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Nigeria Gets Youngest Permanent Secretary As President Buhari Approves Appointment of Dr. Ibrahim Kana



Today, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Dr Ibrahim Abubakar Kana to serve as Permanent Secretary in the Federal Civil Service.  Dr Kana, who hails from Nasarawa State, is currently a participant of the Senior Executive Course 43 of the nation’s apex think tank, the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru-Jos.  

 As Permanent Secretary, Kana will deepen and bring to bear sparkling brilliance and excellence that he has expended since joining the civil service in 2007 as a young Medical Doctor and Consultant Ophthalmologist. Reported to be exceptionally hardworking and thorough, feelers have it that, his appointment signals a new vista for the emergence of new generation of Permanent Secretaries with a fresh level of thoughts and ideas common to prevailing reality. President Buhari has so far appointed three very young but intelligent Permanent Secretaries. 

Dr Ibrahim Kana is bringing a huge wealth of experience to his newest appointment having led the Government of Nigeria/World Bank flagship ‘Saving One Million Lives Programme for Result (SOML-PforR) in the past six years, after occupying several high-level positions both nationally and internationally. Dr. Kana at different times, has worked in close liaison with the President’s Office, State Governors and all large-scale health sector Development Partners active in Nigeria to align their efforts around a shared transformational goal.

Aside that, Dr Kana has occupied senior health positions in the country in the last ten years, interacting with and influencing key stakeholders to deliver reforms. Dr. Kana is an astute technocrat that has penchant for reforms and taking on new and difficult challenges with focus on results and desired outcomes. Some of the positions he held in the federal civil service include Head of the Federal Government Staff Eye Clinic, Abuja, Technical Advisor to the Minister of State for Health, Head of Health Desk, Office of Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs under the leadership of Amina Muhammed, the current Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations. He also served four different Permanent Secretaries in the Federal Ministry of health as Senior Special Assistant, and this has greatly impacted on his administrative and managerial acumen. Dr. Kana’s tenure in the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) was remarkable when he represented the ministry as Commissioner in Charge of Health; he initiated major reform programmes which led to the complete turnaround of healthcare provision for Nigerian Pilgrims from 2011-2019 under the leadership of Barr. Abdullahi Mukthar. He has also served on various presidential and ministerial committees.

Prior to joining the Federal Civil Service, DR. Kana started his working career at the Jos University Teaching Hospital as a house officer before embarking on the mandatory National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) at the Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital, Kaduna. In the year 2000, he took up job in the department of Ophthalmology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. During the period, he volunteered his weekends to serve as zonal coordinator with the Kaduna State Eye Care Programme in collaboration with the UK Based NGO, Sight Savers. He carried out several eye surgeries on the rural dwellers in the southern Kaduna State. His interest in service to the people propelled him to Sokoto State where he successfully helped set up the Sokoto State Eye Care Programme. While in Sokoto, he offered his time as visiting lecturer to the Usmanu Dan Fodio University, where he taught Ophthalmology. Dr. Kana and the team he set up carried out over One Thousand eye surgeries and established several surgical outreach centres including Illela, Tangaza, Gwadabawa, Gada, Issa, Sabon Birni and others.

Dr. Ibrahim Kana was Secretary of the Nigeria Medical Association, Kaduna state branch, then National Assistant Secretary General before being elected as National Treasurer from 2008-2010. During his tenure, the association moved its secretariat from Lagos to Abuja and procured the buildings which serve as its secretariat today.

Dr. Kana began his educational career in Ahmadu Maikwato Primary School Keffi, where he comes from, before gaining admission to Federal Government College, Odogbolu, Ogun State. He completed his secondary education at the famous Government College, Keffi, after which he obtained the Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) degree from the University of Jos – Jos, Plateau State. He further obtained Fellowship  in Ophthalmology after completing the Residency Training of the National Post Graduate Medical College of Nigeria. His hunger for knowledge pushed him to the Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology – Arusha, Tanzania where he obtained Certificate in Community Ophthalmology. His interest in public administration started in Sokoto where he enrolled in the department of Political Science, Usumanu Dan Fodio University – for the Post Graduate Diploma in Public Administration (PGDPA). He attended the World Bank Institute – Budapest, Hungary   Islamic Development Bank funded training on Leadership/Innovation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and later obtained a certificate in KAIZEN from the Malaysia Institute of Technology (MIT) – Kuala Lumpur as well as certificate in Leadership from the John Hopkins University, Maryland, USA. 

Dr. Kana chose a new path by becoming a Global Health Financing expert and starting to equip himself by attending the SINA HEALTH/World Bank Health Financing (Performance Based Financing) in Mombasa, Kenya, World Bank Flagship Course in Health Financing in Washington D.C and the WHO advanced course in Health Financing in Barcelona, Spain. He is currently undergoing a Masters Degree in Health Financing and Pharmacoeconomics in the Pompeo Fubra University, Barcelona, Spain.

Dr. Kana has travelled widely across all the continents and to over thirty countries. Married to Zainab, with children, Dr Kana comes fully prepared as he embarks on a fresh call for national service once again.

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