Murtala Bello, Abdulazeez Abdullahi and Hassan Abdul
Northern PR Stars: Corporate Communication Specialists
By Maryam Na-Allah Umar-Baba
In today’s dynamic and interconnected world, Public Relations (PR) has emerged as a formidable force, shaping narratives and influencing public opinion. As the business landscape continues to evolve, the Northern region of Nigeria has also witnessed an impressive rise in its PR industry, with a wave of talented professionals making their mark on the communication landscape within and outside the country.
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The North has also produced iconic Communicators, scholars, spokespersons, and other PR practitioners who contribute in defining contemporary issues in the public relations industry.
Spokesperson’s Digest, a sister publication of PRNigeria presents three leading Corporate Communication specialists from the North who are creating a positive public brand image and maintaining strong relationships with the company’s customers and clients.
Abdulazeez Abdullahi: The Communication Specialist Changing Kaduna Electricity Coy’s Narrative
Abdullahi Abdulazeez of Kaduna Electricity
Abdulazeez is a seasoned professional in the fields of public relations, communications, and journalism. Currently, he holds the prestigious position of Head of Corporate Communication and is an esteemed member of the Management Team of the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company. In this influential role, he oversees all communication aspects of the company, efficiently managing operations in the states of Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kebbi, where the company operates.
Abdulazeez holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Bayero University, Kano, a Master’s degree in Mass Communication from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism from Thomson Foundation in Cardiff, United Kingdom. He also acquired a Postgraduate Certificate in Organizational Behaviour from the University of Cumbria, United Kingdom.
Abdulazeez’s journey to success began when he joined People’s Media Limited in 2009 as the Managing Editor/General Manager. He skillfully handled the business and marketing operations of the well-known Abuja-based newspaper, People’s Daily, while also expertly coordinating the editorial unit.
His passion for journalism sparked even earlier, as he launched his career as a Reporter/Researcher at Daily Trust newspaper in 2001. Through dedication and hard work, he rose through the ranks and ultimately became the Acting Editor before venturing into new territory in 2008. Abdulazeez then accepted a Senior Banking Officer position at Unity Bank, where he led the External Communication and Brand Management Units, and played a pivotal role in the bank’s rebranding efforts as a key member of the Branding Committee.
Throughout his impressive career, Abdulazeez has not only excelled professionally but has also built strong and lasting relationships with government officials, politicians, and policy makers at all levels. His ability to successfully manage cross-functional teams has enabled him to achieve remarkable results time and again.
His contributions and dedication to his work at Kaduna Electric have not gone unnoticed. He has received numerous accolades, including the prestigious Managing Director’s recognition for Effective Crisis Communication in 2020. Under his leadership, Kaduna Electric achieved remarkable milestones, including winning the esteemed Premium African Brand Leadership Merit Award in 2021 and the coveted Blueprint Newspapers Award for the Electricity Distribution Company of the Year in 2022.
In recognition of his professional excellence and contributions, Abdulazeez has earned the titles of Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (FNIPR), Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants (FIMC), and Certified Management Consultant (CMC). These exalted designations reflect his commitment to upholding the highest standards of professionalism in his field.
Hassan Abdul – The Extraordinary CEO of Media Range Limited
Hassan Abdul of Media Range
One of the leading Public Relations agencies in the country, Media Range Limited, is founded by Hassan Abdul. Abdul is presently the PR firm’s Consultant/Chief Executive Officer. He has over 15 years field and management experience that cut across print and digital journalism, public relations, brand management, integrated marketing communications, risk and crisis communication, perception management, as well as bespoke communications strategy development.
Abdul holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Bayero University Kano, a Certificate in Creative Design and Digital Communication from Pan Atlantic University, Lagos, and a Project Management Certificate from Google.
In his current role at Media Range, he leads a team of professionals in the conceptualization & implementation of responses to client briefs and has led the agency in providing solutions to national, and multinational companies, as well as projects driven by multilateral and development organisations.
He has deployed his skills across a wide range of sectors – especially banking, technology, power, agriculture and manufacturing – for local and international organisations.
Some prominent clients he has provided services to include Lafarge Africa Plc, Huawei Technologies (Nigeria) Limited, The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Monsanto International (now Bayer), the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), British American Tobacco, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), and Unity Bank Plc.
Other organisations he has provided solutions for are AA Rano Nigeria Limited, Jaiz Bank Plc, WACOT plc, The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, WaterAid, Mercy Corps and the Agency Francaise De Development (AFD) among many others
He is a Member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (mnipr) and an Associate Member of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).
Murtala Bello: The Head of Azura Power’s Corporate Affairs Division
Murtala Bello Azura Power
Murtala Bello is the Head of Corporate Affairs at Azura Power West Africa, where he is responsible for stakeholder engagement, corporate reputation and risk management, Management and business advisory, Communication, legal and policy documentation and advisory, monitoring compliance and reporting. In that role, he also deputizes for the managing Director.
He has developed a solid reputation in building Strategic partnerships and Stakeholder and Government relations management, Corporate Communications, Consumer perception management.
Murtala is an Alumnus of Both Bayero University kano, where he graduated with a BSc in Business Administration as well as Usmanu Danfodio University Sokoto, where he obtained his MBA, General management. He is a Certified sales practitioner level 1 at the Airtel Centum Sales University (ACSU) India, a leadership and Management certificate from the Luxury Academy London, as well as a certificate of strategic foresight with the School of International Features (SOIF) London.He is a member of the Institute of Industrialist and corporate Administrators MIICA.
He has over two decades of professional experience in Sales, marketing and distribution garnered during his career journey working in the public sector as well as a multi-national telecommunications giant and in the downstream distribution sector of the power industry.
He started his career working with the headquarters of the national Youth service corps, while there he was majorly responsible for inspection, monitoring, evaluation, public relations, Government relationship and management of social community development activities. In his constant desire for challenging career opportunities, he transitioned into the then Vmobile networks Ltd, and was part the entire period of brand transitioning of the network to Bharti Airtel, until he left in 2015 after 10 years, as Area Business manager. He is a winner of the Airtel CEO Salesman Award in 2014.
In 2015, he made foray into the new, exciting and challenging Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry NESI and Joined Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company as Chief Commercial officer, where he was responsible for developing the strategic vision of the ATC&C loss reduction trajectory of the company, growing the customer and revenue base,managing Government and stakeholder relations, as well ensuring customer satisfaction.In that role he managed a 5BN portfolio and as well as a 1,200 employee headcount in the commercial team.He partnered in the space of Capacity Building and Technical Assistance Programme with various multilateral agencies on Performance Improvement Plan for the power industry including AFD/EU/ANED, AF MERCADOS EMI, USAID and POWER AFRICA. He is also a pioneer member of the specific sector skill certification group for commercial and technical functions in Nigerian Discos.
He has an avowed interest in capacity and human development and sports, and in his spare time engages in skills and leadership training for young people and playing football. Murtala is married with kids.
*Maryam Na-Allah Umar-Baba, a Staff Writer with the Spokesperson’s Digest is an alumnus of Leeds Beckett University obtaining a Bsc in Media Communication Culture and a Master’s Degree in Public Relations and Strategic Communication. Email: [email protected]
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