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Sani-Omolori: When your work speaks for you

L-R: Mohammed Umar, permanent secretary, Human Resources, representing Mohammed Sani-Omolori, clerk of the National Assembly; Hon. Pally Iriase, deputy chief whip, representing Yakubu Dogara, speaker, House of Representatives, and Frank Aigbogun, publisher/CEO of BusinessDay Media.

Without any gain-saying, Mohammed Ataba Sani-Omolori, the incumbent Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), has done creditably in changing the landscape of the National Assembly since assumption of office on the 16th May, 2016. Within this short period everyone can attest to his dexterity towards up-scaling the facilities and technological proficiency of the bureaucracy and workforce in general. Under his watch, definite landmark transformation has taken place, ranging from massive renovation of the buildings, improved

security, parking lots, among others. He also introduced the click-in tech for across the institution with a workforce of over 5,000 legislative workforce within the system. Never can one forget to mention the introduction of Open Week which gave ample opportunities to Nigerians, CSOs, CBOs to interface with the members and management of National Assembly.

Going through his work and professional experiences, one cannot but acknowledge the propensity of Sani-Omolori towards making National Assembly a hub of democratic institution across Africa.

Sani-Omolori, who spoke recently at the international conference of Public Administration, organised by the Department of Public Administration of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, with the theme: ‘Public Administration in Time of Reforms’, exhibited passion for institutional reforms and the need for the repositioning of legislative service, a departure from what he inherited.

In his drive for a professional and highly motivated workforce that will deliver efficient services at all times, Sani-Omolori inaugurated a Committee on Personnel Audit on Tuesday, 20th December, 2016 with the mandate to ascertain the actual staff strength, structure and distribution of staff required for an ideal legislative management system etc.

According to his profile, Sani-Omolori attended many Local and International courses, seminars and conferences, including: a Legal Drafting Course at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in

1991; another course in legislative drafting at the Royal Institute of Public Administration, London in 1992; and the Public Law Centre, New Orleans, Luciana, USA in June, 2001.

Sani-Omolori enjoys membership of the following Local and International Bodies: The Nigerian Bar Association; African Bar Association; International Bar Association; Commonwealth Lawyers

Association; Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsels; Society of Clerk-at-the-Table; and Association of Secretary-Generals of Parliaments, etc.

To different people, Sani-Omolori means many things. While some simply know him as the Clerk to the National Assembly of Nigeria, several others define him using his epic qualification as consummate lawyer, an accomplished technocrat, a great philanthropist and a servant leader.

Until recently, many never knew that he’s of the Royal Family of the former Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, the late Mohammed Sani-Omolori, in

Okene, on the 7th June, 1961. He started his early education at the Native Authority (Central) Primary School, Okene between 1966 and 1971. He had his secondary education at the Government secondary

School, (now Abdul Azeez Attah Memorial College), Okene from 1972 –1976.

Prince Sani-Omolori briefly served as a temporary employee of the Local School Management Board, Okene in 1976.  Thereafter, he proceeded to the Katsina College of Arts, Science and Technology

(KCAST), Zaria for his Advanced level Certificate from 1977 to 1979.

After leaving KCAST, he was admitted into Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria in 1979 for the Law Degree and he graduated in 1982 with

LL.B (Hons). Upon graduation from ABU, Zaria, he proceeded to the Nigeria Law School, Lagos in 1982 and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1983 as a Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

He participated in the National Youth Service Corp Scheme (NYSC) in 1983. His first place of primary assignment was the Sokoto State House of Assembly.  He subsequently transferred his service to the Headquarters of the 7th Mechanized Infantry Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Sokoto as a legal Adviser.

Upon successful completion of his NYSC programme in 1984, Barrister Sani-Omolori had a stint of legal practice in the firm of Baba Amartey

Chambers: Nasir Ajana and Company between 1984 and 1985. He also served as a Private Secretary to his father who was the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland and the Chairman of Ebira Traditional Council.

His public service career began in 1985 with his engagement as a Legal Officer with Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited. In 1990, he joined the services of the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) as a Legal Officer where he served for exactly one year.  In 1991, he took up an appointment with the National Assembly office.

His career in the National Assembly has been challenging.  Here, he was tasked with establishing and nurturing the Legal Department from

its inception to its present status.  He became the Acting Director, Legal Services Department in 2002, a position he held until 2006. In 2007, he was promoted to the substantive rank of Director and worked in that capacity until 4th February, 2010 when he became the Clerk, House of Representatives in the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a position he occupied till 16th May, 2016 when he became the Clerk to the National Assembly.

His leadership traits date back to his early days as a youngster while in school.  His humility endeared him to several of his contemporaries in his school days, who elected him into several positions of

responsibilities as follows: Secretary, Debating Society (1975); President, Social Club (1975 – 1975); Secretary, Muslim Students Society (1975 – 1976); Publicity Secretary, Ebira Students Association (1975); Secretary-General. KCAST Students Union (1977 – 1978); Member,

KCAST Students’ Parliament (1978 – 1979); Publicity Secretary, Kwara State Students Association, KCAST Branch (1978 – 1979); Secretary, Ebira Students Association, KCAST Branch (1978 – 1979); Vice President, Muslim Students Society, KCAST Branch (1978 – 1979);

Member, ABU Students Union Parliament, Kongo Campus (1979 -1980); Assistant Secretary, Law Students Union, Kongo (1979 – 1980); Assistant Publicity Secretary, Muslim Students Society, Kongo Branch (1979 – 1980; and Secretary-General, Students Union, ABU, Zaria (1981).

At the Excellence in Public Service Awards Night held at the Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, the Clerk of the National Assembly was ably represented by members of the management of National Assembly namely: Mohammed Umar, Permanent Secretary, Human Resources; Rawlings Agada, Director Information and Christopher Asheka, Director, Protocols.

In his opening remarks, Frank Aigbogun, Publisher/CEO of BusinessDay Media explained that the ‘Excellence Public Service Award’ was conceived to celebrate performance and commitment of those in public responsibility.

“The Awards highlight excellence, visionary leadership and outstanding job performance in the public sector. BusinessDay conceived the Public

Service Awards to celebrate the exceptional work, and commitment of those in positions of public responsibility who have helped to translate government priorities and promises into real results.

According to him, the award was in recognition of those leaders in public institutions who are pushing the boundaries in world class service delivery.

“We commend their dedication, and we note the daily work that they put in pushing the boundaries to get a world class service delivery for the people of Nigeria. We were very meticulous in analysing the

dignitaries for these awards and our team of analysts and researchers, who were joined by a review committee vigorously, examined the various nominations that we have before arriving at a list of award winners this evening.

“I can assure you that coming up with the list of the award winners is not an easy task given Nigeria’s large public sector and competing positions of leaders of these department and agencies of government,” Aigbogun said.


Kehinde Akintola

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