NAME: Bukola Saraki DATE OF BIRTH: 19 December 1962 OCCUPATION: Politician [ex governor ] [present senate president ] MARITAL STATUS: Married INTRODUCTION Bukola Sarakiis a Nigerian politician who has been President of the Senate of Nigeria since 2015. Previously he was Governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011. He was first elected to the Senate in April 2011, representing the Kwara Central senatorial district, and he was re-elected in the March 2015 elections. He is currently a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC); previously he was a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
EARLY LIFE AND BACKGROUND Abubakar Bukola Saraki was born on 19 December 1962 to the family of Olusola Saraki, a one time Senate Leader (1979 – 1983) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He attended King’s College, Lagos, from 1973 to 1978, and Cheltenham College, Cheltenham, London from 1979 to 1981 for his High School Certificate. He then studied at the London Hospital Medical College of the University of London from 1982 to 1987, when he obtained his M.B.B.S (London). He worked as a Medical Officer at Rush Green Hospital, Essex, from 1988 to 1989. He was a Director of Societe Generale Bank (Nig) Ltd from 1990 to 2000. He was appointed special assistant to the President on Budget in 2000. Ceremonially, he also serves as a tribal nobleman of high rank in his capacity as the Turaki of the Ilorin Emirate. CAREER AND LIFE Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki’s political career began when he was appointed Special Assistant to President Olusegun Obasanjo on Budget in 2000. While holding this position, he initiated the Fiscal Responsibility Bill and served on the Economic Policy Coordination Committee, where he was responsible for the formulation and implementation of several key economic policies for Nigeria.In 2003, he ran for the office of the Executive Governor of Kwara State on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and won. He was sworn into office in May 2003. He ran again for re-election in 2007 and won his second term. As governor of Kwara, he led reforms in agriculture, health, education, finance and environment policy. One of his major achievements was inviting displaced white farmers from Zimbabwe to Kwara State and offering them an opportunity to farm. This led to the establishment of Shonga Farms programme, which is now being replicated across Nigeria. His charisma among his fellow governors got him appointed as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum. Under Dr Saraki’s Governorship, Kwara became the first state to complete the Nigeria Independent Power Project. In collaboration with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Dr Saraki re-energised the Ganmo Power Station at Ilorin, and connected over 375 rural communities to the National Grid, through the development and installation of 725 transformers and 7 substations.Kwara also completed 4 electrification projects that meant power became stabilised for 18–22 hours a day. 90% of people living in Kwara have access to electricity, which compares to a national average in Nigeria of 30%.
While in office, Dr Saraki introduced a range of new health programmes, including a state-wide campaign in 2008 to reduce maternal and child mortality with regard to Malaria. This included the distribution of insecticide-treated nets and free malaria drugs to pregnant mothers and to children under the age of five. A state-wide programme of hospital development was also implemented, leading to the redevelopment of hospitals in Afon, Patigi and Lafiagi.
Other measures implemented by Dr Saraki included improved training and re-training for medical staff; refurbishment of hospitals and staff living quarters; and employment of qualified medical doctors and other health workers. Many of the primary care programmes were sponsored by international agencies such as WHO and UNICEF.Dr Saraki introduced a range of reforms to agricultural policy to increase the commercial viability of farming, and to increase exports to international markets. The New Nigerian Farmers Initiative was designed to improve the technical capability of farmers and to ensure farmers had a significant financial stake in new investment in agriculture. The scheme utilised the under-used resource of agricultural expertise in the Zimbabwean farming industry, and worked with the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union to identify high-skilled farmers able to support the State’s farming industry to move to Kwara and develop the industry.
A commercial hub was also developed to build capacity support training of the indigenous farming community.Dr Saraki led a number of significant and state-wide infrastructure developments, including improvements at the Ilorin International Airport Cargo Terminal; extensive road construction; and the development of new sporting facilities such as Kwara Football Academy. The State also has an on going aim to become a logistics and cargo hub in Nigeria and the region.Dr Saraki became Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum in 2007. Under Saraki’s Chairmanship, a reformed Forum was established, with a fully resourced secretariat, with a technical and administrative division that was entirely focused on delivery.
One of the most widely recognised achievements of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum was its intervention over the problematic assumption of power by then Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan, following the illness and subsequent death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. On 23 November 2009, President Yar’Adua left Nigeria and travelled to Saudi Arabia, where he was installed in the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Jeddah for the treatment of what was reported to be acute pericarditis. He was not seen in public again and his absence created a dangerous power vacuum in Nigeria. The problem was that, for the Vice-President to succeed the President, the constitution demanded that the latter wrote a letter to the National Assembly making clear the appointment of the former. But as President Yar’Adua was constantly in and out of intensive care, this letter was never written and the succession therefore came into question.
The NGF, led by Dr Saraki, and working with the National Assembly, devised the Doctrine of Necessity, which was then passed as a resolution by the National Assembly. The Doctrine of Necessity allowed the Vice President to take over and become the acting President until such a time that the President returned.
Under Dr Saraki’s chairmanship a number of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) have been signed, including but not limited to the World Bank, DFID, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GAVI, UNICEF, UNDP.
He was the first Nigerian Governor to be awarded the National Honor of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) Ceremonially, he also serves as a tribal nobleman of high rank in his capacity as the Turaki of the Ilorin Emirates.After his two-term tenure as governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki ran for the office of Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria representing the Kwara Central Senatorial District and won, succeeding his sister, Gbemisola Saraki-Forowa. He was appointed as the Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology and is also a member of the Senate committee on capital Markets and Finance. He also pushed a motion in the Senate to end the fuel subsidy regime in Nigeria which has been an excessive waste of the country’s national resources.
As a member of the Senate, Senator Saraki has campaigned extensively on health, food security, education and the environment. He was appointed as the Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology and is also a member of the Senate Committees on Capital Markets and Finance. He also pushed a motion in the Senate to end the fuel subsidy regime in Nigeria, which has been an excessive waste of the country’s national resources. His work on the oil industry, has also led him to focus on arguing to strengthen laws relating to the clean up of oil spills. His National Oil Spill and Detection and Response Agency Amendment Bill seeks to ensure oil companies pay appropriate levels of compensation to communities affected by oil spills.
Dr. Saraki has also intervened in the Lead Poisoning crisis in Zamfara State in 2010, and has supported to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, which ensures safe and healthy methods of cooking for millions of Nigerians while conserving the environment through reduced deforestation. He has been a lead campaigner in the areas of desertification and climate change in the Senate and across Nigeria. Dr Saraki sponsored a motion on the floor of the Senate to end Nigeria’s fuel subsidy regime. Other motions and private member bills he has sponsored include the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency Amendment Bill 2012, which was aimed at putting a halt to oil spills in the Niger Delta, the Gas Flaring Prohibition Bill 2012 and the Climate Change Commission Bill 2013.
FEW SPECIAL FACTS ABOUT SARAKI
1. He was born in 19 December, 1962, and is originally a medical doctor.
2. His father is Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki, a one time Senate president (1979 – 1983) in Nigeria.
3. He studied medicine at the London Hospital Medical College of the University of London from 1982 to 1987 and practiced as a medical doctor at Rush Green Hospital in London.
4. His political career kick started when he was appointed by the former president Olusegun Obasanjo his special assistant on budget issues in 2000.
5. He was the one who initiated the Fiscal Responsibility Bill and served on the Economic Policy Coordination Committee.
6. On 2003 under the umbrella of the then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party, he ran for and won the governorship of Kwara state.
7. He was Kwara state governor for two terms, from 2003 till 2011, and had mostly positive reviews of his job.
8. He was the first Nigerian governor to be awarded the national honour, a Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).
9. Many governors have tried to copy Saraki’s community health insurance scheme, environmental ‘Clean and Green’ scheme and agricultural transformation scheme, which have been praised as one of the reasons Kwara is a profitable and clean state.
10. Before becoming a senator, he was the former chairman of the Nigerian Governor’s Forum. Saraki’s fierce opponent,
11] Saraaki is also a friend the popular american rapper JAY Z as it was said they went to same school together
RUMORS AND SCANDALS He has been involved in several fraud scandals during his his 8 year reign as the governor of kwara state. He’s been investigated by efcc several times for money laundering and fraud but nothing was found against him.