Ogbonnaya Onu CON, a politician, novelist, and engineer from Nigeria, was born on 1 December 1951. He served as Nigeria’s Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation from November 2015 until his departure in 2022, and he was the state of Abia’s first civilian governor. He had served as a minister for the longest period of time.

LIFE AND EDUCATION

On December 1, 1951, Ogbonnaya Onu was born into the Eze David Aba Onu family in Amata, Uburu, Ohaozara Local Government Area of Nigeria’s then-Eastern area, which later became Imo State, Abia State, and now Ebonyi State. He began his studies at Izzi High School in Abakaliki, the current administrative center of Ebonyi State. He passed his West African School Certificate Examination in grade one with excellence in this location. At the College of Immaculate Conception (C.I.C.) in Enugu, he also took the High School Examination, graduating as the top overall student.

He continued on to the University of Lagos, where in 1976 he earned a first-class degree in Chemical Engineering. He pursued doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated in 1980 with a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering.

TEACHING CAREER

Ogbonnaya Onu taught in St. Augustine’s Seminary in Ezzamgbo, Ebonyi State after earning his degree from the University of Lagos. Onu joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Port Harcourt as a lecturer after completing his doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and went on to become the department’s first head. He was elected as a member of the university’s governing council and served as the faculty of engineering’s acting dean.

POLITICAL CAREER

Ogbonnaya Onu began his political career as a National Party of Nigeria candidate for a Senate seat in the former Imo State (NPN). In 1991, he ran for and was elected governor of Abia State under the auspices of the National Republican Convention. In January 1992, he took the oath of office as the State’s first executive governor. He served as the Conference of Nigerian Elected Governors’ inaugural chairman.

He served as the All People’s Party’s presidential candidate in 1999, but after the party merged with the Alliance for Democracy, which lost to Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP, he turned over the post to Olu Falae. 2010 saw his election as the All Nigerian People’s Party’s National Party Chairman. His party (ANPP) successfully united with the Democratic People’s Party (DPP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), and certain APGA members to form the All Progressives Congress in 2013. (APC). President Muhammadu Buhari nominated him Minister of Science and Technology in November 2015. He was re-sworn in as Minister of Science and Technology by President on August 21, 2019.

AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENT

Onu is a fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, a certified member of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, and a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers. He founded the National Science and Technology Week, which was initially held in Abuja from April 13 to 17, 2017, and then again in March 2018, to highlight inventors and inventions.

He was the Minister of Science and Technology at the time. He entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to export local foodstuffs and technologies with three foreign corporations. Additionally, he inked a contract with NASCO to begin manufacturing High Nutrient Density Biscuits on a commercial scale.

He launched a program in 2016 called “774 Young Nigerian Scientists Presidential Award (774-YONSPA)” with the intention of fostering and growing Nigerian youth interest in science, technology, and innovation (STI).

CONTROVERSIES

By 2018, according to Onu, Nigeria will start producing pencils domestically, creating 400,000 jobs. As of 2019, no production of the aforementioned pencils has begun. Before the 1999 presidential election and the All People’s Party and Coalition for Democracy’s alliance, Onu was embroiled in a dispute over the selection of Olu Falae as their joint presidential candidate.

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