Alh Umar Bala lecturimg and enlightneing pilgrims during 2019 hajj
BY Tawfeek Akinwale
Umar Bala was born Sixty Years ago exactly on 12th July 1960 in Fagge Local Government Area of Kano State to the family of an Islamic Scholar Sheikh Bala Shuaibu and Hajiya Khadija Musa Bala of the blessed memories.
Umar Bala after acquiring the necessary Western education, started his career as a Public Servant with Triumph Newspapers, a government-owned print media in Kano State, as a reporter covering the bits on Religious, Aviation, Crime and Judicial matters from 1988 to 1998
Precisely on the 6th January in 1998, his services was transferred to the Presidency, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) as Principal Information Officer (PIO), where he stayed shortly before being deployed to the then Directorate of Pilgrims’ Affairs (DPA) and finally ended up transferring his service to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), on establishment of the Commission in 2007
He served diligently and undeterred throughout his career for TWENTY TWO years in the Commission without a single query and any other malpractice what so ever but rather was very meritorious inspiring and prudence.
Malam Umar Bala is a veteran Hajj Operator who served in various capacities in the Commission long before the inception of NAHCON. He was one time the Head of Media for many years, and was able to steer the activities of the media effectively and efficiently. This was from 1998 to 2008.
Malam Umar Bala because of his forthrightness and trustfulness was in 1998 appointed as the secretary, Junior Staff Committee and also actively participated in the annual assignments for the inspection of Tour Operators facilities before certifying and granting the tour operators licensing to operate Hajj and Umrah.
In 2008, Umar Bala was again asked to take over the affairs of Abuja/Minna Zonal Office as a Zonal Coordinator in charge of FCT, Nasarawa, Kogi and Niger States respectively. Thereafter, a Kano Zonal Coordinator in charge of Kano, Jigawa and Bauchi States where he stayed from 2012 to 2017. While in Kano as a Zonal Coordinator, he played active role in convincing the Saudi Consul-General in Kano for the re-issuance of visas to the deported female intending pilgrims due to Mahram related issues as well as hosting of the former Saudi and Nigerian Consuls.
Malam Umar Bala while working in the Headquarters was actively involved in so many daunting and complex assignments for the Commission, either as a Chairman of a committee or a member. Such proven assignments include:
i Chairman Committee on the Restructuring of Zonal Offices
ii Coordinator of all the Divisions, Sections and Units of Operations Department.
iii One time a Co-opted member in Apex NAHCON’s Board and Exco decisions.
iv The substantive Head of Licensing Unit which latter metamorphosed as a Division now from 2010 to 2012
v Two times Zonal Coordinator of Abuja/Minna and Kano respectively.
vi In July 2020, He retired from service as the Head of Civic Education Section of the Pilgrims’ Education and Orientation Division of the Commission.
Malam Umar Bala has a sound background in Islamic knowledge and the Arabic language. In fact, he spent considerable part of his childhood at tender age learning and acquiring Islamic knowledge before even acquiring the Western Education.
He attended so many courses, Seminars, Workshops and Conferences both locally and internationally such as Malaysian Institute of Management, (MIM), Kuala Lumpur, World Hajj and Umrah Conference, United Kingdom, United States of America (USA), Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, (NCAT), Zaria, Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Badagry, Lagos and host of others.
Umar Bala as a core and thorough civil servant, is no doubt a computer literate,
He is also recipient/Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Administration of Nigeria (FCAI) in August 2004
He is happily married with children.