Gbagi, First Ughelli South Politician, Industrialist, Philanthropist To Bag OON National Award


It was the American author who was best known for his inspirational book, “Life’s Little Instruction”, Horace Jackson Brown Jr., better known as H. Jackson Brown, Jr. who said: “Don’t work for recognition, but do work worthy of recognition”.

So, it is a long awaited honour for the Social Democratic Party (SDP) governorship candidate in Delta State, Olorogun Barr. Kenneth Gbagi FNIM, when the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, approved the conferment of the National Honours on him in the rank of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).

This was conveyed in a letter by the Minister of Special Duties and lnter-Government Affairs, Senator George Akume.

The letter dated 19th September 2022, reads in part: “I have the honour to formally inform you that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the conferment of the National Honours on you, in the rank of OON, (Officer of the Order of the Niger).

The investiture ceremony is scheduled to hold at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja on Tuesday October 11th 2022.

Thus, when president Buhari decided to confer on him, the 2022 National Honours Award of OON due to his contributions to nation building, it did not come as a surprise because his performances in the public and private sectors are worthy of recognition.

Olorogun Gbagi, a Criminologist, was the first black in the entire world to donate $250,000 to Rotary’s humanitarian initiatives, including the service organization’s top goal of eradicating polio, worldwide.

Again, Gbagi, who served as Minister of Education in 2010, under former President Goodluck Jonathan, supervised and midwifed the creation of 13 Universities including Federal University of Lafia, 14 Polytechnics, 16 Colleges of education and eight Girls Federal Government Colleges.

He restructured the workings of agencies such as Universal Basic Education (UBE), West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) and National Teachers Institute (NTI).

The renowned entrepreneur spear headed the policy of using minimum of 6-credits in WAEC at two-sittings to be eligible for admission as opposed to the infamous one-sitting or nothing.

Truly, Gbagi, has left no one in doubt that it is not going to be business as usual when he assumes office as governor of the oil-rich Delta State come 2023.

It is worthy of note that the Nigerian National Honours are a set of orders and decorations conferred upon Nigerians and friends of Nigeria every year.

They were instituted by the National Honors Act No. 5 of 1964, during the First Nigerian Republic, to honour Nigerians who have rendered service to the benefit of the nation.

National Honours are the highest honours or awards that a citizen can receive from his or her country for service to the country. The Nigerian government decides which citizens get honours.


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