Dr. Gamaliel Onosode, a foremost technocrat, industrialist, and politician, has died at the age of 82.
Onosode passed away at about 8.15am, Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at the Gold Cross Hospital in Ikoyi. His son, Ese Onosode, announced his father’s passing in a statement to media.
Onosode was a former presidential candidate of the All Nigeria’s People’s Party Of Nigeria. He was also a former presidential adviser to President Shehu Shagari on Budget Affairs and Director of Budget.
Born and raised in Sapele, Onosode was educated at the Government College, Ughelli in what is now Delta State and the University of Ibadan, Onosode emerged as a respected leader in corporate Nigeria. He was once chief executive of NAL Merchant Bank and sat on the board of various bluechip companies.
Onosode, who leaves a legacy of being a boardroom disciplinarian and adherence to corporate governance principles, was chairman of Dunlop Nigeria Plc (1984 – 2007) and Cadbury Nigeria Plc (1977 – 1993). He was also a one-time chairman of Zain, a leading GSM telecommunications company, that is now Airtel.
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In public service, Onosode served on the Presidential Commission on Parastatals in 1981, the Nigeria LNG Working Committee and later the Nigeria LNG Limited from 1985 to 1990. In 1985, he served on the Niger Delta Environmental Survey (NDES), a non-government organisation that conducted scientific studies on environmental and social impact assessment of oil exploration in the oil-rich region from where he hails. In 1995, he became chairman of the NDES which is partly funded by Shell Oil Company.
He was also a fellow of various development institutes like the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank, the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, and the Nigerian Institute of Management which he also led from 1979 to 1982.
Onosode holds multiple honorary doctorates from Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Benin, and the Rivers State University of Science and Technology. He also holds an Honorary Doctors in Divinity from Nigeria’s oldest degree awarding theological institution, the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso which is 117 years old.
He was also pro-chancellor and chairman of the governing council of the University of Uyo.
A devout Christian, Onosode founded the Good News Baptist Church in 1984. The first services were held in his living room. The church has grown to a membership of 2,000 and a leading force for charge planting and evangelism in the Nigerian Baptist Convention. He was the inaugural chairman of the Global Missions Board of the Nigerian Baptist Convention.
Onosode had been battling with a protracted illness and was flown home from London, Monday.
Nigeria has lost another great elder statesman. May his soul rest in peace.