Northern PR Stars: Integrated Marketing Communication Professionals
By Maryam Na-allah Umar-baba
Public relations is dynamic in the ever-evolving world of communication. For the business environment, organisations must utilise integrated marketing communication (IMC), which involves a variety of different communication tools to deliver a common message and make a desired impact on customers’ perceptions and behavior.
Public relations professionals now offer an excellent toolset for generating attention whenever there is something newsworthy that others would like to share with customers, prospective clients, stakeholders, the local community, and other audiences.
In today’s dynamic and interconnected world, Public Relations (PR) has emerged as a formidable force, shaping narratives and influencing public opinion. As the business landscape continues to evolve, the Northern region of Nigeria has also witnessed an impressive rise in its PR industry, with a wave of talented professionals making their mark on the communication landscape within and outside the country.
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The North has also produced iconic Communicators, scholars, spokespersons, and other PR practitioners who contribute to defining contemporary issues in the public relations industry.
Spokesperson’s Digest, a sister publication of PRNigeria presents three outstanding Integrated Marketing Communication Professionals from the North.
Sadiq Kassim: A Quintessential Marketing Specialist
Alhaji Sadiq Kassim, is the quintessential Integrated Marketing Communication, IMC, Specialist who creates messages that inform, educate, or persuade customers about goods and services. IMC involves using the four components of the promotional mix: public relations, sales promotions, personal selling, and advertising for impactful results.
A fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Mallam Kassim’s journey towards excellence began with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, majoring in Economics, from Bayero University (BUK) Kano in 1983. Recognizing the importance of continuous learning, he pursued post-graduate studies in Management, also at the same university.
His illustrious career commenced as a Lecturer at Kano State Polytechnic in 1984. With dedication and hard work, he quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a Senior Lecturer and Acting HOD. However, it was in the corporate sector where he truly excelled, leaving a lasting impact on various organizations.
His tenure as Branch Sales Manager at Afcott Nigeria Plc from 1990 to 1996 marked a significant milestone as he expanded the company’s territory to cover the entire northeast region of Nigeria. Later, in a position at Kewalram Nigeria Limited, he successfully managed branches in Maiduguri and Kano, skilfully handling diverse product portfolios.
Mallam Kassim’s influence extended to the automotive industry when he served as the Regional Sales Manager (Auto) North, spearheading the marketing of Hyundai and Mitsubishi vehicles and spares in the region. As General Manager of Corporate Affairs, for Kewalram/Chanrai Africa Group, he played a pivotal role in strategic planning and advocacy for the Textile and Vegetable Oil Industry in Nigeria. Subsequently, Mallam Abubakar Sadiq Kassim served as Director of Group Operations (Abuja) at CHI Limited, focusing on diversification and strategy in agriculture and agro-processing.
His commitment to public service and policy formulation became evident as he served as the General Manager of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), overseeing the Kano Free Trade Zone and later the Calabar Free Trade Zone. He was also an Honorary Special Technical Assistant to the Minister of Commerce and Industry in 2006.
Similarly, he held other positions of responsibilities including Chairman of the Federal Government Cotton Revolving Fund Management Committee (CRFMC); Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA); National Expert Consultant on Textiles to UNIDO and President of fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria among others.
Presently, he holds the position of Executive Director/Group Head, Corporate Affairs, at WACOT Limited, further establishing himself as a prominent figure in the corporate world.
Mallam Kassim’s remarkable achievements span a wide spectrum of industries, from education to agriculture and from corporate affairs to public service. Notably, he expanded the business territories of companies, attracting investments and raising investor confidence, as evidenced by General Electric’s involvement in the Calabar Free Trade Zone during his tenure at NEPZA.
Mallam Kassim’s journey from an educator to an influential leader in multiple sectors exemplifies the potential of a determined and dedicated individual. His contributions to education, industry, and public service have left an indelible mark on Nigeria’s growth story, making him a true PR personality worthy of recognition and appreciation.
As IMC specialist, Sadiq creates a positive and memorable customer experience that builds trust, loyalty, and advocacy.
Hadiza Usman Shuaibu: A True Inspiration for Budding Communicators
Hadiza Usman Shuaibu, a distinguished public relations expert, has carved an illustrious path in the realm of integrated marketing communications (IMC) that facilitates consistent messaging across channels and produces a unified brand experience for customers.
Born on 11th April 1973 in Kaduna State, Nigeria, Hadiza hails from the esteemed Ebira tribe in Okene Local Government of Kogi State.
After her studies at Government Girls’ College Dala, Kano, her remarkable academic performance at A’Level education earned her Direct Entry admission into Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where she pursued a Bachelor’s degree in English Language from 1992 to 1997.
Hadiza’s passion for continuous learning led her to achieve other postgraduate diplomas and a Master’s degree in Strategic Communication from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. These qualifications have undoubtedly contributed to her exceptional expertise and accomplishments in the field of public relations and the foundational marketing concept that applies not only to advertising but to all forms of a business’s communication.
Her impressive career began in 2001 when she joined the Nigerian Ports Authority as a Public Relations Officer II. Over the years, she demonstrated her expertise and dedication, steadily rising to her current position as Senior Manager of Corporate and strategic Communications at the Abuja Liaison Office. In this role, she crafts effective communication strategies that promote the organization’s reputation and objectives.
Hadiza’s accomplishments extend beyond her academic and professional qualifications. She actively participates in various training programs, seminars, and conferences both within Nigeria and abroad, sponsored by her employer and through her own initiatives. Notably, she completed a Modern Port Management Course equivalent to a Master’s level in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Train For Trade Port Management Programme. Her commitment to staying at the forefront of industry trends led her to attend the Building Port Resilience program conducted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in 2021 and 2023.
As a proactive and dynamic leader, Hadiza has been an integral part of various committees, including the Servicom Committee, which focused on enhancing service delivery at the Abuja Liaison Office. She also made significant contributions as a member of the Motivation Workforce Committee, emphasizing the importance of merit and sincerity in professional endeavors.
Beyond her professional achievements, Hadiza is dedicated to giving back to society. She selflessly dedicates her time to coaching young students in Strategic Communications, nurturing the next generation of communication professionals.
As a seasoned PR professional, Hadiza stands as a true inspiration to aspiring communicators, exemplifying the transformative power of effective communication and unwavering dedication to her craft. Throughout her illustrious career, she has left an indelible legacy of excellence, service, and an unwavering commitment to advancing Nigeria’s global standing. As she continues to make significant strides in the industry, Hadiza’s impactful contributions to the world of PR are sure to ignite inspiration and shape the next generation of communicators. Her passion for excellence and commitment to elevating the field of communication serve as a guiding light for aspiring professionals, setting a high standard for the future of public relations in Nigeria and beyond.
Abubakar Bello Abdullahi: A Gifted Communication Campaigns Strategist
Abubakar Bello Abdullahi displayed his expertise as an integrated marketing professional with his role during the hosting of the 2009 FIFA under-17 World in Nigeria and also when he was at the FSS2020 Secretariat in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Abdullahi developed and managed communication campaigns that integrate advertising, public relations, sales promotion, and social marketing disciplines to deliver consistent messages across all media.
Born on 7th July 1963, in Birnin Kebbi, Abdullahi stands as a remarkable figure in the realm of Public Relations (PR). Armed with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and History from Bayero University Kano, and further enriched by a Diploma in Journalism from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, he laid the foundation for a thriving career in communication and media.
Abubakar’s journey in the PR field commenced at the National Library of Nigeria, where he rose through the ranks, culminating in his appointment as the Head of the Public Relations Division.
During his tenure, he showcased exceptional skills in handling communications, earning recognition for his role as the Project Manager of infotainment, in organizing the prestigious 2009 FIFA Under-17 World Cup held in Nigeria as well as in 2009.
Taking his expertise to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in December 2011, Abubakar continued his ascent, assuming significant roles such as Principal Manager in the Corporate Communications Department (CCD). He then played a crucial part in driving the communication and advocacy efforts for the Financial System Strategy 2020 (FSS2020) Secretariat, contributing to the transformation of Nigeria’s economy.
Throughout his career, Abubakar has been an active participant in professional bodies, notably as a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and an associate of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). His commitment to the PR industry is further demonstrated by his chairmanship of the FCT Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations from 2007 to 2009.
Beyond his professional achievements, Abubakar boasts an impressive linguistic repertoire, with fluency in English and Hausa, as well as proficient skills in French. This linguistic prowess has enabled him to navigate diverse communication contexts with ease, underscoring his adaptability and versatility in the field.
Abubakar’s dedication extends beyond his professional life; he has served as a columnist for the esteemed Daily Trust, under the pseudonym “Abu Najakku,” from 2014 to 2017. This exemplifies his passion for sharing knowledge and contributing to public discourse beyond his immediate sphere of work.
Before his recent retirement, he held an esteemed position at the Central Bank of Nigeria, where he diligently served for over eleven years. In that capacity, he was instrumental in ensuring the management of service delivery standards, cementing his reputation as a reliable and proficient leader.
Despite his numerous accomplishments, Abubakar remains grounded and places great importance on family. As a dedicated husband and father of five, he exemplifies the perfect balance between professional success and personal fulfillment.
Abubakar Bello Abdullahi’s journey in the world of PR has been nothing short of extraordinary. From his early days at the National Library of Nigeria to his recent executive role at the Central Bank of Nigeria, he consistently displays excellence, dedication, and proficiency. His contributions to the PR industry and his impact on Nigeria’s economic transformation through FSS2020 make him an inspiration to aspiring PR professionals and a true asset to the field. Abubakar’s legacy will undoubtedly continue to shine brightly, and his name will remain synonymous with professionalism and expertise in the world of Public Relations.
*Maryam Na-Allah Umar-Baba, a Staff Writer with the Spokesperson’s Digest is an alumnus of Leeds Beckett University obtaining a Bsc in Media Communication Culture and a Master’s Degree in Public Relations and Strategic Communication. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org