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Uzoamaka Nwizu, 1949-2004

Posted by By Olu Ojewale on 2004/07/16 | Views: 3466 |

Uzoamaka Nwizu, 1949-2004

Nigeria's first female immigration comptroller-general dies of Leukaemia

Nigeria's first female immigration comptroller-general dies of Leukaemia

When she returned from six months sick leave in January 2002, everyone thought that her health crisis was over. But last March, the terminal illness, which had taken Uzoamaka Nwizu, the first female comptroller-general of the Nigerian Immigration Service, to many hospitals, was back. She was forced to cancel her trip to Jerusalem and headed instead for the United States for treatment. It was her last trip. Nwizu died of leukaemia, cancer of the blood. She was 54.

At the NIS headquarters in Abuja, the news was greeted with shock and sadness. Musa Baraya, acting comptroller general, directed that all the flags in the premises to be flown at half-mast.

Adolphus Wabara, president of the senate, described the late Nwizu as a "thorough and dedicated professional with an uncommon passion for hard work."

Nwizu who was appointed as CG January 14, 2000, was credited with a number of reforms in the NIS. To her credit, a Nigerian international passport, can now be obtained within 24 hours. She managed to reduce the activities of touts at various passport control offices.

Nwizu started her career in immigration as a visa officer in 1974 and worked in various capacities in investigation and border areas. Nwizu was born September 21, 1949 in Ogbunike Local Government, Imo State. She began her education at the Christian Missionary School, CMS Primary School in Umudiako. From there she went to the Anglican Girls' Grammar School, Enugu. She attended the University of Hawaii, 1971-72, University of Vermont, 1972-74, where she earned a first class honours degree in geography. She received the outstanding student honour award of the department of geography. She also attended the University of Ibadan, 1992-94, where she obtained an MBA degree.

She is survived by her widower and five children.

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