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Minister of Science and Technology



Chief Uche Nnaji (NWAKAIBIE)

I was born into the family of Chief and Mrs. Obed Nnaji in Akpugo, Nkanu West LGA of Enugu State. I am the first of four children, and all my educational pursuits were in Enugu State.

I attended Santa Maria Primary School, Enugu (now Ziks Avenue Primary School), St Patrick’s College, Emene, Enugu, and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Campus. This background earned me the label of an unadulterated “Enugu Boy”.


Public Positions
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I am married to a lovely Wife and blessed with children

Early Life

I lost my father in 1978, and my mother became the family’s breadwinner. She managed my late father’s estate excellently and ensured that all her children received a unique upbringing and sound education.

My early exposure to the business world greatly benefited from my mother’s enduring value for resource management with integrity and hard work. Traits became manifest during my service as a Youth Corper at NASCO and Jos International Brewery, both in Plateau State. These experiences expanded my outlook and equipped me with good business practices and general procurement skills.

Towards the second half of my Youth Service, my mother gave me N10,000.00 to persuade me to settle down for paid employment upon completing my service year. At that time, N10,000.00 could conveniently fetch me a Peugeot 504 car, rent a 3-bedroom flat, and keep me reasonably comfortable for quite a while in paid employment.

However, I had other intentions. As soon as I got the N10,000.00, I ventured into business. I first got a return ticket to London for N400.00, went and procured CLAFORAN INJECTION in vials, notably with other pain relievers. All were eventually sold at a good profit to Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu, under the late Dr. Jacob Igwe, then CMD, and late Mr. Chukwueke, Chief Pharmacist, at the time.

This very successful start in business encouraged me to continue in private enterprise.

I consequently delved deeper into the importation and procurement of various items, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, motor spare parts, and other equipment. This business took me to many countries, including the UK, Germany, Taiwan, India, and Hong Kong. I traded vigorously on these items and, within a short time, became quite successful, securing huge contracts, and transited from importing items through air-cargo to large consignments through shipment by sea.

One of the significant contracts that defined my status as a successful entrepreneur was the procurement, installation, and commissioning of all specialized hospital-grade sanitary wares and plumbing materials for the then NEW UNTH, ITUKU/OZALLA. I participated actively in the hospital equipment procurement and installation contracts. I still maintain a good presence there. My involvement in hospital and medical procurement and installation at a young age put me in a vantage entrepreneurship position. I benefited from several interactions with much older senior executives and imbibed the virtues of patience and humility; and later learned that I was the youngest and the first African to procure a CT scan from PHILIPS MEDICAL, Hamburg, Germany office in mid-1980s for Nigeria.

Political Journey

With these accomplishments, I was invested in politics and took a particular interest in assisting the marginalized category who lacked the financial resources to actively participate in the political process. I funded many of them to achieve their political ambitions.

During the UNCP/GDM/DPN political days, I led my senatorial zone to ensure that Chief Jim Nwobodo handed a heavy defeat to Senator Ken Nnamani against the instructions of the then Military Administrator of Enugu State. The loss of Ken Nnamani of UNCP in the first senatorial election of Enugu East earned me the first baptism of political imprisonment. I spent about four months in detention for what they termed ‘derailing’ the Abacha transition program and sponsoring anti-government candidates in Enugu State.

I regained freedom from political detention when General Abacha died, and the Head of State who succeeded him, General Abdulsalam Abubakar, released all political detainees. At the advent of party politics in 1998, I played a major role in the formation of PDP in Enugu State.

I was to run in the senatorial election of Enugu East Senatorial Zone under PDP, but the then National Secretary of the Party, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, replaced my name with that of Senator Ken Nnamani, who decamped to PDP from APP. Piqued by the unfairness, I moved to the Alliance for Democracy (AD), 72 hours before the election, and still won 65 Wards out of 66 wards against Senator Ken Nnamani, the PDP candidate.

I was the gubernatorial candidate of APC Enugu State for the 2023 general election and though I lost the polls to Peter Mbah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), I was later appointed as the Minister of Science and Technology by the current President of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinibu. 

Political Accomplishment

  1. Minister of Science and Technology, 2023
  2. Won election as Senator, Enugu East Senatorial Zone 1999 (unconditionally relinquished the seat to HE Chief Jim Nwobodo).
  3. Foundation Member–PDPSouth East Zone, 1998.
  4. Convener–PDPEnugu State, 1998.
  5. Caucus Member- PDPEnugu State, 1998.
  6. Member–PDP National Finance Committee & Poverty Alleviation, 1998.
  7. Member–PPAC Sub Committee on Rural Development, 1999.
  8. Caucus member UNCP, Enugu State, 1996–1998.
  9. Financier–UNCPEnugu East Senatorial Zone, 1996-1998.

I also served in the following public positions:

  1.  Member–Board of Directors Federal Capital Development Authority [FCDA].
  2. Chairman–Finance and General Purpose Committee FCDA.
  3. Member–Establishment Committee FCDA.

Entreprenuership & Business

In time, my desire for entrepreneurship and Human capital development in the Economic sector was rekindled, and I returned to my business in the year 2000. I became more involved in the healthcare sector of the economy, engaging extensively in business transactions with federal/state institutions in the areas of procurement, installation, commissioning, and maintenance of high-resolution healthcare equipment and machinery, including specialized cancer diagnostic/handling equipment.

In addition, my business group also runs equipment maintenance agreements for cancer in several University Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria, including UNTH Enugu, KDTH Ebonyi State, AKTH Kano, and UDTH Sokoto. My group also executed multiple contracts in Borno, Gombe, Plateau, Taraba, and Bauchi States. These included the supply of medical equipment, healthcare devices, and hospital furniture for the hospitals and health centres. Similarly, the group constructed 120/100-bedded hospitals and their referral centres of 200-bedded hospitals in each Senatorial Zone of the State.

These groundbreaking investments were all commissioned by the then President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR. My company also executed several road and drainage construction contracts for Federal/State governments, commissioned by the then President Muhammadu Buhari. I am also involved in the oil and gas industry and have participated, in conjunction with other foreign and local partners, in seeking investments in several exploration and production opportunities in Nigeria, Chad, and Niger. I am further involved in the real estate business and develop luxury apartments for high-net-worth individuals, companies, and diplomats in Abuja and Lagos. In conjunction with my foreign partners, a leading finance and investment entity in the Middle East and other regions, I have supported some businesses in start-ups and expansion projects. Under this partnership, I hope to turn Enugu State into an industrial hub and focus on human capital development.

In the spirit of “AKULUOUNO,” I am currently building an integrated industrial complex in my hometown, Akpugo, Nkanu West LGA of Enugu State. The goal is to contribute substantially to spurring primary economic activities and addressing the menace of high unemployment in Enugu State.

The industrial complex, on completion, will host:

  1. A Rice Mill with a production capacity of 300 tons per hour.
  2. A bag manufacturing factory with a production capacity of 41,000 bags per 10 hour work-shift.
  3. A 6-Color retro-graphic printing factory (prime technology).
  4. The industrial complex is about 80% completed and will start operations in Q2 2023.

I never fail to attribute my modest accomplishments to the grace and mercies of God Almighty.