Alhaji Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, in this interview, explains why he has a passion to help the citizens of his State, Kogi. The Banker, who is one of the sons of the 1st Executive Governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, speaks on his father’s legacies, his job, foundation, and other important national issues
We will appreciate a brief Introduction of your person to our readers within and outside the country.
My name is Alhaji Shuaib Abubakar Audu, I am an Executive Director at Stanbic IBTC where I have been working for close to 20 years. I have both Corporate & Investment Banking as well as Asset Management experience for close to 2 decades. I also hold an MBA from the University of Oxford (St. Hugh’s College) in the UK. Although I did my undergraduate and Master’s degree in the UK (details provided below) both my Primary and Secondary School Education were done in Nigeria.
Your father, Prince Abubakar Audu was renowned and recognized for his legacy projects in Kogi State. Which one of his legacy projects excites you most anytime you remembered?
Some of the most important to me were the provision of Higher Educational Institutions in the State e.g. Kogi State University which was named after him as Prince Abubakar Audu University Anyigba by the present Administration of His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello and also Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, Kogi State.
As the first and second Executive Governor of Kogi State, many see your Dad as the father of modern-day development in Kogi State, do you agree with them?
Yes, absolutely. As most of the projects he started, completed, and commissioned are the foundation upon which Kogi State development was built on. For example, Kogi State Government House Complex, Commissioners Quarters, Phase 1 and Phase 2 Housing Estates, First and Second 200 Housing units for the Civil Servants in the state, Construction of State Secretariat, and many office complexes in Kogi State. Others are Obajana Cement Company, Radio Kogi Corporation, Construction of Confluence Beach Hotel where River Niger and River Benue meets, provision of Water Supply, and Electricity to various communities in the State. An International Airport in Kogi State was among his dream before he passed on.
You have, to an extent, veered into the banking world, would you say you’re presently satisfied/fulfilled in terms of being able to support/assist indigenes/citizens of the state as you would have loved?
Yes, I am in the Banking and Financial Services world just like my father before his foray into Politics. However, I have supported/assisted a lot of citizens through my Foundation, Shuaibu Abubakar Audu Foundation, through the provision of Social Amenities, Education, Health Care, and infrastructural Developments across the three senatorial districts of Kogi State to complement the effort of state government. I believe development should not be left for the government alone. However, I believe I can still do more and certainly I am not yet fulfilled because I pray God will give me a bigger platform that will enable me to do more for the Great people of Kogi State.
You hold an MBA from the University of Oxford (St. Hugh’s College) UK. an MSc. in International Securities, Investment & Banking from ICMA Centre, Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK, and; a B.A. (Hons) degree in Business Economics from Leicester University, UK. What is your take on the quality of education in the country?
The quality of education in Nigeria can certainly be improved upon as it leaves a lot to be desired. The factors responsible are lack of adequate funding, incessant strikes, infrastructural deficit, lack of power, outdated curriculum, a huge disconnect between the school and industry/real world, which affects the quality of graduates produced.
Would you say that Small and Medium Scale Enterprises are getting enough financial support from the banking sector in the country presently?
They are getting some financial support, but it is clearly not enough considering the huge number of persons engaged in small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria.
There are great complaints about the administration of pension funds by PFAs whereby pensioners cannot access their funds especially the additional bulk payments. What ought to be done concerning this, as they are hungry but have money sitting in pension accounts?
The complaints are real and concerning. Although the Pension Reform Act enacted in 2004 was meant to improve and address some of these shortfalls. The current law allows retirees to access their retirement benefits through either lump-sum payments where 25% can be accessed lump sum and the balance through monthly payments or an annuity program.
What philosophy guides your daily living?
My philosophy is trying to maintain a good relationship with my creator (Allah) and make a positive impact on the lives of people knowing that one day I shall give account to God.
What do you think should be done concerning the state of insecurity in the country?
Fundamentally, the root of insecurity is injustice and a bad economy where an average person finds it difficult to live well. The leadership has needs to tackle it headlong by providing the security and military personnel adequate funding to tackle it. All critical stakeholders also need to be engaged including community leaders, religious leaders, and political leaders. Also, acts of sabotage would also need to be checkmated.
You have a foundation by the name Shuaibu Abubakar Audu Foundation. Can you explain to us what it’s all about?
The foundation was established to make a positive impact on humanity by touching the lives of ordinary people and to make the world a better place for all and sundry.
The foundation plans to set standards for other foundations with similar goals and to leave enduring legacies for posterity. In a bid to achieve this vision, we are into the provision of rural electrification projects, portable water, and the construction of feeder roads for the citizens of Kogi State.
We also provide improved health care facilities and awards Scholarships to indigent students as well as leadership training and mentorship for our teaming Youths.
The Foundation is into the establishment of vocational centers and giving soft loans to our market women and medium scale enterprises. We also renovate dilapidated primary and secondary schools within our communities and beyond.
Alhaji Shuaibu Abubakar Audu is happily married.