Meet Alhaji Sani Zangon Daura, Dan Masanin Daura, technocrat, administrator
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION: Alhaji Sani Zangon Daura, CON, Dan Masanin Daura, was born in 1938 in a traditional Hausa/Fulani social set up in Zangon Daura Town, the Headquarters of the
present Zangon Daura Local Government of Daura Emirate in Katsina State. As was and still is typical in all Muslim settlements in Northern Nigeria, Sani Zangon Daura was first sent to a
Qur’anic School during his formative years. In 1944 when he attained an acceptable age that he could be exposed to the western education, his parents enrolled him into the then Zangon
Daura Elementary School where he finished his elementary education in 1948.
After passing his elementary examinations, he was sent to Katsina Middle School in the defunct Katsina Province where he studied from 1948 to 1952. In 1953 he went to the School for Arabic Studies in Kano where he studied up to 1957. At the end of his study in the School for Arabic Studies in 1957, he came back to Daura and taught briefly in Daura Central Primary School from and from there he was later deployed to Daura Senior Primary School where he taught under the late Mallam
Dauda Daura who was the Headmaster then, up to 1958.
Towards the end of 1958, Sani Zangon Daura was transferred from Daura to Dutsinma Senior Primary School in the old Katsina Emirate where he met his old classmate in Katsina Middle School, Mallam Aliyu Balarabe Saulawa teaching.
He taught there, under the headship
of late Mallam Labo Mahuta, up to 1959. One incidence which Sani Zangon Daura, CON, recalls with reminiscence during his teaching career at Dautsinma was the visit of His Highness, the late Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Usman Nagogo to the School. The late Emir entered his class while he was teaching his pupils and was highly impressed with the way and manner he was conducting the class.
Before he left the class, the Emir made a comment which remains indelible in his mind and that comment was: “This teacher should not be promoted to a
Director or anything else that would take him away from teaching profession, but should be fully compensated so that he could remain in his chosen career”.
From that day, Sani Zangon Daura remained one of the late Emir’s favorite sons, until his death. May Allah (SWT) grant him Jannatil-Firdaus.
Later in 1959, Sani Zangon Daura, CON, was transferred to his Alma Mater, the School for Arabic Studies, Kano to teach. While he was teaching there, he seized the opportunity to read for his ‘O’ and ‘A’ (Ordinary and Advanced) levels.
Curiously, before the results of his
examinations were out, he applied for the Northern Regional Government Scholarship and was earmarked to go to Bakhtarudah in Sudan. When the results were out, he passed Hausa and
Arabic Languages at ‘A’ levels and Islamic History at ‘O’ level.
Not long after, the result of Sani
Zangon Daura’s interview with the Scholarship Board came out and was awarded a Scholarship to go to the Sudan.
However, Sani Zangon Daura was very reluctant to go to Sudan. Luckily enough, as he was contemplating on what to do, he heard that the then Minister of Education, Northern Nigeria, the late Alhaji Isa Kaita, Wazirin Katsina was in Kano on an official tour and had lodged in the Central Hotel.
With an impulse, young Sani went straight to the Minister in his hotel room. He never knew him nor had the Minister known him either. He greeted him and explained his mission to him which was specifically to get the Minister’s assistance to get his course changed from Sudan to the School for Oriental Studies, University of London, United Kingdom.
Remarkably, the Minister did not show any hesitation. He asked Sani to give him his particulars and, within a fortnight, approval was granted to him to proceed to London.
Consequently, he got admission into the University Tutorial College, Russell Square in London,
United Kingdom where he studied for his GCE Ordinary and Advanced levels from 1961 to 1963.
After obtaining the minimum requirements, he applied and got an admission into the School of Oriental and African Studies in the London University. He started his studies but after a short stay he, on his own volition, felt that it was better for him to come back home and continue with his academic pursuit in one of the indigenous Universities. As a result of that decision, Sani Zangon Daura, CON, Dan Masanin Daura, came back to Nigeria where he successfully got admission into the University of Lagos in 1963.
He completed his tertiary education in 1966 there where he graduated with a B.Sc. 3rd Class Honours in Business Administration on 24th June, 1966.
WORKING EXPERIENCE: After graduation from the University of Lagos in June, 1966, he came
back to Kaduna, the then Northern Nigeria’s Headquarters. Just two days of his arrival, he was
employed by the defunct Northern Nigerian Public Service Commission as an Administrative
Officer, Class IV on 26th June, 1966 and was posted to the Ministry of Education. After staying
for a few months in the Ministry, he was posted to the then Ilorin Province (now Kwara State)
and from there he was deployed to Borgu Division as an Assistant District Officer (A.D.O.) where
he assisted a fine gentleman, the late Alhaji Sulyman Abbo Jimeta under whose exemplary
tutelage he served as Assistant District Officer from 1967 to 1968.
On the creation of States by the Military Administration of General Yakubu Gowon,
GCFR, in 1967, Dan Masanin Daura was appointed a Commissioner in 1968 by His Excellency,
Brigadier Abba Kyari, the first Military Governor of the defunct North-Central State. He was
posted to the Information Division in the Military Governor’s Office which was later
transformed into a full pledged Ministry for Information, Adult Education, Public
Enlightenment. In 1972 he was diployeded to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare as its
Commissioner and was there up to 1975 when the Gowon Administration was toppled in
another military coup by the late Brigadier Murtala Muhammad.
In 1976, Sani Zangon Daura, Dan Masanin Daura, CON, was appointed Daura Local
Government Authority Care-taker Chairman up to 1977 and, preparatory to the lifting of
restriction on political activities in 1978, he was elected to go to the Constituent Assembly
where he, along with other nominated members, reviewed the Constitution of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria that produced the 1979 Constitution. During another Military interregnum
of late General Sani Abacha, GCFR, Dan Masanin Daura was elected as a Delegate to the
Constitutional Conference from 1994 to 1995.
When the civilian government of General Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR was elected in 1999
under the People’s Democratic Party, Sani Zangon Daura, was appointed the Honourable
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. He was there up to 2001 before he was
transferred to the Federal Ministry of Environment as its Honourable Minister. He later left the
Cabinet in 2002 as a result of a certain disagreement with his Boss. During his tenure in the
Federal Ministry of Agriculture he took the development of agriculture in Nigeria to a greater
height, particularly by strengthening the Forestry Management, Evaluation and Coordinating
Unit (FORMECU), a Unit that was purposely set up to ensure good management of the Nigerian
forest and its resources. Equally, he facilitated the creation of the Project Coordinating Unit
(PCU) in conjunction with a renowned Agronomist, Administrator, Politician, Academician, a
one time Vice Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University and one time National Presidential
Adviser on Food Security, Professor Ango Abdullahi assisted by a seasoned technocrat, Dr.
Salisu Ingawa who was its first Director. The Unit was set up in order to monitor and ensure
probity, accountability and smooth service delivery of all agricultural projects, nation-wide,
geared towards the development of general agriculture in Nigeria. Still as the Minister of
Agriculture, Sani Zangon Daura led high-powered Federal Government’s delegations, on many
occasions, to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in Rome, Italy
to deliberate on the Organization’s policies which are targeted at eradicating hunger, food
insecurity and malnutrition in the world.
Likewise, as the Minister of Environment he led a high-powered Federal Government’s
Team of Environmental Scientists and other Experts to couples of the Sessions of the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with the aim of facilitating Nigeria
to be part of the countries to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Kyoto Protocol is an International Treaty
that commits State Parties to fight greenhouse gas emissions/concentrations in the atmosphere
in order to reduce global warming which may have dangerous repercussions on the existence of
life on Earth. The Treaty was later to become legally binding in early 2005, after being ratified
by over 192 countries. Sani Zangon Daura did not leave the Ministry of Environment until he
ensured the creation of Agencies like the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency
(NOSDRA) which is responsible for checking oil spill, its containment, recovery and remediation,
a phenomenon more particular in the restive Niger Delta region and the setting up of the
National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) which was
charged with the responsibility for the enforcement of all environmental laws, policies,
standards and guidelines in Nigeria.