Hon. Minister of Agriculture
Audu Innocent Ogbeh was born in Otukpo on July 28, 1947 to the family of late Pa Ogbeh Ejembi and Madam Egbi Ogbeh (nee Odinya), both of Efugo-Otukpa in the present day Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State.
His late father was a renowned farmer, community leader and disciplinarian while his mother was a commodities trader who travelled through all major markets of the central and south-eastern states of Nigeria in the course of her business.
In the following year, he gained admission at the elite Kings College in Lagos, continuing his studies for the Higher School Certificate (HSC). He obtained the HSC at the end of 1968 and proceeded the following year to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Between 1969 and 1972, Mr Ogbeh studied for his undergraduate certificate, which he obtained at the end of his time there. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French, he proceeded in 1973 to the University of Toulouse in France. He graduated in 1974 with a Masters of Letters degree in French literature.
Chief Ogbeh’s career began immediately after his first degree. He was employed as a teaching assistant by the Institute of Education, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he oversaw the teaching of French language in the northern states. In 1977, after his Master’s degree, he was appointed as the Head of Department of Languages, Arts and Social Sciences at the Murtala College of Arts, Science and Technology; up until 1979.
In 1979, he contested for and won the elections to the Benue State House of Assembly. As a member of the House, he was elected Deputy Speaker, a position he held until February 1982.
Minister of Communications
In 1982, he was appointed as Federal Minister of Communications by President Shehu Shagari of the 2nd Republic.
Minister of Steel Development
At the end of the general elections of 1983, he was reappointed as a Minister, with a new portfolio of Steel Development. He served here until the coup d’etat on December 31st 1983.
Full Time Agric Practice
He returned to full time farming in December 1984 up until September 1998. During the period, he set up a number of number of personal projects including:
● Medium Scale Rice Mill ● 14,000 Tree Cashew Plantation ● Poultry Farm
He also consulted for several state governments and established a number of notable projects, including a Large scale pineapple project for Cross River State and 2 rice mills – for the Family Economic Advancement Program in Abuja and for General J.T. Useni in Langtang, Plateau State.
Return to Politics
While in full time agriculture, he answered the call to serve and was appointed to the 19 member National Constitutional Conference Commission in 1993. Upon completing the assignment, he was again named member of the National Reconciliation Committee which had the difficult task of promoting national understanding in the very tense atmosphere, following the June 12th saga of 1993.
In 1998, he directed the presidential campaign of Dr. Alex Ekwueme, under the PDP and became a full time member of the party; which won the elections in 1999. On November 11th 2001, he was elected National Chairman of the PDP and served in the office before resigning in 2006.
Shortly after, he served as chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which then merged into the APC, where he continued his service. On November 11, 2015, he was appointed Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Honours & Fellowships
1987 – Fellowship of the Eisenhower Institute
1999 – Officer of the Federal Republic
2002 – Doctorate degree (Honoris Causa)
Hon. Minister of State
Senator Heineken Lokpobiri was born on March 3, 1967 in Ekeremor LGA of Bayelsa State.
He completed his secondary education at Government Secondary School Borokiri, Port Harcourt in 1988.
He studied law at the Rivers State University of Science & Technology, Port Harcourt and was called to Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1995.
He proceeded to Leeds Beckett University in Leeds, United Kingdom where he bagged a Masters Degree in Law (LLM) in 2012 and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in 2016.
Other courses he recently attended include: The Oxford High Performance Leadership Programme of the University of Oxford in November 2012; Programme on United States Election System –International Law Institute, Georgetown University Washington, D. C in April 2014 and Executive – Legislature Relations & Effective Legislative performance – Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington D. C – April 2014.
Senator Lokpobiri began his political career at the state level, where he represented Ekeremor Constituency II and was elected Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of assembly in 1999.
From 2003 to 2007, he was a Principal Legal Director at Lokpobiri and Co (Legal Practitioners and Consultants) and also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).
Senator Lokopbiri represented Bayelsa West in the 6th National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and served as Chairman, Senate Committee on Sports and Social Development and member, Committees on Niger Delta, Police Affairs, Federal Capital Territory, Petroleum (Down Stream) and Public Accounts 2007 – 2011.
He was re-elected to represent Bayelsa West Senatorial District in the Senate of the 7th National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and was Chairman, Senate Committee on Water Resources; and member, Committees on Sports, Industries, Ethics & Privileges, Petroleum (Up Stream) and Niger Delta Affairs from 2007 – 2015.
He was appointed Honourable Minister of State, Agriculture and Rural development on November 11, 2015.
Dr. Bukar Hassan was born on October 24, 1959 in Yimirdlalang, Kwaya Kusar Local Government Area of Borno State, Nigeria.
He completed his primary education at Yimirdlalang Primary School in 1972 and secondary education at Government Secondary School, Waka, Biu in 1977.
He enrolled at the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria where he studied in Botany from 1978 – 1982 and bagged a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) Degree (Second Class Upper Division). Dr. Bukar proceeded to the University Of Bath, United Kingdom, where he earned a Master of Science (M.Sc.) Degree in Crop Production in 1985. From 1986 – 1989, he undertook his Doctoral Degree Programme, bagging a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Arid Zone Ecology from the University of Wales, United Kingdom.
Dr. Hassan later earned a Post-Doctoral Professional Certificate in the Use of Meteosat and NOAA AVHRR PC-based Receivers for Rainfall and Vegetation Monitoring and Estimation, and Geographical Information System, Silsoe College from the University of Bedford, UK in 1991; a Certificate in Tropical Soil Management from the University of Dresden, Federal Republic of Germany in 2001; and a Certificate in Combating Desertification from Centre for Research in Desertification control, Valencia, Spain in 2003.
Dr. Bukar Hassan began his career as a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maiduguri in 1983 and rose to the position of Lecturer I in 1984. He became Head, Department of Biological Sciences, Modibo Adama College, University of Maiduguri, Yola in 1985 till 1986. Dr. Hassan became Chief Environmental Scientist & First Desk Officer for Drought and Desertification, Federal Environment Protection Agency (FEPA) in 1993, a position he held till 1996.
He was Head, Research and Development Division, Department of Technology and Research between 1995 and 1997; Head, Drought & Desertification and Critical Areas Division, Department of Environmental Conservation from 1997 to 1999 and Assistant Director Federal Environment Protection Agency (FEPA) from 1997 to 2002; and rising to the position of Deputy Director in 2003. Dr. Hassan also served as Head, Drought & Desertification Forecasting and Preparedness Division, Department of Drought and Desertification Amelioration from 2003 to 2008.
Dr. Hassan served on the National Focal Point for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification from 1996 to 2008; and as National Project Coordinator, Global Environment Facility (GEF) Assisted Integrated Ecosystem. He was Director (Drought and Desertification Department) (Notional 2009, Actual 2011) from 2009–2015 during which period he also headed the Programme Implantation Unit of the Great Green Wall Programme, Federal Ministry of Environment from January – September 2014.
Other capacities in which he served include Member, Governing Board Nigeria Geological Surveys from 2010 to 2011; Chairperson and Africa Representative, Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD between 2015 and 2017 and most recently as Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment from Nov 2015 -March 2017, until his redeployment to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as Permanent on March 10, 2017.
He is married with three children.