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. Shehu Mahmud Usman Ahmed was born on July 10, 1960 and hails from Gombi Local Government Area of Adamawa State. He is happily married to Mrs. Rabiatu Halilu Shehu and fathers three (3) Children.
A 1982 graduate of BSc. Geography from the University of Maiduguri, he obtained a Masters’ Degree in Urban and Regional Planning (Transportation) from the University of Ibadan in 1988 and Doctor of Philosophy in Transport Planning and Management from the University of Wales Cardiff United Kingdom in 1991. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Transport (London) and Fellow, Institute of Public Administration of Nigeria.
He began his career with the then Gongola State Government (Adamawa State) as a Town Planning Officer and rose to Assistant Chief Town Planning Officer in 1994 when he transferred his services to the defunct Federal Urban Mass Transit Agency (FUMTA) where he rose to Assistant Director in 2003.
Dr. Shehu Ahmed was absorbed into the mainstream of the Federal Civil Service in 2003 after the winding off of FUMTA and was posted to the Federal Ministry of Transport. He served in various capacities until he became Director of Administration in 2010 when he was posted to the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
In 2013 he was posted to the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation as Director, Learning and Development until he became Permanent Secretary and was posted to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Dr. Ahmed has served in various Committees and Boards of Government Parastatals among which include the following:
As Coordinator, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Task Team and Head, MDG Unit of the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development from June, 2011-March, 2013. He served as a member, Task Team on identifying specific projects for concession in the Federal Ministry of Transport from 10th May – 17th May, 2010. He also served as a member of the Technical Sub-Committee of the Infrastructural Development Sub-Committee in the Niger Delta Region from 7th January, 2010 – 2011. He was a Board Member of the Nigerian Customs Service Board (NCSB) from January, 2010 – October, 2011. He was a member the Ministerial Railway Projects Monitoring and Evaluation Committee from 11th December, 2009 – 2011 and a member of the Ministerial Investigative Committee on illegal diversion of petroleum products at the Zaria district office of the NRC. He was a member of the Railway Concession Delivery Team from July, 2009-2011, and a Ministerial Coordinator on Railway Rehabilitation Project from 16th June, 2009-2011. He was also the Chairman Ministers’ Action Plan Retreat Implementation/Monitoring Committee from 29th January, 2008-January, 2010 and Chairman Inter-Ministerial Committee on Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) of the Federal Ministry of Transport and its parastatals from 2007-2009.