In our quest at ‘OURWORLDGIST’ to feature who is who around the globe, we bring on board Hon. Zakari Alfa to say A to Z about him.
In this light, we task ourworldgist’s top writer, Sani Michael Omakoji, who is good at fact finding to tell us about the person of Honourable Zakari Alfa and this what he brought to the table:
“ Honourable Zakari Alfa a seasoned Banker, a Financial Expert, a humanitarian, a prudent manager of Resource, a gentleman and a God fearing personality was born in 1963 in Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State.
In an attempt to talk about the person of Honourable Zakari Alfa, we shall look at him from seven angles to include: his Early life, his Educational background, his career, his professional feat, his political participation, his notable achievements and personal life.
Honourable Zakari Alfa as noted in the opening savvy is a native of Ankpa, in Ankpa Local Government area of Kogi state and was born into the respected family of ALFA on 20th July 1963. Growing up as a child, Honourable Zakari Alfa picked interest in entrepreneurship from his Dad, “Alfa” who then engaged in commercial activities within and outside Ankpa in order to meet up with family needs. As ‘fate’ will have it, Honourable Zakari Alfa’s interest in entrepreneurship propelled him to study Business Administration.
Honourable Zakari Alfa is a graduate of the prestigious Bayero University, Kano with first degree in Business Administration between 1983 and 1987. In 1998 Zakari Alfa proceeded to the University of Calabar in South South Nigeria where He obtained a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management. Note, at his formative stage, especially as an undergraduate, Zakari Alfa exhibited such traits which clearly set Him on a firm path to climb the professional ladder in Nigeria’s organized private sector. This was obvious because even as a student, he obtained relevant skills in banking by seeking gainful employment on an adhoc basis in the defunct Savanna bank, Kaduna and the United Bank for Africa, Makurdi respectively. With this at hand, Zakari proceeded to start a long and distinguished career in banking immediately after undergoing the compulsory National Youth Service Corp program.
Between 1988 and 2008, Zakari held diverse positions of trust in North South Bank, Standard Alliance Insurance Company, Intercity Bank Plc., NUB International Bank Limited, First Inland Bank Plc., and Empire Securities Limited. Within these years which witnessed about the most dynamic innovations in Nigeria’s financial system being fallout of the global financial meltdown,
Zakari Alfa brought his wealth of experience and professional competence to bear as he rose steadily through the ranks from an accounts officer, assistant manager, deputy manager/branch accountant up to branch manager.
On the strength of verifiable records which attest to His strict adherence to the tenets of professionalism, integrity and objectivity, the second phase of Alfa Zakari’s career saw Him rise to managerial level as head of the public sector group of North South Bank Plc., a post which vested on Him a unique responsibility of managing public sector clients of the bank as a means of ensuring seamless delivery of a wide range of financial services to ministries, departments and agencies of government.
He subsequently rose to the directorate level when as assistant general manager, he was charged with the responsibility of managing non-performing loans and other remedial assets of NUB International Bank Limited.
After a brief stint in remedial assets management, Alfa Zakari proceeded to head the Risk Management and Credit Administration Unit of NUB International Bank Limited. His interventions; some of which came in form of initiation of new credit policies, collateral assets management, product papers dynamics and standard operations procedures for granting credit facilities caused a near immediate reduction in non-performing loans ratios. This feat was acknowledged by the CBN and other regulatory authorities.
Zakari’s career as a thoroughbred banker peaked during the recapitalization era between 2006 and 2008 when shortly after His appointment as regional executive, North Central of First Inland Bank, He was nominated and eventually appointed divisional head/associate director remedial assets in the same financial institution.
Following His exit from banking in 2008, Zakari proceeded to Empire Securities Limited (A Member of Nigeria Stock Exchange) where He was responsible for the daily operations of the securities investments company as managing director, chief executive officer till 2011.
Over the years, Zakari has undergone numerous professional, business and executive management trainings within and outside Nigeria most of which bother on leadership (organized by AISEC, Brussels), business management (organized by CIBN, Nigeria), credit analysis (organized by FITC, Nigeria), team building (organized by Tom Associates, Nigeria), leasing (organized by Amembel & Associates, Johannesburg), credit information exchange (organized by Credit Risk Managers Association), credit analysis techniques (organized by Euromoney, London) and leadership development (organized by Europe Training centre, London).
In 2012, Zakari was appointed by the then Governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada as commissioner for finance and economic development with a mandate to ensure that necessary structures are created and maintained to ensure sustainable economic growth and development in the state.
Not only was this responsibility discharged, Zakari went further to ensure that adequate mechanisms were in place to create streams of future earnings to provide for the next generation of Kogi people.
Towards this end, under his management, the Kogi State Investments and Property Limited increased its capital base to N2B from an initial N500M from where funds were earmarked to fund a portion of the 300 affordable housing units in Felele.
Other infrastructural interventions which were made possible on account of His efforts include but are not limited to the 500 unit bond housing estate at Crusher and Ganaja, a modern park at Felele, the Kogi State Teaching Hospital, Anyigba, a 45 bed cottage hospital at Odu-Ogboyaga and the Kogi House, Abuja.
Besides the above, Zakari Alfa carved a niche for himself as a senior state official who operated a zero tolerance for fiscal misconduct, mismanagement of government funds and other acts of corruption. It is Worthy of note also to state that Honourable Zakari Alfa was one of the prominent gubernatorial aspirants in kogi State in 2019 election under the umbrella of Peoples Democratic party ( PDP ).
As a banker, he influenced the establishments of Finbank branches cutting across some major local government areas in Kogi State; one of which is the one directly opposite Ankpa Agricultural office which is yet to be into operation upon his exit from the office.
Note that, Finbank was acquired by FCMB.
However, after the establishments of these banks, he personally headed the panel of interviewers who conducted screenings for the employment of prospective employees and he made sure alot of persons from Kogi State who are qualified educationally and otherwise were employed most of whom are in great positions today in those banks. This is at the state level.
As a commissioner of Finance, Hon Zakari Alfa remains one of the appointees who effectively and judiciously implemented the state’s development agenda without a trace of corrupt enrichment. As highlighted earlier, Hon Alfa, upon his appointment as commissioner of finance considered the establishment of kogi state property development and investment company limited with initial bond of 500 million naira but with his effort, the capital base of the company increased from the initial of 500 million naira to over 2 billion naira.
From the fund, Hon Zakari Alfa in agreement with his boss, Capt Wada facilitated the construction of modern park at Felele in Lokoja, the construction of 500 units estate at Crusher and Ganaja for the civil servants and other individuals, the construction of 300 housing estate in Felele, the construction of over 50 wards cottage hospital in Odu community, the establishment of Anyigba teaching hospital, the building of health facility in Ojiapata to attend to health challenges of the locals, the drilling of motorised borehole in Emere community, the electrification of some communities which hitherto existed without light for years in all the three senatorial district in Kogi State.
The electrification of Akatapiya, Awo ofe Anyaka and adjoining communities with better transformers .
The supply of transformers to Okaba to boost power supply especially in areas where low voltage were experienced. Drilling of boreholes in Okaba for the community, the renovation and building of more classroom blocks in Okaba primary school, the renovation of St Charles College Ankpa to an enviable standard. And most importantly, he facilitated the construction of the much dilapidated Ojoku-Okaba road which remains one of the best roads at the moment in the local government.
Furthermore, Hon Alfa as endorsed by Capt Wada, awarded the construction of Ankpa township road, although the administration did not see to the end of the project but work had already started with the construction of drianges up to Oji elanyi before he left office. Similarly, Hon Zakari Alfa ,as part of his humanitarian effort, sponsored lots of students on scholarship who today have graduated are still visiting his house for appreciation and for some more assistance. More so, this gentleman operates a private company that has employed more than 200 staff personnel in the FCT with the work force cutting across board.
On the social front, Hon Alfa Zakari, a moslem is married and blessed with children.
While hoping to update this write up, at this point, from all of us at ourworldgist, this is wishing Honourable Alfa Zakari a blissful time in his business and political enterprise.
Sani Michael Omakoji