• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Ngozi Nma Odu: Deputy Governor, Rivers state

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Ngozi Nma Odu DSSRS is the Rivers state deputy governor and the former commissioner of education in Rivers state.

Ngozi Nma Odu, is a Professor of Food/Industrial and Public Health Microbiology, director of academic planning and a member of governing council representing the senate at the PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt.

Odu had also served the University of Port-Harcourt both as a lecturer in the department of Microbiology and as the first acting executive director of the University of Port-Harcourt foundation. She is also a visiting professor to the Rivers state university.

She obtained her first honours degree in Microbiology in 1979 from Paisley College of Technology, Renfrewshire, Scotland (now University of the West of Scotland). While in Scotland, she received the Best Academic Prize for two consecutive years (1977 and 1978 respectively).

She also holds a master’s degree in Food Science and Management from the prestigious University of London (Queen Elizabeth College, 1983). In 1989, she obtained a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Port Harcourt that made her the first PhD graduate in that department. She also attended a leadership course at the prestigious John Hopkins University Baltimore, USA 2005.

She has had a varied working experience. She rose through the ranks in the Rivers state ministry of health to the post of Permanent secretary, a post she held for six and half years (1999-2006), making her the longest serving permanent secretary in the ministry. During her tenure as permanent secretary, her ministry received accolades from WHO, UNICEF and Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) for best practices in immunisation and baby friendly initiative programmes.

Odu led the rescue team of the December 2005 ill-fated Sosoliso air crash (there were only 2 survivors). In January 2006, she was elevated to a position of a Commissioner in the Rivers state civil service in the Ministry of Education.

As a commissioner, she made some remarkable contributions to human capital development. She facilitated the award of overseas undergraduate scholarships to over 400 Rivers state students in Russia and Malaysia, and they have all graduated including 38 medical doctors.

In same vein, she also facilitated the award of overseas post-graduate scholarships to 75 Rivers state men and women in USA, UK and Europe, and initiated school beautification programmes in public schools in the state.

Odu was invested as a Fellow of Nigerian Institutes of Management – Chartered (FNIM) in July 2011. She was co-opted into council in 2014. She has served the institute in various capacities which includes, amongst others, Chairman of Board of Examiners (BOE), three times member of BOE, member of programmes committee, Chairman R/S NIM Fund Raising Committee for the rehabilitation of the management house.