The result of hard work ignites the inspiration to do more, and the consistency at which a goal is pursued can determine the outcome. For the outcome to be positive, it requires expertise, dedication and bravery for the level of success to be achieved.
Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim’s consistent passion for change, commitment to hard work and academic prowess, influenced by her desire for nation building has led to her recent appointment as the first female Minister of State for Police Affairs.
Imaan is from Nasarawa state and is a consummate professional with a distinguished career spanning over two decades across diverse sectors, including the public, private and development spheres.
She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Abuja, and bagged two master’s degrees—an MBA and an MA in Management, from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri, at the age of 21 in 2001. To further bolster her capacity in strategy and national security, she participated in the one-year Executive Management Intelligence Course 14, which earned her the distinguished title of Fellow, Institute of Security Studies (fsi).
Imaan began serving as a member of the Nasarawa State Investment and Economic Advisory Council in August 2019 (which ended May 2023), where she made giant strides. This manifested through how she drove investments, increased the state’s revenue, and assisted in advancing healthcare and education outcomes.
In December 2020, she became Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), where during her tenure, Nigeria’s ranking in the US TIP report was elevated. From there, Imaan transited to become Honourable Federal Commissioner of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), where she revolutionised how the commission addressed challenges faced by vulnerable citizens. Today, she is the Minister of State for Police Affairs.
“It is humbling to be bestowed with this great honour for a great and doable assignment as assigned to me by the President of Nigeria. This role is a call to serve and serve I will, upholding the principles of what the office demands,” She said in an exclusive interview with BusinessDay.
Celebrating feats of positions like this for women in traditionally male-dominated fields is important, because doing more of such will motivate others to pursue their goals and contribute to society in meaningful ways.
Furthermore, occupying such a crucial role, especially in policing, is beyond being barrier-breaking, it paves way for women to aspire for positions of influence that can help improve the quality of results expected from people in their sphere of office, and by extension the populace.
Her appointment further emphasizes the fact that gender should never be a barrier to success in any area. It is indeed a milestone in the ongoing journey towards gender representation and the importance of diversity in leadership roles.
This will encourage women to know that their dreams are valid, and that if they do not give up, they can break the proverbial glass ceiling.
Beyond gender, it is about the agenda for implementation on the call to serve, and the preparedness for service when the call comes.
For Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, her tireless quest to learn and contribute to national security resulted in being a Fellow of the National Institute for Security and Strategic Studies.
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She certainly wasn’t done with this quest, and to further this, she is far-gone in pursuing a Doctoral degree in Security and Strategic Studies at the prestigious Nigeria Defence Academy.
Her accomplishments show that grit, perseverance and fervour can push one to great heights. Her determination to effect positive changes in her new office is commendable
The combination of the fellowship and her doctoral studies have set the tone to prepare her for this new role, which will aid her ability to contribute effectively, and enhance her aptitude to make ample contributions, provide recommendations, and proffer lasting solutions to crucial matters, specifically on traversing the area of security setbacks in Nigeria. Indeed, Imaan’s background in security studies underscores her alignment with the role of Minister of State for Police Affairs.
Though her accomplishments show that grit, perseverance and fervour can push one to great heights, her determination to effect positive changes in her new office is commendable, suffice to say, Imaan is ready for the task ahead.
“I recognise the challenges and understand that, as with any system that will work well, there will be challenges, but we shall do our best to find long lasting solutions. In doing so, we shall very much work continuously on public trust,” Imaan said.
Furthermore, she adds that to further enhance the police service, the ministry shall continue to engage the police in training and development programmes, ensuring they are equipped with what is needed “to serve the nation with heart and might as pledged, so they are adequately prepared to face and resolve the evolving challenges of our time.”
Opened to finding ways for better improved services for the police so they can serve well, she is embracing collaboration as a way forward.
According to her, “we do not claim to know it all, therefore, we shall strengthen our collaboration with national and international partners to firm up our crime prevention and investigation capabilities. We will also strengthen our bond with the communities we serve and do our best to address their concerns.”
As the Minister of State for Police Affairs, Imaan’s role is pivotal in shaping policies and guaranteeing public safety and security. For this to be successful, she agrees that it is a collective responsibility.
“The (positive) results cannot be achieved by the police alone, but with the support of stakeholders, our committed police officers, the judiciary, civil society, the media, and the citizens at large, it shall be a success,” she said. “Collectively, we can commit to building a nation where the rule of law and justice is upheld, and indeed we can live in harmony and peace.”
The role technology plays in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the police workforce in ensuring security within a nation is very important.
From data analysis to surveillance systems, mobile technology, body-worn cameras, forensic technology, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, cyber security and so much more, indeed technology aids better and faster results in security concerns in a nation.
“We understand the role technology can play in national security and support of police’s obligations, we also know that its use must be appropriately implemented to protect the citizenry and avoid potential biases or abuses.
“Nevertheless, we cannot downplay the importance of up-to-date technologies and creative means of finding long lasting solutions to various forms of crimes. To this end, intelligence-led policing will help in combating crime, and we will put this to effective use.” Imaan revealed.
Optimism arises that Imaan’s experience and vision will enhance positive changes to the police force, and that her leadership will not only ensure safety, security of communities and the nation as a whole, but will also promote an environment of inclusivity and diversity within law enforcement.