Malam Ismaila Isa was born in Funtua, Katsina State. He was a pioneer student of the Federal Training Centre Kaduna. He trained as an administrative officer at the Institute of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria and as an administrator at the Manchester University in the UK. He was the Monitor General of the Course 9, the prestigious National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru. He served at the Katsina Native Authority for seven years as an Administrative Officer.
Mallam Ismaila Isa is a renowned Business Executive and public officer with over thirty years of management experience. He was Personnel Manager in United Textiles Limited (UNTL), responsible for over ten thousand staff and a one-time Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He is the founder of Bulet International Nigeria Limited (the largest wholly owned indigenous construction company) which built most of the iconic public buildings in Abuja. He is the founding Managing Director of Democrat Newspaper and served as President of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) for 8 years.
He is a philanthropist and a life patron of the NPAN, a staunch defender of a free press and free speech.