A Profile of Professor Chinedu O. Nebo, Ph.D, OON, NPOM
Professor Chinedu Nebo’s teachers in the primary and secondary schools must have probably known that he would be an academic or a scholar later in life, judging by the scores or grades he recorded at every examination. Nebo passed the First School Leaving Certificate Examination with Distinction from Government Secondary School, Afikpo, and later at Government College, Umuahia. He proceeded for tertiary education and graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where he bagged a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mining Engineering (First Classs Honours) and won the University prize for outstanding student in his set.
He followed up his first degree with Masters and Doctorate Degrees in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Engineering and Science respectively all at his alma mater, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Returning home, Nebo had no doubt on where Nigeria needs him the most – the Ivory Tower. He spent a larger part of his academic life at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he rose to become a Professor and in 2004, became its Vice Chancellor. At the time he became the Vice-Chancellor, the affairs and reputation of UNN was at the low ebb. Lecturers, allied staff and alumni of UNN lamented the poor state UNN had fallen. Being an insider and gifted with the skills of identifying the real causes of serious issues and proffering the right solutions, Nebo repositioned UNN once again as Nigeria’s Best Run University, living up to the true meaning of his middle name Ositadinma (which in English language means “From now on, all will be well.” For his achievements, the national body of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, honoured him as a “the Best Vice-Chancellor in Nigeria 2006. In 2007, the national body of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) also honoured him as “The Most Outstanding Vice-Chancellor Award, inducting Nebo into All Africa Students Union Hall of Fame. It is instructive that both SSANU and NANS are constantly at loggerheads with leaders of Nigerian universities, and for the two associations to applaud Nebo’s works as a university administrator, he really must have done well in his tenure.
A completely detribalized Nigerian in every sense of the word, young Nebo’s father traversed the entire Nigeria, working for the Nigerian Railway Corporation in places like Ibadan, Kafanchan, Port Harcourt. With such broad-mindedness and urbanity, Nebo sees and treats all Nigerians fairly and kindly.
After leaving UNN, he worked as a Director in the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited, operators of the National Integrated Power Projects, NIPP. A gold fish has no hiding place. When the Jonathan administration established nine new federal universities, Nebo was called upon to replicate the successes he achieved at UNN in one of the new universities – Federal University, Oye Ekiti.
As the Holy Book says “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He will stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Nebo’s life accurately reflects this scripture. A keen watch of Nebo’s career trajectory shows that every record of success he achieves in one area opens the door to a higher public assignment in which he again distinguishes himself. His appointment as Honourable Minister of Power on February 4, 2013 was, and is still seen as the right choice, according to those who know his pedigree.
Often described as an Intellectual Giant, a quintessential Technocrat, an Administrator par Excellence, Nebo recognizes the importance of the national duty he presently handles and he is fully determined not to disappoint Nigerians.
So far and so well, he leads the staff in the ministry and other stakeholders in the electricity industry (government agencies and private sector) in progressively achieving the major objective of the Roadmap for Power Sector Reform, which is ensuring that Nigerian electricity consumers (domestic and corporate) receive stable ever-increasing electricity).