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Hajia Tumaka: The Cerebral Lioness in Nigeria Maritime Industry

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By Innocent Orok

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to Circumstances” Bruce Barton.

The instincts that drive hardwork and inclusive leadership are not taught in schools. They are personal traits that drives the personality based on the ideologies of the individual.

Some leaders exhibits bad influence due their overbearing ego to command fear and respects from their subordinates.

While some apply self esteem with humanitarian tactical approach to get their tasks done, still keeping their human relationship intact, no matter the circumstances, time, place or season.

Hajia Lami Tumaka falls among the second group of leaders who gets result applying humanitarian tactical approach that makes everyone happy , even with not too comfortable situations.

Many in the maritime industry have described Hajia Lami Tumaka in different words and phrases. Some called her , Living Maritime Legend, some ,Amazon of the Maritime Sector, to some, Corporate Communications Guru. Others refered to her as Queen Lami Tumaka, a Quintessential Celebrity , Gender Equality Championeer , a Socialite, Lover of Friends and Humanity, among others.

For me you are ” Ano Nkpo Inam, Eka Ndito Uwene, Ufan Ofuro Owo”.
I use this my Ibibio language from Akwa Ibom State to described you as ” An Excellent Achiever, Mother to Orphans and Friend to all and Sundry”

“Our Hajia” as I usually called you, as we celebrate your official exit from the public service , your indelible marks remains a rallying point for humanity and womanhood in the maritime industry and the Nigeria space in general.
Your milestone and epoch Pull- Out ceremony which comes up in February 14th, 2020 is the first to be witnessed in the maritime sector and remarkably too is being accorded to a woman.
This is a sign that women have come of age to take their rightful place in the maritime sector, a course you stood for in your over 30 years in the sector.

Hajia Lami Tumaka’s journey into Public Service started at the Army Day Secondary School, Jaji Kaduna State as a teacher in 1981 after the compulsory one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.

Hajia Tumaka’s career in the teaching profession did not last so long. This is perhaps due to her natural leaning towards communication and public relations which has epitomised her illustrious career.

She later to join the services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) where she rose to the position of a News Editor while serving in NTA Minna. She left the NTA to join the private sector as the Public Relations Manager of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) Limited, Kaduna.

In 1998, Hajia Tumaka returns to the Public Service, this time around her sojourn was in the maritime sector, where she joined the services of the then National Maritime Authority (NMA), now Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA) as a Chief Research Officer.

It was while in NIMASA where she is bowing out of service after clocking the mandatory 60 years retirement age that her true potentials were brought to the fore for all to see and appreciate.

Hajia Tumaka is a passionate woman who believes that with focus, hard work and perseverance, women can rise to become anything in society. This in-born trait pushed her into acquiring more knowledge after her first degree, Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the renowned Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. She went on to earn a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the same University.

Hajia Tumaka was also at the TV College Jos, where she obtained a Certificate in Basic Film Production with Distinction. She also attended the prestigious Holborn College, London where she bagged a Diploma in Public Relations.

With a solid educational foundation, a compassionate spirit and a commitment to diligence, Hajia Tumaka has always crested her name in gold in every position she has held. Little wonder that every individual who has come across her either in her private or official capacity always has testimonies to tell.

Her patriotic zeal and official finesse has seen Hajia Tumaka work very cordially with over 10 Directors General in NIMASA in the course of her 22 years in its service, with each one of the DGs retaining fond memories of her. Indeed she is a woman to reckon with when it comes to serving one’s fatherland.

A quintessential public servant, Hajia Tumaka distinguished herself as a Public Relations professional and particularly as the image maker of NIMASA, a position she held at three different occasions. She was awarded the Maritime Media Personality award back to back in 2011 and 2012 and was also a recipient of the Best Maritime Industry Public Relations Officer award which she won through a poll, among several other honours.

In 2016, Hajia Lami Tumaka was named amongst the top 100 global Public Relations Practitioners in the world for mentees to follow by EvanCarmichael.com worldwide, a Toronto based firm dedicated to helping others succeed by monitoring their progress and influence in their professional and entrepreneurial careers.

Hajia as she is fondly called, is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (FNIPR), Fellow Chartered Institute of Transport Administration Nigeria (FInstTA), Member Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria and Niger State Media Women Association among others.

Hajia Lami Tumaka is a proud Mother and grandmother, with three lovely grandchildren.

I will end this tribute with the words of E.M.Gray ” The Successful person has the habit of doing the things Failures don’t like to do. They don’t like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose “.

As the entire Nigerian Maritime family gathered to see you off your deserving retirement after a meritorious service to your fatherland.
We say may you live well, rest well and May the Almighty Allah continuously grant you good health and sound mind to do even better in your future endeavors.

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