Kogi 2023: Read Impressive Profile of Edward David Onoja
Biography of His Excellency, Chief Edward David Onoja, the man favoured by Grace to succeed Gov Yahaya Bello
Born to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Amodu Onoja on 9th August, 1974, Edward Onoja hails from Odikoko-Emonyoku in Ogugu district of Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi State.
He started his academic voyage in Army Children School 3 in Ikeja Military Cantonment, Lagos and completed his primary education in Wasimi Community Primary School, Ikeja Lagos.
Edward Onoja later proceeded to Federal Government College, Kwali, Abuja, FCT in 1985 at the age of 11. As a young chap with an intimidating intellectual prowess, Edward graduated from FGC Kwali with an exceptional result of 5 Distinctions and 3 Credits in 1991.
He Proceeded to University of Jos to study Geology and Mining and graduated with a Second Class Upper division in 1999. He was top among the few best graduating students in his set.
Young, ebullient and highly innovative, Edward David Onoja is an extraordinarily selfless, admirably humble, gentle, soft-spoken, self-effacing, diligent, circumspect, shrewd and generous man whose rise to limelight came as a result of hardwork, diligence and dedication to duty. A rising northern star who is solid, calm and unflappable.
Edward Onoja was an active member of the National Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS). He was a member, American Association of Petroleum Geologists and also, was student representative for the Society of Exploration Geophysics (SEG).
Available records revealed that he singlehandedly installed the first Student Union (SUG) President from the Faculty of Natural Sciences in the history and annals of the University of Jos which is considered very superlative till date. Edward Onoja was the pioneer president of Natural Science Students Association (NASSA) University of Jos Chapter.
Upon graduation, Edward Onoja proceeded for the one year compulsory National Youth Service programme in Port Harcourt after scaling through rigors of interview with Total Fina-ELF Petroleum Nigeria Limited. He served in the Exploration Department as a Trainee Geologist and subsurface personnel and excelled greatly. While working with 10C experts, his interest in the oil and gas sector particularly to the role of Nigerians in the Nigerian energy market was kindled.
After his NYSC program, Edward Onoja moved to the banking industry, Guaranty Trust Bank to be precise starting with the Training School in Lagos where he graduated top of the class with a prize. He was then moved to Guaranty Trust Bank, Jos Branch as a Customer Service Officer where he played ample roles at both administrative and management levels.
After 1 year and 11 months, Edward Onoja was promoted to a new Branch of GT Bank in Makurdi as Operations Manager. Consequent upon his skill, finesse, creativity and proactivity utilized in starting up and flourishing the Makurdi Branch, he became the man to be used for starting up new Branches of the GT Bank hence, he was responsible for starting up Lokoja Branch, Obajana, Okene and Lafia Branches respectively. He was not just an Operations Manager in GTB but doubled as the Training Officer in the whole of Northern Nigeria (on-the-job weekly training).
In 2009, he moved to Access Bank Plc, Lokoja as a Branch/Relationship Manager in both the commercial and Corporate banking group where he handled analysis of investment profiles of the banks numerous portfolio. In Access Bank, he raised their balance sheet from less than 30 million to over half a billion naira in 9 months, a feat which promoted him from Lokoja to a bigger Branch in Asokoro, Abuja as Relationship Manager. By June 2011, he founded the On and On Global Resources Limited where he gave consulting on risk and financial investments as well as consultation in the power and energy sectors.
Edward’s stint in the oil and gas sector drew the attention of the management of Taleveras Exploration and Production Company Limited n July, 2013 with his appointment as the General Manager Exploration and Production which gave him the opportunity to handle roles such as building a strong exploration and production in an arm of the company to managing the company’s international and domestic partnerships. With his vast experience in energy and cooperate finance, he was able to help the company in curbing excessive waste thereby reducing investment risk exposures in its entirety. While at Taleveras, Edward was part of the team of experts that was tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the exploration of 3 Oil Blocks in Ivory Coast and also the Gas Terminal contract in Equatorial Guinea.
While serving as the General Manager in this company, he also operated as the company representative for reviewing PSC terms in all their assets around the world, travelling far and wide having high level business negotiations in almost all the continents of the world.
His strong relationship, ability to read and understand people and situations made it easy for him to handle the company’s relationships with NPDC on shared assets. Later on, Edward Onoja was appointed as the Commercial Representative on the Management Committee on joint asset where he worked closely with NPDC staff.
JOURNEY INTO POLITICS
His penchant for politics started right from his days in the university where he was the President of the Faculty of Natural Sciences. That has been alluded earlier. In 2011, he resigned from Access Bank to vie for the State House of Assembly to represent Olamaboro Constituency under the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). It is worthy of note that Hon. Edward became the candidate of the party the same day he resigned and left Access Bank (14th February, 2011 to be precise).
That was his first stint at politics outside the university campus environment. In same year, from July to December 2011, he was the State Director and was fully in charge of Project 3R — Rescue, Restore, Rebuild Kogi on behalf of late, Prince Abubakar Audu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) as at then. They gave the PDP a good fight at the polls that year.
In 2015, he was the State Director of Kogi Youth Arise Group for Buhari/
Osinbajo, the group that worked earnestly and assiduously and whose hardwork led to victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 Presidential Election. That was the first time an opposition party won a presidential election in Kogi State.
It was thereafter he moved on to becoming the Chief Strategist and Director-General of the Alhaji Yahaya Bello Campaign Organization in preparation for the 2015 gubernatorial election in Kogi State. Hon. Edward Onoja led young men who were considered political new kids on the block round the 3 senatorial districts canvassing for support for AYB; they were believed and their voice heard to a great extent as the delegates produced the votes which put Alhaji Yahaya Bello far ahead of other seasoned politicians with long experience in politics and made him the runner up in the primaries.
As divine providence would have it, Alhaji Yahaya Bello became the governor of Kogi State after the abrupt but sad passing away of Prince Abubakar Audu.
As a reward for his hard work and diligence in delivering results, Gov Yahaha Bello appointed Edward Onoja as his Chief of Staff.
Edward Onoja is presently the Deputy Governor of Kogi State.
Chief Edward Onoja is married to Mrs. Ejura Mercy Onoja and he is blessed with 4 children.