Dr. Muhammed Mustafa Lecky was born in Auchi, Edo State. He attended High School in Agbede, Edo State, studied for his Higher School Certificate (HSC) examination in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State and began his undergraduate studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ibadan in 1976. With a Federal Government scholarship he left the University of Ibadan for Iowa State University of Science and Technology in Ames, United States of America (USA) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban & Regional Planning (1979). He obtained a double Master’s Degree in Demography/Urban & Regional Planning (1981), followed by a Ph.D. in Demography (with a focus in Health-Demography) from the University of California, Berkeley, California, USA (1990).
He is a Fellow of the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, USA. Between 1990 and 1992, he was a MacArthur Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Harvard University School of Public Health, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. He had additional advanced training and certificates in health systems (health reforms, health economics and healthcare financing) from the World Bank Institute; and Management Information Systems (MIS) from RIPA – UK and NIIT. He was a USAID Fellow at the Population Reference Bureau, Washington, DC. Professionally, Dr. Lecky is a Demographer with expertise in Management Information Systems, Healthcare Systems, Healthcare Financing and Project Management.
Just before his appointment as INEC National Commissioner, Dr. Lecky worked as the Executive Secretary/CEO of the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON), a leading Civil Society Organization (CSO) that drafted and successfully coordinated the legislative advocacy for the passage of the National Health Act in December 2014. He had also served as a Senior Policy & Strategic Adviser to the Canada International Development and Research Center (IDRC). Prior to joining HERFON in 2013, Dr. Lecky was for eight years the Director of Planning, Research & Statistics at the Federal Ministry of Health and he had also been the Executive Secretary/CEO of the National Health Insurance Scheme – NHIS (between 2004 and 2006). It was during his tenure at the NHIS that the nationwide commencement of the health insurance coverage started for the first time in Nigeria in June 2005.
In 1991/1992, Dr. Lecky was appointed a Research Associate at the Harvard School of Public Health. He was a consultant to several United Nations agencies – UN Population Division; UNICEF; and UNDP. Between 1995 and 2010, Dr. Lecky worked as an International Consultant and then as a National Project Coordinator for the World Bank-funded Nigeria Health Systems Fund Project/Health Systems Development Project. The health-financing project was implemented across all the states of the federation. He has had a number of successes with several internationally competitive application-based health-funded programmes and projects from the Global Fund (GF); Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI); Strategic Information Management Program (SIMP), Canada and the National Strategic Information (NIS) project, UNDP.
Dr. Lecky has made many notable contributions to the Nigeria health sector. He led the development and implementation of a number of major health policy initiatives, such as: the National Health Management Information System (NHMIS); the National Health Policy; the Presidential Initiative for Accelerated Achievement of Health Millennium Development Goals; the Health Sector Reform Programme (2004-2007); and served as the Chairman of the National Reference Group on the National Strategic Health Development Plan (National Health Plan) from 2010 2015.
At the global level, Dr. Lecky served as the Chairman, Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the International 2nd High-Level-Forum (HLF) on MDGs, Abuja, 2004; co-Chair of LOC for the Abuja HIV/AIDS Summit, 2001; Consultant to WHO Headquarters on Information Systems Strategy; and was appointed a WHO African Regional Expert on Health Information Systems.
He has provided extensive country-level Technical Assistance on health information systems to Namibia, Botswana, WHO-African Regional Office in Brazzaville, Zimbabwe, Seychelles and Sierra Leone. From 2009 through December 2010, Dr. Lecky was Vice-Chair of the WHO/Tropical Disease Research (TDR) program Joint Coordinating Board (JCB) and an ex-officio member of other TDR governing bodies (TDR Standing Committee, and TDR Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee).
Dr. Lecky has had extensive national-level representation at high-level international meetings such as the Commonwealth Health Ministers (CHM) meeting; WHO World Health Assembly in Geneva; UN General Assembly (UNGAS) special sessions and summits in New York; High-level Forum on AID Effectiveness; International Health Partners & related initiatives (IHP+) Forum; UN Secretary-General MDG+10 Summit; Global Fund Replenishment Conference; and WHO-Africa Regional Committee meetings, etc.…
He holds the royal title of the GALADIMA of Auchi Kingdom in Edo State.