Hajiya Halita Aliyu, a director at Peoples Media Limited, publisher of Abuja-based Peoples Daily newspaper, has passed on. Aged 66, she died Feb. 27 in Abuja, leaving behind her husband, four children and three grandchildren.
Halita, a former director of the defunct Nigerian Telecommunications Limited, was buried the evening of that Friday at Gudu cemetery in Abuja after a funeral prayer led by an Imam of the National Mosque shortly after the late afternoon Asr prayer at the mosque. President Muhammadu Buhari, while offering his condolences, described Halita as “a consummate public servant who left behind a track record of excellence wherever she served.”
In a message signed by his media aide Garba Shehu, the President noted that the late Halita demonstrated that hard working women could “break any glass ceiling” once they were given equal opportunities. “She won many awards of excellence, including the National Merit Award, because of her dedication to service and commitment to her career.” Indeed, Halita won several awards. She was a recipient of the National Productivity Merit Award for a distinguished career in public service (1991); Manager of the Year Award, NITEL, 1990 and 1991; Queen Amina Award for Excellence given by her alma mater, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1994; and Corporate Achievers Gold Award in 2001.
Before her death, Halita was a shareholder at Media Trust Limited, publisher of the Daily Trust titles. She was also the founder of one of Abuja’s popular bookstores, TarbiyyaBooksPlus.
Born in 1954 in what today is Borno State, she was a civil servant, technocrat and an administrator. She began her public service career at the Uthman Dan Fodio University (then University of Sokoto) as Establishment Officer and rose to the post of Assistant Registrar before moving over to the then Nigerian Telecommunications Company Limited (NITEL) in 1985 as Senior Manager, Personnel. Between 1989 and 1996, she was at the managerial level at NITEL, and retired as Executive Director in 1996. Then she founded Akklaim Telecoms where she held the position of Chairman/CEO. She had also held the position of Chairman/CEO of Nigerian Mobile Telecommunications Limited. She was also Executive Chairman of Zamfa Global Links and a member of the T. Y. Danjuma-led Presidential Advisory Council in 2010-2011.
Halita attended Central Primary School, Maiduguri; Government Girls Secondary School, Maiduguri -1967-1971; School of Basic Studies, Zaria, 1972-1973 and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, 1973-1976.
We join President Buhari and Halita’s teeming admirers in prayer for God to forgive the soul of the deceased, grant her eternal rest and reward her good deeds with paradise.