Different names are synonymous with different virtues or vices, depending, of course, on the individual concerned. Mention the name Idris Mamman Gatumbwa anywhere across the land particularly in the Federal Civil Service arena and words such as integrity, selfless service, diligence and hard work would flash out instantly. The reason is obvious: This gentleman, has over the years, carved such an enviable niche for himself as a peerless civil servant that his name has virtues.
In fact, even a cursory look at his career trajectory would show that it is neither by accident nor by chance that Idris Mamman Gatumbwa occupies the post of Director of Finance and Accounts in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Rather, it is by dint of hard work, dedication, perseverance, patriotism, and of course, elephant-size measure of integrity which such a sensitive post of responsibility demand.
Prior to assumption of his present post, this visionary gentleman has occupied the same position at the Federal Ministry of Finance from 2011 to April, 2012. He had kick-started his glittering career in 1987 as an Accountant Grade II Southern Borno Agricultural Development Project, a World Bank-Assisted programme in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. By the following year, Idris Mamman Gatumbwa’s level of exceptional service had seen him been promoted to an Accountant Grade I. Between 1988 and 1991 he was made Senior Accountant at the Afforestation Project Coordinating Unit (APCU), Principal Account at the Forestry Management Environmental and Coordinating Unit (FORMECU), Chief Accountant at the Forestry Management Environmental and Coordinating Unit, Acting Financial Controller Forestry Afforestation Project Coordinating Unit and Financial Adviser Forestry Management Environmental and Coordinating Unit, in quick succession – a rare feat in the civil service even in those days.
Just as his path to the apex of the federal civil service was becoming more smooth, the finance and account expert surprised all and sundry by opting for the private sector. This adventure saw Idris Mamman Gatumbwa holding sway as a Senior Partner at Akin, Idris and Co., a firm of chartered Accountants based in Wuse, Abuja. He handled his core responsibility of accounting processes, audits, training of clients, office administration and fund placement so well that the company soared to remarkable heights within a relatively short time.
With such a well-documented record of performance and industry, all eyes were on this 1991 member of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) when he subsequently returned to the federal civil service. The poser on most lips was: will the “new” Idris Mamman Gatumbwa set the ball rolling by continuing with the zeal and commitment from where he had stopped a few years ago, or would he become a typical run-of-the-mill civil servant who merely goes through the motions daily without going the extra mile?
Characteristically, this native of Hawul Local Government of Borno State answered that poser in the best way he knows by hitting the ground running in style. So much so that his superiors in the civil service had little or option than to saddle him with higher responsibilities year after year. And it so happened that within a couple of years, he had skillfully and deservedly navigated his and served as the Financial Controller at the Agricultural Development Project of Federal Capital Territory from 1996 to 1999; Director Finance at the Federal Superphosphate Fertilizer Company Limited in Kaduna South, Kaduna state from 1999 to 2002; Assistant Director (Accounts) in the Office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 2002 to 2003; Deputy Director (Accounts) in State House from 2003 to 2006; Deputy Director (Accounts) at the Federal Ministry of Health from 2006 to 2007; and Director (Finance and Accounts) at the Federal Ministry of Health from 2008 to 20011.
At the Federal Ministry of Finance where he also held sway as the Director of Finance and Accounts from 2011 till April 2012, Idris Mamman Gatumbwa established an unrivaled reputation and a new lease of life into the otherwise routine chore of supervision and co-ordination of both the ministry’s and the Budget Office’s operations. In a nutshell, not only was he able to achieve the government’s public finance management goals within the duration of his rather short tenure, he left behind a legacy of uncommon service and innovative, result-oriented management methods which have stood the test of time.
Against this backdrop, when Idris Mamman Gatumbwa was posted to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to occupy the same post he had earlier held at the Federal Ministry of Finance, even his harshest critics grudgingly conceded that, in a manner of speaking, a Daniel had come to judgment. Truly so! Ask any staff member and/or official of this Ministry and he or she would proudly declare that Idris Mamman Gatumbwa is an exceptional civil servant. Describe him as a civil servant of inestimable value, and thousands, nay millions, of voice would undoubtedly be raised in unison.
Born on February 23, 1961 in Gatumbwa, Borno State, Idris Mamman attended Shaffa Central Primary School Hawul between 1969 and 1975. He proceeded to Federal Government College, Enugu that same year and finished his secondary education in 1980. By the time he completed his degree programme at the University of Maiduguri with distinction in 1985, it was evident that the hugely talented young man was headed for greatness.
From whichever angle one examines Idris Mamman Gatumbwa’s life and illustrious career, it is crystal clear that he is a civil servant with quite a difference. That is a civil servant who would rather go the extra mile than be a run-of-the-mill worker. With great minds like Idris Mamman Gatumbwa, the Federal Civil Service is indeed in good stead.