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Men You Should Know: Bamanga Tukur


Dr. Alhaji Tafidan Bamanga Muhammad Tukur was born on September 15th, 1935 at Gambaro Village in present day Gombi local government area of Adamawa state, Nigeria to late Malam Hamman Tukur. He is a Nigerian businessman and politician.

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Early Life

Tukur was the third son of a Father who was an aristocrat and administrator, indeed, one of the finest in the land. There were very few other men that had the kind of wealth of knowledge of Arabic education combined with excellent administrative skills as he did. His excellence at dispute resolution was said to have been legendary.

At about the age of 5, he was sent to an Islamic/Arabic school under Modibbo Goni Abubakar. After about two years, he was placed under the special care of Alhaji Abubakar Bobbo (Na’ibin Jada) to complete his Qur’an education. On completing his Quranic education, he was enrolled in JADA Elementary school from 1946 to 1949.

He was the classroom Monitor and upon completion, he was enrolled in Yola Middle School between 1949 and 1953. On successful completion, he moved in 1954 to Government Secondary School, Bauchi. He was a house prefect of Madawaki House. He passed his London General Certificate Examination in 1957 with flying colours.

Between 1958 and 1959 Alhaji Bamanga Tukur gained admission to the Institute of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria to study Accountancy and Public Finance. On the successful completion of his studies in Zaria, he proceeded to the United Kingdom to NorthWest Polytechnic London to study Marine Transportation in the morning and the London School of Economics in the afternoon to study Transportation, Economics and Statistics. After the successful completion of his studies, he was also between 1965-1966 at the Pittsburg University, United States to read a post-graduate course in Public Administration and International Relations.


His career in public service actively started on his completion of secondary school education in Bauchi when he was recruited into the Adamawa Local Government Service in January 1958 in Yola. His best subject in school, Arithmetic, was to open his door of life as it were, by being recruited into the accounting system of the local government administration. He was employed as an Accountant/Supervisor in Adamawa Native Authority. His duties were to prepare budgets for the District Council Funds, supervise all the districts and monitor their finances and expenditures.

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Not long after his recruitment in October 1958, he was sent to the Institute of Administration, Zaria to study a Diploma in Accountancy and Public Finance. On his successful completion of the course, he was promoted as Accountant/Departmental Secretary in charge of all developmental projects in Adamawa Native Authority amongst other duties. From here, as fate planned for him, he joined the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry in the former Northern Region as an Assistant Executive Officer, Accounts. After a brief tenure, he joined the Nigerian Ports Authority in September 1960 just before Nigeria got its independence from Britain.

From 1975 to 1982, Dr Tukur served as Chief Executive of the Nigerian Ports Authority and was for three months the governor of defunct Gongola State which comprises present-day Adamawa and Taraba states. His regime was truncated by the military intervention of December 31st, 1983, which inaugurated the administration of General Muhammadu Buhari, the government that eventually detained Tukur and other leading politicians for 21 months without trial.

Tukur has been one of the country’s flag-bearers in the various development organs of the African Union (AU). He presided over the African Business Roundtable (ABR) and was a major stakeholder in the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD).

Tukur has also been a member of the UNIDO International Business Advisory Council, the Ghana Investors Advisory Council and the OECD Africa Investment Advisory Board. He was elected Chairman of the NEPAD Business Group in March 2002. Dr Tukur serves as Chairman of Advisory Board at Africa investor Ltd. and also serves as Chairman of the Board at African Investment Advisory. Between March 2012 and January 2014, he served as National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party.


Dr Tukur was awarded the Doctorate Degree of Law (Honoris Causa) by Benue State University in Markudi, Benue state.

He was awarded the National Honour of the Commander of the Order of the Mono (COM), and the National Honour of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in recognition of his contribution to business in Africa.

He is the Wakilin Ganye (1988), Asipa Bashorun of Ibadan (1995), Tafidan Adamawa (1999), Adaidaha ke Efik Eburutu and host of other traditional titles.


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Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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