Ahmed Joda

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Ahmed Mohammed Joda is a Nigerian administrator, journalist, politician who is a former permanent secretary in the Northern Nigerian Public Service, Federal Ministry of Information, Education and the Federal Ministry of Industries and was among a class of super perm secs in the 1970s who were mostly a cadre of group three level perm secs who played a major role during the Nigerian Civil War. In the 1960s, he worked with Ahmadu Bello in the Northern regional government.

In 1999, he headed a Committee on Assessment of Federal Government parastatals and also a panel on poverty alleviation.

Lately, he serves as the chairman of ABTI-American University of Nigeria, Yola and is the principal founder of Benue Valley Farms.


Early life and education

Joda was born in Girei located present day Adamawa State to a Quranic teacher father. Like many of his Muslim peers, he started his education at a Quranic School. He then proceeded to the Yola Elementary and Middle schools before attending Barewa College. In the 1950s, he attended Pitman College, London and gained practical experience in journalism while staying in Britain.


After completing his secondary education in 1948, he initially chose agriculture as a preferred choice of work. He applied and was admitted to Moor Plantation which was then one of the two prominent research and training centers in country. From Moor, he worked briefly at an Agricultural center in Yola before entering the field of journalism at Gaskiya Corporation, Zaria. He later worked for the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission serving as the editor of NBC Kaduna and then joined the Northern Nigeria civil service as Chief Information Officer and later permanent secretary in the regional Ministry of Information.

In 1967, he became a federal permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information and subsequently moved to Lagos. However, the country was just at the beginning of a civil war and his ministry was in charge of federal propaganda during the war and also to douse perceptions of the war being a Muslim vs Christian war. . After, the war, he was seconded to the Ministry of Education when the ministry was involved in rehabilitation of facilities in the old East Central State, launching of the Universal Primary Education and the establishment of the Nigerian Universities Commission. In the mid 1970s, he became permanent secretary in the Ministry of Industries at a time, the Nigerian government was trying to launch a national steel programme.

He has also served as chairman and board member of various bodies including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigerian Communications Council, Pastoral Resolve, SCOA, Nigeria, Chagouri and Chagouri Construction, Flour Mills, Nigeria, and the Nigerian LNG.


  • Builders of Modern Nigeria. Vol 2