Leadership and Empathy in the Time of a Pandemic
DR. IPALIBO HARRY BANIGO
DEPUTY GOVERNOR AT RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT
Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo epitomizes courage and inner strength that enable her to nurture her talents and stand out among her peers in her educational and professional careers, as well as in the enormously challenging arena of politics. This woman of substance is a delightful mix of beauty and brains. Her beauty is surpassed only by her intellectual competence, her friendly disposition, heartwarming humility, a sense of humor that puts people at ease when in her presence and a clam motherly mien. Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo was born to the Harry’s family of Obuama in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria, on the 20th day of December 1952. She made history as the First Female Deputy Governor of Rivers State, since May 29, 2015 to present. She attended Queens College Yaba, Lagos between 1964 – 1968 and returned to the same school between 1969 – 1970 for high school result. She obtained Division One in the West African School Certificate examination in 1968, and Distinction in the High School results in 1970. Having equipped herself with these basic Qualifications, she proceeded to the University of Ibadan, University College Hospital and obtained degree as Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and thus qualified as a Medical Doctor in 1976. Being a woman of distinction, Dr. Mrs. Harry Banigo attended top-notch institutions to boost her professional career. She enrolled in Harvard University School of Public Health and obtained a master of public health degree in June 1981. In 1990, she got a post-graduate diploma in tropical hygiene from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In July 1992, she obtained a Diploma in Dermatology from University of London, and having acquired such array of academic honors; Dr Banigo was ready to affect her world positively. Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo was the Senior Medical Officer In-Charge, Port Harcourt Health Services, Rivers State, from 1st July 1981 – December 1984. She became Honorary Consultant Dermatologist, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. She was Appointed Principal, Rivers State School of Health Technology, Port Harcourt from 2nd January 1985 – 11th February 1994. Dr. Harry Banigo became the Director, Public Health, Rivers State Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in February 1994 – December 1995. This Outstanding Woman was appointed acting commissioner for health and social welfare in December 1996 – June 1997. She was Director General, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and eventually became the Permanent Secretary, Rivers state Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in April 1998. Moving on, she capped her public service career with her appointment as Head of Service of Rivers State from May – October, 1998. She got the best achievement of her public service career when she became the Secretary to the Rivers State Government from May 1998– July 1999. Dr. Banigo was appointed Public Health Advisor to Shell Petroleum Development Company (East) in 2000, and she was Executive Director National Primary Health Care Development Agency, and later became Secretary to The Board of The Agency. She was a Member of the Governing Council, University of Calabar, and the Governing Board, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital. She was also a member of reference board (DFID) and member, Rivers State Food and Nutrition Committee. She was also a Project Director, United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). She was Chairman, Rivers State Relief Committee, member, Rivers state Hospital Management Board, and Project Director UNICEF among others.