By Ikenna Omeje
The nomination of Mr. Uche Ogah for a Ministerial position to represent Abia State in the soon to be constituted federal cabinet by President Muhammadu Buhari is worth celebrating.
Having traversed the business space, there is no doubt that Ogah will make a good Minister.
He is a product of knowledge, skills, education and hard work. At a time when the rebuilding of Nigeria has become a child of necessity, definitely, the contribution of people like Ogah who have done a lot for humanity in the business world will be pivotal to the advancement of Nigeria.
Ogah is an oil magnate, entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. He is the President of Master Energy Group, a conglomerate with over 15 subsidiaries and interests across a variety of industries.
Ogah was born on December 22 1969 to Chief Wilson and Ezinne Pauline Ogah of Onuaku Uturu,Isuikwuato Local Government Area of Abia State.
He attended Ishiagu High School, after which he worked at West African Examination Council (WAEC) from 1986-89, before he proceeded to the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu, Enugu State, where he obtained Upper Credit in Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in 1992 and Distinction at the Higher National Diploma (HND) Level in 1995 in Accounting.He also attended University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) where he obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in 2005. He also has a Bachelor of Science degree (Banking and Finance) from Ogun State University and a Masters in Business Admini-stration (MBA) from University of Lagos. Ogah obtained his ACA in 2007.
He began his career as a banker with a year of National Youth Service year at NAL Bank Plc. Thereafter, he took up full employment at All States Trust Bank where he worked for about two years before joining Zenith Bank in 1997.
At Zenith Bank, he set a record of growing a new branch from zero balance sheets to over N9 billion and rose to the position of an Assistant General Manager (AGM) in Zenith Bank.
He is a Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN);Fellow, Institute of Brand Management of Nigeria; Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Shipping; Fellow, Employment & Career and member, Chartered Institute of Bankers, Governing Council of the Nigeria-Turkey Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In December, 2001, Ogah established Uche Ogah Foundation which aims to provide empowerment, poverty alleviation, and providing education for the less privileged.
He had sponsored free medical services in different parts of Nigeria, in addition to building and equipping a number of modern hospitals in his native community, Uturu and other communities in Nigeria.
He also partnered with a number of medical centres, including the Hopeville Rehabilitation Centre, to fabricate artificial limbs and calipers for physically challenged persons.
For his accomplishments, he has been honoured and recognised in different fora. In 2014, Ogah was awarded, a national award – the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Other awards and honours include: Honorary Doctorate degree in Business Administration by Abia State University; 2013 Nigerian – American Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Entrepreneur by Nigerian – American Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of Peace, UN-POLAC Effective Leadership Award by Global Youths Awareness & Development, Initiative (GYADI); Award for Excellence Foundation Entrepreneurship Promoter of the Year by Entrepreneurship Promotions Academy Africa; Episcopal Award for Faith Motivation by Bishop Isikwuato/Umunneochi, Anglican Corporate Excellence Award for Accomplishments in Private Sector Development by Institute of Management. & Technology, Enugu, (Aba Chapter) and Diamond Father of the Year, 2012 by Catholic Men’s Organisation, Masters Dei Cathedral Parish, Umuahia.
Answering questions on the floor of the Senate during screening on Wednesday on issues bordering on the economy of the country, he said: “We need to improve our critical infrastructure, that’s the only way we can create jobs.
“We do not need to also concentrate our industries in the urban areas; we need to create industries in the rural areas. We cannot put our economy purely on oil. Yes, agreed that oil is a cash cow but we can develop our agriculture.
“Nigeria has the capacity to feed the whole world. Nigeria economy is about N43 trillion and the private sector is expected to drive the nation’s economy.”
On deregulation in the oil sector, Ogah said the country needed a guided deregulation where everything is not dumped on the economy.
With people like Ogah as ministers, there is hope for the country. He is knowledgeable and understands the issues confronting the country. He will no doubt bring his experience to bear in handling whatever portfolio he is given.