Professor Chinedu Ositadinma Nebo, Ph.D, CON, NPOM, OON, FNSE, FNMS, FMSN, FNAEng.
He is the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of Coal City University, Enugu. He is a two-time Vice-Chancellor and former Minister of Power, Federal Republic of Nigeria. He is former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) and Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE).
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 in 1965. He attended the prestigious Government Secondary School, Afikpo, where he performed the same feat at his School Certificate Examination. He proceeded to the United States of America for tertiary education and graduated from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where he bagged a Highest Honors Bachelor of Science Degree in Mining Engineering (First Class 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 needed him the most – the Ivory Towers. He spent a larger part of his academic life at Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), where he rose to become a Professor in 1996. In January, 2000, he was appointed the sole Deputy Vice-Chancellor of ESUT, serving two terms which expired in January, 2004. In June, 2004, he was appointed the Vice-Chancellor of University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) after a fiercely contested race for the position of Vice-Chancellor.
At the time he was appointed Vice-Chancellor, the affairs and reputation of UNN was at the lowest ebb. Lecturers, allied staff and alumni of UNN lamented the poor state UNN had fallen to. By what most people saw as unparalleled leadership skills and acumen, Nebo repositioned UNN once again as one of Nigeria’s Best Run Universities, 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 had traversed the entire Nigeria, working for the Nigerian Railway Corporation in places like Ibadan, Kafanchan, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, etc. With such broad-mindedness and urbanity, Nebo sees and treats all Nigerians fairly and kindly.
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 (FUOYE).
At FUOYE, Prof. Nebo performed a feat that was tagged “the Six Months Miracle ” – converting a virgin forest to a University Campus within six to eight months. He set that University on a trajectory that has kept it as the best of the newer Universities in Nigeria.
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 handles as a divine call, and he is fully determined not to disappoint God or Nigerians.
As Federal Minister of Power, he midwifed the privatization of the Power Sector and brought much needed peace and leadership to that troubled Sector. He initiated several projects and policies that have stood the test of time.
Nebo has received some distinguished National Honours, including the following: OON – Officer Of The Order Of Niger (2009), National Productivity Order Of Merit – NIPOM (2012), Commander Of The Order Of Niger – CON (2014) etc. As an ordained minister in the Anglican Communion, he is currently the Vicar of St. Andrew’s Basilica, Enugu. He is also engaged in other community services, including serving as the Chairman of The Visitation Panel to Imo State University 2019-2020.
Venerable Engr. Prof. Chinedu Nebo is married to His heartthrob, Dame Ify Nebo, and their marriage is blessed with four children and several grandchildren.