Onosode: The Death Of An Industry Giant | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Onosode: The Death Of An Industry Giant

Posted: Oct 5, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Augustine Adah

Gamaliel Onosode who died on September 29 was known to be one among few Nigerians that would not trade off integrity, honesty and hard work for whatever value.

OnosodeHe left his foot mark in every sphere of life.  That explained why tributes have been pouring in since his demise last week.  The desire to serve the people and affect lives prompted the Boardroom guru to join the then All Peoples Party (APP) and aspired to contest the presidential election on the platform of the party. Throughout the brief period of his political sojourn in APP, he preached and practiced politics without bitterness. During the period he served as the Pro-chancellor, University of Lagos, the university community felt his impact. The Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Rahamon Ade Bello in his tribute commended the contribution of late Onosode to the development of the institution during the time he served as pro-chancellor.  “The time he spent with us has reshaped the way the university operates,” he said.

His record of achievement when he was appointed to head Nigerian Commission on Public Parastatal in 1983 was outstanding.  At that time, public confidence in the economic direction of the country was eroded and accountability was lacking in public enterprises.  Onosode was brought in to find solutions to the lackluster performance of public enterprises, and  chart a disciplined approach to government subsidies. The offshoot of his honest and disciplined approach earned him respect from subsequent administrations.

Gamaliel Oforitsenere Onosode. An Urhobo man, born and raised in Sapele a suburban city in the current Delta State by a disciplined father, he sometimes credited the strict family background and practice as being a complementary factor in his success as a disciplined civil servant and corporate administrator.  He attended Government College Ugheli and then graduated with B.A. (Hons) Classics from University College Ibadan in 1975. Mr. Onosode made a successful cross over to the world of business management, banking and finance.

  Throughout his career, Dr. Gamaliel Onosode has chaired several private and public sector businesses and initiatives. He was the Chairman of Dunlop Nigeria Plc (1984–2007), a former chairman of Cadbury Nigeria Plc (1977–93), the Presidential Commission on Parastatals (1981), Nigeria LNG Working Committee and Nigeria LNG Limited (1985–90) and the Niger Delta Environmental Survey (since 1995). He is also the Chairman of Zain Nigeria, a GSM telecommunications company, the oldestGSM operator in Nigeria.

Mr.  Gamaliel Onosode was Presidential Adviser on Budget Affairs and Director of Budget (1983). He is a Fellow of the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank, the Nigerian Institute of Management, of which he was President (1979–82). He is also a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, having been elected to membership of its Board of Fellows in 1998.  Though death comes when it would come, the country would miss Onosode who had made marks in every area of life. His principled position, honesty and integrity would be a reference point for many years to come, though he had gone to join his ancestors.