Mohammed Magoro: From Barrack To Boardroom


Born on May 7, 1941, in Kebbi State, to a family from the Zuru ethnic minority, Major Gen. Mohammed Magoro is also renowned for his exploits as a military officeras well as his boardroom prowess.

  Magoro’s academic pursuit started in 1950 when he was enrolled at the Kontagora Senior Primary School. From there he proceeded to the Niger Provincial Secondary School, Bida, Niger State and was a classmate of Mamman Jiya Vatsa and Ibrahim Babangida. At the end of his education at the school he moved on to the Command and Staff College, Jaji before enrolling at the prestigious United State Army War College.

  As a soldier in the Nigerian Army, Major Gen. Magoro held several positions in the country.

  Perhaps, the experience he garnered while holding key positions as a military personnel was to prepare him for the boardroom.

  First, he served as Federal Commissioner of Transport during the Military administration of General Olusegun Obasanjo from 1976 to 1978. He became Minister for Internal Affairs under Major General Muhammadu Buhari, another military ruler from January 1984 to August 1985. As Minister for Internal Affairs, in May 1985 he oversaw the exodus of close to a million foreign nationals from Nigeria. About half had come from Ghana, and the rest from other West African countries where they were escaping from drought and starvation. Upon the overthrow of Muhammadu Buhari’s administration by Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida in 1985, Magoro was appointed head of the Nigerian National Shipping Line, the Nigerian Railways and Nigerian Ports Authority.

  He was the Chairman, National Maritime Authority from 1987 to 1991.

His journey to the boardroom began upon his retirement in 1995, when he took to public service and became the Chairman of Ocean and Oil Services Ltd.

  Magoro became Chairman of the Oando group in 2000, a petroleum marketing company created through privatization of Unipetrol Nigeria Plc., in which Ocean and Oil Services bought a major share into. He held the position till July 2011.

  He has also served as a Director of Fidelity Bank Plc and several other companies.

  In February 2016, Magoro was appointed Director of Unity Kapital Assurance Plc one of Nigeria’s leading insurance companies.

  He has since been using his wealth of experience to turn around the fortune of the company.

  He also took a shot at politics, serving as Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria representing Kebbi-South Senatorial District. In the January 2011 PDP primary election in Zuru for the Senatorial seat for Kebbi South, Magoro defeated the incumbent, Senator Tanko Ayuba and later went on to win the election on 9th of April.

  Magoro brought his experience to bear in the Senate when he was made Chairman, Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence and as member of several Senate committees.

  He is extensively travelled and has held various military commands and appointments: Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Infantry (1982-1983), and Commander, Brigade of Guards (1979-1981). He  has been honoured with numerous national awards and medals such as Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR), Royalty, Courage and Discipline Medal, and the National Service Medal to name a few. He has written many papers, one of which is Command and Contemporary Strategies – Mao-Tse-Tung which is still being referred to at the United States Army War College.

Magoro is happily married with children.

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Hamilton Nwosa

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