The Miss Nigeria Organisation has extended the reign of the 44th Miss Nigeria, Shatu Garko, beyond the one-year stipulated tenure following her admission into a top university in Dubai.

In an interview with ThisDay Style editor Konye Nwagbor, Garko, who stars on the magazine’s latest cover, revealed that while she had completed secondary school in 2020, she could not further her education as a result of COVID-19 and ultimately winning the Miss Nigeria pageant in December 2021. 

Created in 1957 and renowned as Nigeria’s oldest and most prestigious pageant, Miss Nigeria is an annual pageant showcasing the positive attributes of Nigerian women. The winner each year portrays exemplary qualities and serves as a role model for young women across the country.

Although Miss Nigeria is held annually in December, Garko’s extended reign would last till the first quarter of 2023, when a new queen will be crowned. 

Expressing her gratitude to the organisation for extending her reign, she tells ThisDay, “I am delighted to share the news that I have been accepted to study at a highly regarded institution in Dubai. Fortunately for my education, the Miss Nigeria Organisation has decided to extend my reign. This way, I can complete all my outreach programs across other states in Nigeria.”

“At Miss Nigeria, we hope to see the day that thousands of women are empowered much like Shatu. This is our ultimate objective, but we must take things one step at a time to get there,” said Eniola Olushola, General Manager of the Miss Nigeria Organisation.

“We’ve decided to offer her more time as queen than usual to ensure that she won’t have to choose between school and her royal duties. We’ve made this decision so that she may do well in school whilst fulfilling her duties as the 44th Miss Nigeria,” Olushola further added. 

As Miss Nigeria, Garko has accomplished incredible feats and continues to work on several projects with The Green Girl Company Limited. Among them is the menstrual hygiene project through which she hopes to “eliminate or significantly reduce period poverty.” 

Garko, whose win made her the first Hijabi model and the first native of Kano state to win Miss Nigeria, succeeded Taraba state’s Beauty Etsanyi Tukura. This makes Miss Nigeria the pageant with the most holistic representation across all geo-political zones of Nigeria. 

For more updates and information about Miss Nigeria, visit and follow @missnigeriaorg on social media.