Chukwuka OKONJO

Prof. Okonjo
Chukwuka Okonjo. Photo: TheCable NG

Chukwuka Okonjo; professor of Economics and the father of Ngozi Okonjo- lweala, minister of finance and external affairs under President Obasanjo and minister of finance under President Jonathan. Okonjo was formally crowned as the traditional ruler of Ogwashi-Uku. He regained his father’s throne in 2007 after 22 years of fierce legal battle. Okonjo was born in 1928 to the Umuobi Obahai royal family. He was married for 66 years to another professor, Kamene Okonjo before his death in 2019. He attended King’s College, Lagos till 1944 and finished his secondary school education at the Dermis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha in 1945. He studied at the Universities of London, Erlanger-Nuremberg and Cologne for his first, second, and doctorate degrees respectively in Pure and Applied Mathematics, Logic and Scientific Method, then Economics and Mathematical Economics.

Okonjo was principal at Ibadan Boys High School, Ibadan from 1952 to 1955. He lectured at the University College Ibadan, University of Ghana and University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, where he was appointed professor of Economics and dean of the Faculty. In 1974, he became an official of the United Nations in New York, and later an education advisor to the government of the Republic of Ghana. Okonjo authored several books[i]. Charles Soludo who was Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor from 2006-10 had been his protégé while the younger economist was pursuing his PhD at the UNN.
[i] Tell March 26, 2007

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer