By Ibrahim Buhari
The recent appointment of Alhaji Jalal Ahmad Arabi (OON) as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) continued to attract accolades from stakeholders in the Hajj exercise.
His background coupled with his vast experience in the public sector find a harmonious fit within the realm of Hajj operations in the country.
Jalal Arabi, a native of Gombe State was born in Jos, Plateau State. He obtained his BL in 1984 at the Council of Legal Education, Lagos and LLB Degree in 1980 from University of Jos. He attended Government Secondary School, Gombe and completed his secondary education with a brilliant performance in the West African School Certificate (WASC) in 1978. Earlier, he got his School Leaving Certificate from the famous Islamiyya Primary School, Jos in 1973.
He began public service career in July, 1985 with the Bauchi State Ministry of Justice. From there, he moved to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) in May 1993 as a Legal Adviser and later to the Ministry of Defence as the Deputy Director (Parastatals/Special Services) in January 2003 where he rose to become the State House Counsel in June, 2007.
A competent and hardworking Arabi, has been working tirelessly in different committees for the betterment of his fatherland which includes member of the Inter-Agency Committee for the Final Relocation and Settlement of Public Officers in Abuja in 1993. Member of Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Drafting of Terms of Reference and Procedures for the Ad-hoc Constitutional Bodies (Transition Committee, Constitutional Conference Committee etc) in 1994. Member of Inter-Agency Committee on the Reorganisation and Repositioning of the Trade Unions and Affiliate Associations, 1994. Assistant Secretary of the Panel on Review of Judiciary and Police in 1994. Member of Nigerian Legal Team on Bakassi-1994 to 2002. Member of the Sub-Committee on International Criminal Court (ICC)-1996 to 2000. Member of Nigerian Delegation to the UN Human Rights Committee, Geneva-1996 to 2000.
His resilience and patriotism earned a membership of the Ministerial Committee on Re-assessment of the Nigerian Railway and Repositioning of the Rail Transport Project-2001, and many more.
He was also a member of the Ministerial Committee on the Reorganization of the Military Pension Board-2003. Member of Ministerial Committee on the Re-evaluation and Re-assessment of Bilateral Military Assistance to Defense Personnel, 2003. Member of Inter-Agency Panel on the Clash between Nigeria Air Force and Nigerian Police Personnel, 2003.
In addition, he a onetime Chairman, Ministry of Defense Anti-Corruption Unit in 2003. Member of Presidential Committee on Financial Action Task Force in 2009. Member of Presidential Committee on Inter-Professional Relationship in the Health Sector etc.
He attended several conferences and courses both local and international which includes, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, (Legal Drafting); ASCON, (Management) 1993, University of Maryland, (Negotiations)-1990, Jesus College; Cambridge, (Economics Ethnics and Etiquette), 1996; and World Bank Institute, (Public-Private Partnership) 2000.
Others include Institution for Higher Defence Studies, Paris (Counter-Terrorism) 2003; Africa Centre for Strategic Studies, (Seminar on Strategy and Command) 2004; Geneva Centre for Security Policy, (Security Policy) 2006;
Marshall Centre for Security Studies Germany, (Counter-Terrorism) 2006;
Naval Postgraduate School Monterey, California, (Civil-Military Relations) 2005; Harvard Business School, (Negotiations for Development) 2010; RIPA, UK, (Management). 2011; ILI Washington (Leadership, etc.) 2013 and LSE, UK (Management) 2014 before his posting as permanent sectary by President Muhammadu Buhari in November, 2015.
His passion for excellence made many of those who worked with him to testify his fit for latest assignment.
The dependable and outstanding compatriot, Jalal Arabi demonstrates impressive intelligence and skills worthy of emulation.
Jalal Arabi’s expertise and experience stand poised to usher in a holistic strategy toward restoring the glory of Hajj exercise in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration.