Ogbonnaya Onu CON (1 December 1951 – 11 April 2024) was a Nigerian politician, author and engineer. He was the first civilian governor of Abia State and was the minister of science, technology and innovation of Nigeria from November 2015 until his resignation in 2022. He was the longest serving minister of the ministry.[1]

Ogbonnaya Onu
Onu in 2018
Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation
In office
14 June 2019 – 11 May 2022
Appointed byMuhammadu Buhari
Succeeded byAdeleke Mamora
In office
11 November 2015 – 29 May 2019
Appointed byMuhammadu Buhari
Governor of Abia State
In office
January 1992 – November 1993
DeputyChima Nwafor
Preceded byFrank Ajobena (military)
Succeeded byChinyere Ike Nwosu (military)
Personal details
Ogbonnaya Onu

(1951-12-01)1 December 1951
Ohaozara, Southern Region, Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria (now in Ebonyi State, Nigeria)
Died11 April 2024(2024-04-11) (aged 72)
Abuja, Nigeria
Political partyAll Progressives Congress
EducationDoctor of Philosophy degree in Chemical Engineering
Alma mater
ProfessionPolitician, engineer



Ogbonnaya Onu was born on 1 December 1951, to the family of Eze David Aba Onu in Amata, Uburu, Ohaozara Local Government Area of then Eastern region, later Imo State, then Abia State and now Ebonyi State Nigeria.[2] He started his education at Izzi High School in Abakaliki, now the Ebonyi State capital. Here, he obtained grade one with distinction in his West African School Certificate Examination.[3] He also sat for the High School Examination at College of Immaculate Conception (C.I.C) Enugu, graduating as the overall best student.[4] He proceeded to the University of Lagos and graduated with a first class degree in chemical engineering in 1976. He went for his doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree in chemical engineering in 1980.[5] Onu died on 11 April 2024, at the age of 72.[6]



Teaching career


After his graduation from the University of Lagos, Ogbonnaya Onu became a teacher at St. Augustine's Seminary, Ezzamgbo, Ebonyi State. After the completion of his doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Onu became a lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Port Harcourt, and later became the pioneer head of the department. He also served as the acting dean of the Faculty of Engineering and was also elected as a member of the Governing Council of the university.[7]

Political career


Ogbonnaya Onu started his political career as an aspirant for a senatorial seat in the old Imo State on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).[7] He contested for the position of Governor of Abia State in 1991 under the umbrella of the National Republican Convention and won. He was sworn in as the first executive governor of the state in January 1992.[8] He was the first chairman, Conference of Nigerian elected governors. In 1999, he was the presidential flag bearer for the All People's Party but relinquished the position to Olu Falae after a merger of his party with the Alliance for Democracy who lost to Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP. He became the national party chairman of the All Nigerian People's Party in 2010.[9] In 2013, he and his party (ANPP) successfully merged with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Democratic People's Party (DPP) and some members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to form the All Progressives Congress (APC). In November 2015, he was appointed Minister of Science and Technology by President Muhammadu Buhari.[10][11] On 21 August 2019, he was sworn in again as Minister of Science and Technology by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Awards and achievements


Onu was a certified member of Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, a fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering,[12] fellow of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers.[13]

In October 2022, a Nigerian national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) was conferred on him by President Muhammadu Buhari.[14]



Onu said Nigeria would begin local production of pencils[15] by 2018 which he said would provide 400,000 jobs.[16][17] As of 2019, he said production of pencils had not commenced.[8] In 1999, prior to the presidential election and the alliance between the All People's Party and Alliance for Democracy, Onu was involved in a conflict involving both APP/AD picking Olu Falae as the joint presidential flag bearer.[18]

See also



  1. ^ "Nigeria will improve energy generation, supply – Minister". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 21 February 2022. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  2. ^ "Profile of Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology". Vanguard News. 21 August 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  3. ^ "'The Ogbonnaya Onu that I know'". Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics. 16 May 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  4. ^ Ejiofor, Clement (31 May 2015). "President Buhari Appoints New SGF (UPDATED)". Legit. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  5. ^ Adekunle (28 July 2015). "Ogbonnaya Onu and the reward of perseverance". Vanguard. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Ogbonnaya Onu, first civilian governor of Abia, is dead". Premium Times. 11 April 2024. Retrieved 11 April 2024.
  7. ^ a b Okorie, Chekwas (3 September 2015). "'The Ogbonnaya Onu that I know'". The Nation. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  8. ^ a b Ugbede, Lois (4 January 2019). "ANALYSIS: How science and technology ministry fared under Ogbonnaya Onu in three years". Premium Times. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  9. ^ Isuwa, Sunday (24 September 2010). "Nigeria: How ANPP Chairman Emerged". All Africa. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  10. ^ Eribake, Akintayo (11 November 2015). "See full list of Buhari's ministers and their portfolios". Vanguard. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  11. ^ Allison, Simon (12 November 2015). "Nigeria gets new cabinet after six-month delay". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  12. ^ RapidxHTML; Amana, Destiny. "The Nigeria Academy of Engineering :: promoting excellence in technology and engineering training and practice to ensure the technological growth and economic development of Nigeria". Nae.org.ng. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  13. ^ "NSCHE – Keynote Speakers". Nscheabuja.org. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  14. ^ "FULL LIST: 2022 National Honours Award Recipients The Nation Newspaper". 9 October 2022. Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  15. ^ Elebeke, Emmanuel (7 January 2016). "FG will generate 3.4m jobs through pencil production, others — Minister". Vanguard. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  16. ^ Group (30 December 2015). "Nigeria to start production of pencils, says Onu". The Nation Nigeria. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Nigeria to start local production of pencils in two years – Onu". Daily Post. 30 December 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  18. ^ Uchendu, Moses (17 February 1999). "Nigeria: Onu Is A Liar, Says Waziri". All Africa. Retrieved 29 January 2019.