President Bola Ahmed Tinubu recently approved the appointment of six Special Advisers and 12 Senior Special Assistants to work in the office of the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, to support the “Renewed Hope” agenda of the administration.
Among the appointees are three columnists of the Daily Trust: Gimba Kakanda, Nasir Yammama and Tope Fasua.
Gimba Kakanda who has been appointed as Special Assistant to the President (Research & Analytics) writes on current affairs on his Wednesday back-page column, Beyond The Surface.
He is a public affairs analyst; media, public policy and foreign policy consultant; and researcher with extensive experience spanning over a decade.
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He has over the years, proven to have a profound understanding of the Nigerian political environment, African political economy, foreign policy, journalism, public relations and literature.
Born in Minna and hailing from the Lapai Local Government Area, both in Niger state, Gimba holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
He also has a first-class degree in Political Science and International Relations from Nile University in Nigeria.
With a diverse professional background, Kakanda has occupied pivotal positions that exemplify his exceptional expertise, having served as a Programme Officer at the Nuhu Ribadu Foundation, Chief Communication Officer at Verdant Agri-Tech, and Editor at Daily Nigerian.
He served as the Lead Consultant for Public Policy and Politics at The Cambridge Collective, and as a Member of the Editorial Board at ThisDay Newspaper.
The author of the poetry book, Safari Pants, Kakanda is an alumnus of the prestigious University of Iowa International Writing Program (UIIWP), the oldest and largest multinational writing residency in the world.
As the founder of DMC, a communication and strategy consulting firm headquartered in Abuja, Kakanda provides expertise in research, development, and the implementation of effective communication and strategy solutions.
He contributes to matters of foreign policy on international media platforms, including Al Jazeera, DW, and BBC, and has a huge following on social media where he is reputed a notable voice in the inter-generational conversations in the Nigerian polity.
Nasir Yammama, the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Innovation), writes the Monday column, Filter Lane, which focuses on technology, agriculture and innovation.
He shares mind-blowing experiences as an renowned entrepreneur, while also offering unique perspectives on other topical matters around Nigeria’s socio-economic challenges and solutions.
Yammama is a recipient of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award from Queen Elizabeth II for his work in agriculture and technology.
He was listed by Forbes Magazine among Africa’s 30 most successful entrepreneurs, change-makers and innovators under 30.
During his postgraduate programme in Creative Technology at Middlesex University, United Kingdom in 2014, he emerged first-place winner in the British Council’s Enterprise Challenge competition, where he was described by the Council as having the “ability to think outside the box and develop digital solutions to everyday problems.”
Yammama, who hails from Malunfashi in Katsina State is an alumnus of Informatics Academy of Information Technology, Sydney.
He attended Government Secondary School, Minna, Niger State, from where he won many IT competitions across the globe.
In his teens, he won Digital Peers International’s ‘Digitest’, a youth competition aimed at showcasing digital excellence among youth (Abuja, Singapore and Dubai).
He also represented Nigeria and won first place in interdisciplinary category in Mtnadao Afrika, an IT youth camp and contest for all African nations in Cairo, Egypt.
Tope Fasua, the Special Adviser to the President (Economic Matters) writes the Friday column, Global Connection.
In his column, Fasua reflects extensively on the Nigeria’s economy, giving remarkable insights on the country’s economic crises and proffering measures for redemption.
A fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria ICAN, Fasua is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Analytics Consulting.
He studied economics at the Ondo State University where he graduated as the best graduating student in 1991.
He had his second degree, M.Sc in Financial Markets & Derivatives, from the London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom.
He started his career in 1992 with the defunct Citizens Bank, before working with Standard Trust Bank and Equatorial Trust Bank where he rose to the position of Principal Manager/Regional Director in Abuja.
With a Ph.D. in public administration and executive education courses from the London Business School and Harvard University, Fasua is a regular economic and financial markets analyst on television, and a Trust TV presenter on the programme, ‘Nationalist’.
In 2016, he led a group of Nigerians to form a political party, Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), and emerged the party’s presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections.
He has authored a number of books, including Crushed and Things to Do Before Your Career Disappears.
Asked to comment on their appointments, the Group Executive Director, Digital and Editorial, Naziru Mikail, said:
“The company thanks them for their contributions throughout the years and wishes them well in their new roles.”