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Gamaliel Onosode dies at 82

Elder Gamaliel Onosode
Elder Gamaliel Onosode

Elder statesman, Gamaliel Onosode has died aged 82. Onosode reportedly died, Tuesday morning, at the Gold Cross Hospital, Ikoyi, Lagos, after a protracted illness.

Family sources indicates that Onosode was flown home also on Tuesday from London, where he was undergoing treatment

Born on May 22, 1933, Onosode was a Nigerian technocrat, administrator and a former presidential candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP). Educated at the Government College, Ughelli and the University of Ibadan, he emerged in the 1970s, as one of Nigeria’s leading educated chief executives, when he was at the helm of NAL Merchant Bank of Nigeria.

He was also Presidential Adviser to former President Shagari and a former president of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM).

An Urhobo, born and raised in Sapele , a suburban city in the current Delta State by a disciplined father, he sometimes credited the strict family background and practice as being a complementary factor in his success as a disciplined civil servant and corporate administrator.

Throughout his career, Onosode chaired several private and public sector businesses and initiatives.

He was the Chairman of Dunlop Nigeria Plc (1984–2007), a former chairman of Cadbury Nigeria Plc (1977–93), the Presidential Commission on Parastatals (1981), Nigeria LNG Working Committee and Nigeria LNG Limited (1985–90) and the Niger Delta Environmental Survey (since 1995).

He was also the Chairman of Zain Nigeria, a GSM telecommunications company, the oldest GSM operator in Nigeria.

Onosode was Presidential Adviser on Budget Affairs and Director of Budget (1983) and a Fellow of the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank, the Nigerian Institute of Management, of which he was President (1979–82).

He was also a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, having been elected to membership of its Board of Fellows in 1998.

Also, Onosode was the inaugural President of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, past Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Uyo and immediate past and inaugural President and Chairman of Council of the Association of Pension Funds of Nigeria.

He was an Honorary Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters and held Honorary D.Sc. degrees of Obafemi Awolowo University (1990), the University of Benin (1995), and the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (2003) as well as Honorary D.D. degree of The Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso (2002).

In 1995, he became the Chairman of the Niger Delta Environmental Survey, a non-governmental organisation that conducted scientific studies on environmental and social impact assessment of oil exploration in the Niger delta. The survey was partly financed by Shell.

Onosode was an alumnus of the University of Ibadan, and has contributed immense time to see through philanthropic and governing matters concerning the university. He was the former Pro-Chancellor of the University and Chairman of its Governing Council.

A devout Christian, he started Good News Baptist Church in his Sitting Room on February 1,1984. Good News Baptist Church had grown to over 2000 people and had become a force to reckon with in the Nigerian Baptist Convention in terms of missions and evangelism. He was also the inaugural Chairman of the Global Missions Board of the Nigerian Baptist Convention.

In addition, Onosode was Chairman of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso, Nigeria’s oldest degree awarding theological institution, which in 2008 marked 110th anniversary, while the oldest Federal Govern-owned University of Ibadan was 60.

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