Deputy Governor's Profile
His Excellency, Chief Edward Onoja, Deputy Governor of Kogi state.
Edward David Unekwuojo Onoja was born into the family of Mr. and Mrs. Amodu Onoja on the 9th of August, 1974
He started his early academic sojourn (Primary School) in Lagos State and maintained as one of the top graduating pupil until completion. Consequent upon his intellectual proficiency, the young Edward Onoja was interviewed and passed his examinations into Federal Government College, Kwali, Abuja, FCT in 1985.
Edward Onoja sustained his academic prowess through secondary school finishing from FGC Kwali with an excellent result in 1991.
He then proceeded to the University of Jos to study Geology and Mining, graduated in 1999 with a Second Class (Upper Division) Degree in 1999 and invariably was one of the top graduating students in his class.
Edward Onoja’s excellence in academics must not be mistaken to mean that he was a bookworm who did nothing else but read in school. On the contrary, he was an all-rounder of a student who also excelled in sports, clubs, student unionism and sundry other extracurricular activities. He was an active member of the National Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the student representative for the Society of Exploration Geophysics (SEG).
WORK PLACE EXPERIENCE
With over 20 year work experience, he had worked at Guarantee Trust Bank Nigeria (GTBANK), Access Bank Nigeria, Televeras Group of Companies (Oil and Gas) and his own personal merchandise.
In details, upon graduation, Edward Onoja proceeded for the one year compulsory National Youth Service Corps programme at Port Harcourt. He scaled through the highly competitive rigors of interviewing for a place with Total FINA-ELF Petroleum Nigeria Limited and succeeded as usual. Our man served with his customary excellence in the Exploration Department of the multinational organisation as a Trainee Geologist and Subsurface Engineering Personnel.
Upon completion of the one year mandatory youth service, he cross-carpeted to the banking industry, starting with Guaranty Trust Bank in 2001. Edward was sent to the Premier Bank’s Training School in Lagos where he again graduated top of the class and won a prize for his efforts. He was then posted to Guaranty Trust Bank, Jos Branch as a Customer Service Officer where he played ample roles at both administrative and management levels.
A year and 11 months after joining GTB, Edward Onoja was promoted to Operations Manager and posted to a new Branch opening in Makurdi, Benue State. Edward Onoja’s background in the sciences helped him to bring innovation and new skills to bear on every posting job, helping him and his team-mates to break new grounds. With the new Makurdi Branch up and flourishing in no time at all, Edward’s employers identified him as a useful man for setting up new branches. In rapid succession, they moved him around to set up GT Bank branches in Lokoja, Obajana, Okene and Lafia.
Soon, he was not just an Operations Manager but was saddled with the responsibilities of Training Officer for the whole of Northern Nigeria (on-the-job weekly training). In 2009, Edward was head-hunted for his competencies by GTB’s arch-rival, Access Bank Plc, and upon coming to agreeable terms, he resumed as the Branch cum Relationship Manager at Lokoja Branch of Access Bank where he handled both the commercial and corporate banking groups of the bank. His duties included analysis of the investment profiles of the bank’s numerous portfolio.
In Access Bank, he raised the balance sheet from less than 30 million when he came on board to over half a billion naira in 9 months, a feat which prompted his promotion from the Lokoja Branch to the much bigger Asokoro Branch in Abuja, again, as a Relationship Manager.
In June of 2011 Edward, drawn by the allure of Politics, Entrepreneurship and Private Enterprise departed the banking industry and founded On and On Global Resources Limited. The fresh start-up, buoyed by Edward’s industry and restless acumen, plunged into the shark-infested waters of Financial Consulting. He soon carved a niche for himself consulting on risked financial investments in general and the power and energy sectors in particular.
In July 2013, Edward, whose profile and exploits as a private Consultant had been steadily climbing, attracted the attention of the Taleveras Group, an Oil and Gas industry stalwart in Nigeria. He was subsequently engaged as the General Manager, (GM), Exploration and Production in the Taleveras Exploration and Production Company Limited.
At Taleveras, Edward excelled again. He helped to build a strong Exploration and Production arm for the Taleveras Group and managed the Group’s International and Domestic Partnerships. He also helped to develop and set up the optimum cash-call threshold which is still in use by the company. Edward Onoja’s schedules at Taleveras thrust him into international waters and deepened his experience as a multidisciplinary deal maker and international transactions broker. As the Taleveras Group’s representative charged with reviewing Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) in all her assets around the world, Edward travelled the globe and participated in high level negotiations in nearly all the continents of the globe.
At home, Edward also had intensive exposure to the inner workings of the Oil and Gas Sector in the Federal Republic of Nigeria – often at Senior Executive levels. He was therefore deployed to manage Taleveras’ relationships with the National Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) on shared assets. Again, Edward brought his potent mix of cutting-edge technical expertise and enhanced people skills to the table and achieved great success.
This led to his appointment as the Commercial Representative on an NPDC/Taleveras/Others Management Committee for a Joint Asset. Edward was part of the team of experts tasked with overseeing the exploration of 3 Oil Blocks in Ivory Coast as well as a Gas Terminal contract in Equatorial Guinea.
Edward’s employers at Taleveras were no doubt impressed with his sterling accomplishments because they elevated him to the position of Director, Exploration & Production in January 2015. His duties on the domestic scene often ran concurrently with his international responsibilities. Through it all, Edward was able to acquire in-depth knowledge of the sector, and has developed customized solutions on how Nigeria can move her Oil and Gas industry to the next level.
As a private citizen Edward Onoja developed an almost insatiable passion to see and live in a better and greater Nigeria. He desperately looked for a Leader who had the qualities to build and bequeath such a Nigeria to the next generation.
In June and July, 2010, Edward driven by said passion galvanized some of his friends in the financial sector and they sought audience in Kaduna with President Muhammadu Buhari, then of the Congress for Progressive Change, at which Edward proposed a Project 50-50-50 to actualize his ambition.
Although President Muhammadu Buhari was unsuccessful in the 2011 Presidential Elections, he gained lifelong disciples in Edward and his friends who saw in him the leader who will achieve Nigeria’s rebirth.
In the build-up to the 2015 Presidential Elections, Edward became Project Director of the Kogi Youths Arise Group (KYAG) under the Chairmanship and Sponsorship of Alhaji Yahaya Bello, now the 4th Executive Governor of Kogi State.
The group mobilized thousands of Youths to campaign for the Change Agenda of the APC in Kogi State and beyond. They were instrumental in delivering the State for the APC, which contributed in no small measure to the ultimate victory of their mentor and role model, President Muhammadu Buhari.
Later that same year, Edward became Head of Campaigns and Chief Strategist for the Alhaji Yahaya Bello Campaign Organization. He led a team of hitherto unknown, but equally passionate, youngsters into all the nooks and crannies of Kogi State canvassing for his candidate. The rest is history.
Edward Onoja belongs to a family of 7 siblings with both parents alive, hale and hearty. He is happily married to Mrs Mercy Ejura Onoja (Née Okee), and blessed with 3 children