Abubakar Bukola Saraki is a Nigerian politician who has been the Senate President Federal Republic of Nigeria since 2015. He was formerly the Governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011. He was first elected to the Senate in April 2011, representing the Kwara Central senatorial district, and re-elected in the March 2015 elections.
He was born on December 19, 1962 to the family of Olusola Saraki, a senator (from 1979–1983) and a one time Senate Leader of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and his mother Florence Morenike Saraki. He attended King’s College, Lagos and Cheltenham College in the United Kingdom from for his High School Certificate. He then studied at the London Hospital Medical College of the University of London from 1982 to 1987, where he obtained his M.B.B.S (London).
He worked as a medical officer at Rush Green Hospital, Essex, from 1988 to 1989. He was a director of Société Générale Bank (Nig) Ltd from 1990 to 2000.
In 2000, Saraki was appointed as Special Assistant to the President on Budget by President Olusegun Obasanjo. During his tenure, Saraki initiated the Fiscal Responsibility Bill. He also served on the Economic Policy Coordination Committee, where he was responsible for the formulation and implementation of several key economic policies for Nigeria.
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Saraki ran for the office of governor of Kwara State on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003 and won. He was sworn into office in May 2003. He ran again for re-election in 2007 and won his second term. As governor of Kwara, he led reforms in agriculture, health, education, finance and environment policy. One of his major achievements was inviting displaced white farmers from Zimbabwe to Kwara State and offering them an opportunity to farm. This led to the establishment of Shonga Farms programme, which is now being replicated across Nigeria.
After his two term tenure as governor of Kwara State, he ran for the office of Senator, representing the Kwara Central Senatorial District. He won, succeeding his sister, Gbemisola Saraki-Forowa. He was then appointed as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology and is also a member of the Senate Committee on Capital Markets and Finance.
After his re-election in the 2015 general elections, Saraki was on 9 June 2015 elected unopposed as President of the Senate by an across the party alliance comprising PDP and APC Senators. Senator Saraki founded Kwara Class of Honor, a program aimed at awarding Post-Graduate scholarship to First Class students of the state to continue their study at any institution of their choice across the federation, and over 71 First class were awarded during the first phase of the scholarship program.
Saraki was made the Turaki of the Fula emirate of Ilorin, a high-ranking officer in the royal court of the emirate. He was the first serving Nigerian governor to be awarded the National Honor of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in 2010. He was also given an Outstanding Leadership Award by the Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed on 27 May 2017.
Bukola Saraki is married to Toyin (née Ojora) Saraki. They have four children together.