[dropcap]T[/dropcap]here was a packed house at the Newton Parks Resort over the week-end as employees of the Debt Management Office, DMO, family, friends, and well wishers flooded the doors to say goodbye and bid a happy retirement to Hajia Asmau Mohammed a top director at the DMO.
After a dedicated service of 35 years, a retirement party was held for her by DMO employees and friends of Asmau, with many people lined up to express appreciation to her. Those that had the opportunity to work with and get to know her expressed what good person she is and told stories about experience they had in working and serving with her.
Hajia Asmau Mohammed’s retirement party was a requisite fete of pomp and circumstance.
But amid it all were moments of candour, highlighting the lighter moments of three decades-long career begun as an Assistant Secretary II and completed as a top Director at the nations Debt Management Office.
The celebration included plenty of laughs and some farewell tears but for the most part, the hosts kept the mood upbeat with a robust and colorful program of activities.
In her parting words, she thanked employees of the Debt Management Office, DMO, for their generosity, ” It is over the past 17 years that I have cultivated the relationships I have with most of you behind this event today. I can say that there have been too many highlights to enumerate. When I look back at the years past, I feel a sense of fulfillment knowing that we have formed strong bonds that go beyond the 4 walls of the office.”
“My leaving DMO is not by any means a farewell. I will still be a member of the happy family that we have become just as we have some ex-DMO staff amongst us today.”
“When I tell people that I’m now retired, there is always some form of surprise from their reaction. However, 35 years of public service have gone by in a flash and I believe it is the right time to retire when I still feel like I’m able to contribute in other ways to the larger society and I still have some energy left in me.”
“I vividly remember the start of my career in public service from Ministry of Internal Affairs as Assistant Secretary II on August 9, 1982. It is great to see how DMO has grown from infancy to be so well known across the country.”
“Kudos to those who thought I deserved to be celebrated and came up with the idea of hosting this “celebration of years of service”. To say that I am overwhelmed by this show of love will be a gross understatement. Each time I think I’ve seen all the great things you do, you come up with more pleasant surprises.”
Hajia Mohammed, a pioneer staff of the Debt Management Office, DMO, contributed significantly to the development and institutionalisation of various key Government public finance policy initiatives and reforms. She played key role in negotiating and implementing the historic deals that led to Nigeria’s exit from the Paris and London Clubs of Creditors.
Hajia Mohammed a versatile and experienced public servant supported the institutionalisation of effective public financial management reforms at the Sub-national level, through the entrenchment of sound debt management practices.
Hajia Mohammed was the National Coordinator of the Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank held in Abuja, May 18-19, 2005. She received letters of Commendation from the Secretay-General of the African Development Bank, Cheikh Ibrahima Fall, for organising one of the very best ADB AGM in history, and she also got a commendation letter for stellar performance in leadership and prudent financial management from the minister of finance at the time, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Hajia Asmau Mohammed also served at the Ministry of Finance and the Internal Affairs Ministry, now Ministry of Interior.
At the ministry of Finance, she worked at the Multilateral Institutions and External Finance Departments, where she was responsible for liaising with external creditors and managing Federal and State Government external creditor loan portfolios (from World Bank, International Monetary Fund, European Development Bank, and US EXIM Bank). She was also once the Sectional Head of International Capital Market for States’ Projects.
Hajia Mohammed was in charge of processing applications for expatriate quota and served as a Personal Assistant (Technical) to the Permanent Secretary, at the ministry of internal affairs from where her journey started.
She has vowed to continue serving in retirement.