Didi Esther Walson-Jack, MCIPM, OON, mni

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources & Sanitation

Dame Didi Esther Walson-Jack, MCIPM, OON,  mni, began her service as the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources & Sanitation on Wednesday, 30th September 2020. She was recently conferred with the National honor of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) by the Buhari administration on 28th May, 2023.  She had previously served as Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, and Federal Ministry of Power.

Mrs. Didi Esther Walson-Jack’s intriguing and instructive Civil Service career began in 1992 as a State Counsel in Rivers State Ministry of Justice. In October 1996, following the creation of Bayelsa State, she transferred her service and became one of seven pioneer staff of the Ministry of Justice, and the nascent Bayelsa State Civil Service. She served as both Head, Legal Drafting Department of the Ministry of Justice, and Legal Department of Bayelsa State House of Assembly.

In recognition of her hard work, she was subsequently appointed by the Governor Alamieyeseigha Administration to the enviable dual position of Solicitor-General of Bayelsa State and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice; a position she held from July 2002 until January 2009. On more than one occasion, following the dissolutions of State Executive Councils, she acted as the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice.

Mrs. Walson-Jack, a 2008 alumna of the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 30 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State, transferred her service, in 2009, to the Federal Civil Service in the Administrative Cadre.

Mrs. Walson-Jack began her career in the Federal Civil Service as an Assistant Director, Appointments, Promotion and Discipline, in the Human Resource Management Department, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. She served as pioneer State Coordinator of the Rivers State Office of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. She progressed with her passing relevant promotion examinations and was appointed a Deputy Director, Administration (Appointments, Promotion and Discipline) at the same Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Abuja.

In February 2012, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack returned to Bayelsa State on secondment in the public interest at the request of the Bayelsa State Government. During this period, she served as the pioneer Deputy Chief of Staff to the Bayelsa State Governor; the pioneer Commissioner of the Ministry of Science & Technology and Manpower Development; and Chief of Staff, Government House, Yenagoa, until December 2014 when she voluntarily returned to the Federal Civil Service.

Prior to her appointment as a Federal Permanent Secretary in August 2017, Didi Walson-Jack served as Director in the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. In April 2016, she was deployed as the Director of Human Resource Management at the Federal Ministry of Health. She also served as the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics at the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, and Director, Special Duties in the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Dame Walson-Jack was admitted in the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, where she obtained the Bachelor of Laws (LL. B) degree in 1986. She attended the Nigerian Law School and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1987, as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. She also attended the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Lagos, in 1996, and obtained a Certificate in Legislative Drafting. She underwent further training at California State Senate, United States, and Oklahoma City University, US, in 2000, where she received an International Fellowship and Certificate in Advanced Legal Drafting and a Certificate in Mediation, respectively.

Coming from a family line of Writers and Poets, Mrs. Walson-Jack is the author of a Best-Seller, entitled “Roses in the Thorns”, an autobiography of resilience and triumph of faith over adversity. Drawing from a rich heritage of family, faith and service, Didi Walson-Jack shares the story of her life dotted with beautiful experiences and lined with tough challenges. The book is as surprising as it is insightful.

She is happily married, for more than three decades, to Hon. Nimi Walson-Jack, a man she describes as her number one mentor and role model. Their marriage is blessed with two lovely children, Mrs. Sotonye Didi Ehimiaghe and Mr. Nimi Walson-Jack II. Both parents and children are lawyers. Mrs. Walson-Jack is also blessed with a grandson, Nathan Ehitai Tamunotonjo Ehimiage.