in Borno State will help guide banks to replicate it in other states nationwide.
The Bankers Committee is also behind an ongoing Customer Identity Management project, which when completed would radically reduce the cost of banking transactions, improve customers’ identity and reduce fraud. The committee has affirmed that it is pulling out all the stops to ensure that cost of financial services is reduced in the overall interest of the economy and financial system stability.

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