Yusuf Maitama Tuggar is a Nigerian diplomat and politician who has made significant contributions to both the diplomatic and political spheres of Nigeria. Born on March 12, 1967, into a political family in Bauchi State. Tuggar has had a distinguished career in public service. From serving as the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany to his role as a member of the Nigerian House of Representatives. Tuggar has also played a crucial role in shaping Nigeria’s foreign affairs and domestic policies.
Early Life and Education
Tuggar was born into a politically active family in Bauchi State. His father is a prominent member of the Northern People’s Congress who served as the Organizing Secretary of the party during the period before and after Nigerian Independence in 1960. He later became a senator in the Second Nigerian Republic. Growing up in this politically charged environment, Tuggar developed a keen interest in public service and diplomacy.
Tuggar pursued his higher education in international relations, earning a bachelor’s degree from the United States International University. He also furthered his studies at the University of Bath and obtained a master’s degree from the prestigious University of Cambridge. His educational background equipped him so much with a solid foundation in international relations and a deep understanding of global affairs.
Yusuf Maitama Tuggar’s Political Career
After completing his education, Tuggar ventured into the private sector, where he gained valuable experience as the CEO of Nordic Oil and Gas Services, an energy consulting firm. During this time, he also contributed to Nigerian newspapers and magazines, sharing his political and economic opinions.
Tuggar’s entry into politics came in 2007 when he was elected as a member of the Nigerian House of Representatives, representing Gamawa from Bauchi State. During his tenure, he served as the Chairman of the House Committee on Public Procurement, where he played a pivotal role in regulating government spending in various sectors such as oil and gas, education, health, and water resources. Under his leadership, the committee worked on separating the president’s cabinet from the process of awarding contracts, ensuring transparency and accountability.
Additionally, Tuggar oversaw the creation of the National Council on Public Procurement, a significant step towards improving procurement practices in Nigeria. He also served as a member of the house committees on foreign affairs and was the deputy chairman of the house on Public Petitions. Tuggar sponsored a bill on inhumane transport of livestock, highlighting his commitment to animal welfare.
In 2011, Tuggar ran for the office of the Governor of Bauchi State as the candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change. Despite a strong campaign, the election was marred by fraud and violence, resulting in Tuggar coming in second. Undeterred, he joined the ruling All Progressives Congress in 2013 and contested the governorship primaries, finishing in third place.
Ambassador to Germany
In August 2017, Tuggar was appointed as the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany by President Muhammadu Buhari. During his ambassadorship, he played a crucial role in strengthening diplomatic ties between Nigeria and Germany. Tuggar was actively involved in the 23rd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, advocating for climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.
One of his notable achievements as Ambassador was facilitating the state visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Nigeria in August 2018. This visit further deepened the bilateral relations between the two countries and opened avenues for collaboration in various sectors.
Tuggar’s tenure as Ambassador faced a challenging moment in March 2020 when he attended a meeting with Siemens in Germany, which was later linked to a COVID-19 case. As a precautionary measure, he ordered the closure of the Nigerian embassy in Berlin and tested negative for the virus. Unfortunately, Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, who also attended the meeting, later succumbed to the virus.
Throughout his ambassadorship, Tuggar prioritized the repatriation of lost Benin artefacts from the German government. His efforts led to the successful return of 22 Benin Bronze looted artefacts valued at over 100 million pounds, contributing to the preservation of Nigeria’s cultural heritage.
Yusuf Maitama Tuggar As Minister of Foreign Affairs
On Monday, August 21, 2023, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar was sworn in as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, marking a new chapter in his political career. The oath of office was administered by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola. As the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tuggar is responsible for shaping and implementing Nigeria’s foreign policy, representing the country’s interests on the global stage, and fostering diplomatic relations with other nations.