The son of Governor of Northern Nigeria Kashim Ibrahim, Shettima graduated from the University of Maiduguri and the University of Ibadan.
After schooling, he entered business and banking, eventually rising to hold several high-ranking executive positions at banks.
By the mid-2000s, Shettima was the manager of Zenith Bank’s Maiduguri office before leaving the position to enter the state cabinet of Governor Ali Modu Sheriff in 2007.
After four years in the cabinet, he was elected governor in 2011 and re-elected by a wider margin in 2015; his term in office was dominated by the deadly Boko Haram insurgency. Shettima was later elected to the senate in 2019.
Kashim Shettima was born in Maiduguri, Borno state, Nigeria to the family of Sir Kashim Ibrahim. He is married to Nana Shettima, and they have three children.
Shettima attended Lamisula Primary School in Maiduguri from 1972 to 1978; Government Community Secondary School, Biu in southern part of Borno State from 1978 to 1980; transferred to Government Science Secondary School, Potiskum (now in neighbouring Yobe State) where he completed his secondary education in 1983.
He studied at the University of Maiduguri and earned a Degree (BSc) in Agricultural Economics in 1989. He had his one-year compulsory membership of the National Youths Service Corps, NYSC, at the defunct Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative Bank, Calabar, capital of Cross River State in South-South, Nigeria, from 1989 to 1990. He obtained a master’s degree (MSc) in Agricultural Economics in 1991 at the University of Ibadan in Southwest, Nigeria.
Shettima joined the University of Maiduguri as a Lecturer with the Department of Agricultural Economics and was in the academia from 1991 to 1993.
In 1993, he moved into the banking sector and was employed by (now defunct) Commercial Bank of Africa Limited as head of accounts unit at the bank’s office in Ikeja, Lagos State, Southwest, Nigeria. Shettima was there from 1993 to 1997.
In 1997 he crossed over to the African International Bank Limited as a Deputy Manager and rose to become a Manager in 2001. In 2001, he moved to the Zenith Bank as head of its main branch in Maiduguri. At the Zenith Bank he rose to Senior Manager/Branch Head; Assistant General Manager (AGM)/Zonal Head (North-East), Deputy General Manager/Zonal Head (North-East) before he stepped out of the Zenith Bank as a General Manager in 2007 following his appointment as Commissioner for Finance in Borno State.
Shettima worked with the Commercial Bank of Africa as an Agricultural Economist at its Ikeja Office, Lagos State (1993-1997). He then became a deputy manager, later manager, at the African International Bank Limited, Kaduna Branch (1997–2001), and was appointed Deputy Manager/Branch Head of the Zenith Bank’s Maiduguri Office in 2001, becoming General Manager five years later. In mid-2007, Shettima was appointed Commissioner of the Borno State Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
Later he became Commissioner in the Ministries of Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs, Education, Agriculture and later Health under his predecessor as Borno Governor Ali Modu Sheriff.
From 2007 to 2011, he served as Commissioner in 5 Ministries. In the January 2011 ANPP primaries, Engineer Modu Fannami Gubio was selected as candidate for the governorship.
However, Gubio was later shot dead by gunmen, and Shettima was selected in a second primary in February 2011. In the 26 April 2011 elections, Shettima won with 531,147 votes while the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Muhammed Goni, gained 450,140 votes.
He was Commissioner of Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs(2008), Education (2009), Agriculture and Natural Resources and finally to the Ministry of Health from where he contested the Governorship in 2011 which he won under the platform of the now defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP and was inaugurated on May 29, 2011.
He won reelection in 2015 under the All Progressives Congress, APC and was unambiguously chosen as Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, an umbrella body of Governors in the 19 States located in northern Nigeria.
He has so far been driving key changes in the affairs of the forum with focus on promoting northern unity and reviving ailing industries belonging to northern States.
As Governor of Borno State, he has efficiently managed challenges arising from the Boko Haram insurgency which he inherited in 2011.
With the approval of the National Security Adviser and the Nigerian Army in 2013, his government formalized establishment of youth volunteers called the Civilian JTF.
The volunteers have played very significant role in supporting the military in ongoing fight against Boko Haram insurgents. He approves salaries, kits and patrol vehicles for the civilian JTF while at the same time giving so much support to the Nigerian Armed Forces.
He leads in mobilization of community based intelligence gathering and the provision of hundreds of patrol vehicles and material logistics to the military in particular and to all other security agencies.
In September, 2014, Maiduguri, the seat of Government became very vulnerable to being occupied by insurgents. The fear was so intense that notable residents relocated their families to Abuja. However, amidst such fright, Governor Kashim Shettima who was out of the country for an official assignment, returned to Maiduguri in a show of courage and patriotism.
On his return, the Governor mobilized residents towards rising up in defense of their ancestry. Although Maiduguri didn’t fall, the insurgents succeeded in occupying 20 out of the 27 local government areas of the State before the Nigerian Armed Forces liberated them between 2015 and 2016.
The Governor has been coordinating and leading the temporary accommodation, rehabilitation and resettlement of victims of the Boko Haram insurgents.
With peace building, Governor Kashim Shettima has been championing Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement of victims. He has focused so much attention on expansion and remodeling of existing schools and the building news boarding primary and junior secondary schools to cater for over 50, 000 unaccompanied orphans whose parents were killed by insurgents across the 27 local government areas of the State.
Governor Kashim Shettima’s leadership credentials have attracted positive recognition within and outside Nigeria. Governor Shettima emerged the 2014 Governor of the Year (Leadership Newspapers), Governor of the Year, 2015, (Nigeria Union of Journalists, national body); Governor of the Year, 2015 (NewsWatchTimes Newspapers); Governor of the Year, 2015 (Vanguard Newspapers); Governor of the Year, 2016 (Tell Magazine); 2017 Zik Prize for Leadership; Kaduna NUJ Award for courage and exceptional leadership (2017), FCT NUJ Merit Award for exceptional Leadership, 2017.
In February, 2019 he became the winner of the Borno Central Senatorial District election, thereby replacing Senator Babakaka Bashir. Borno Central Senatorial District comprises eight local government areas: Maiduguri, Jere, Konduga, Bama, Mafa, Dikwa, Ngala and Kala Balge.