Howeidy was born in Kano in December 1923 to Muhammed Saleh. He went to Shahuci Elementary School, Kano, the Kano Middle School and then Kaduna College. He then attended Oxford University where he became an assistant lecturer at the university's Institute of Colonial Studies. He later worked in the Northern Nigerian civil service before becoming deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Works and Housing. In the 1970s, he served as chairman of the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria and later as a secretary to the Kano State military administration.