PROFILE: Mariya Mahmud, Kano’s new minister nominee

President Bola Tinubu has nominated Mariya Mahmud from Kano State for appointment as minister. If the Senate confirms her appointment, the medical doctor will become the second woman from northern Nigeria’s most populous state to be a minister since 1999.

Mrs. Mahmud replaced another woman and her schoolmate, Maryam Shettima, on the list as one of the two nominees from Kano State.

The replacement was contained in correspondence from Mr. Tinubu and read by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, at plenary on Friday.

Mrs. Mahmud was the commissioner for Higher Education in the administration of former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

The last female minister from Kano was Aisha Isma’il, appointed in 1999 by President Olusegun Obasanjo.


Mrs Ismail served as Minister of Women Affairs and Youth Development from 1999 until 2003. She worked on the passage of the 2003 Child Rights Act.

She was a member of the defunct opposition All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) but was appointed as part of a government of national unity following Nigeria’s return to civil rule after 16 years of a military interregnum.

Replacement of ministerial nominees is not new in Kano

In 2014, former President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Ibrahim Shekarau as Minister of Education, although a woman, Jamila Salik, was reportedly penciled initially down for the position.

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Mr. Shekarau, a former Kano State governor, was compensated with the appointment for his defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the then-ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Mr. Shekarau had left the APC over his dispute over the control of the newly formed party with Rabiu Kwankwaso.

Mrs. Salik, a former associate of Mr. Kwankwaso, contested unsuccessfully for a seat in the state House of Assembly in 2007 on the platform of the PDP. After falling out with Mr. Kwankwaso, she became the darling of the PDP at the national level, which led to her ministerial nomination before the arrival of Mr. Shekarau in the party dimmed her light

Profile of the new nominee from Kano

Mrs. Mahmoud was born in Bunkure Local Government Area of Kano State in 1976. She attended Bunkure Gari Primary School, went to Tudun/Wada Dankadai for her junior secondary education, and then went to Girls Science College Garko, graduating in 1995.

She attended the College for Remedial Studies, where she took the IJMB examination in 1996. In 1997, she was offered admission to study Medicine at Bayero University Kano.

Later, she furthered her education to become a consultant in family medicine at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital. She is a consultant in family medicine and has over 20 years of experience in the field.

Mrs Mahmud is also a member of the National Postgraduate Medical College and the West African College of Physicians.

She was appointed the commissioner for Higher Education in Kano State in 2020. In that role, she oversaw the state’s tertiary education system. She is a strong advocate for women’s empowerment and education.

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Mrs. Mahmud is a member of several women’s organizations and has spoken out on the importance of education for girls and women. She is also a role model for young women in Kano State.

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