JOHN OGAR ODEY
John Ogar Odey is a graduate of the University of Calabar, Nigeria. He holds a B.Sc. degree in Finance and Banking. After his graduation, he took employment in various private firms before his foray into the arena of politics and public service.
After an extensiv
e experience in the private sector, Mr. Odey delved into politics and was elected Cross River State Treasurer of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2000, the position he served until 2003 when he was appointed Commissioner for Agriculture in the State. In this capacity, he initiated a number of fundamental projects that formed the foundation of the success of Cross River State Agriculture today. Among vital projects initiated by him while he served as the Commissioner was the state forest conservation project through campaign against annual bush burning by farmers in the State. The Forest Conservation project thus formed the fulcrum on which the Bee-Honey project at Obudu Ranch revolves. The project is a vehicle to organize the youth and farmers in Cross Rivers State to embark on the cultivation of bees to produce honey as a way of generating revenue and creating wealth. Today, the product of that effort is found in supermarkets in Nigeria under the label, “Obudu delight”. It is a wholesome pure natural honey. With focused leadership, he initiated with a consulting team the establishment of a dairy farm with exotic breeds for the production of fresh milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt and cream. This effort returned the Obudu Ranch lost glory in this sector.
Odey worked with International & Development institutions on forestry conservation, sustainable Agriculture and Agro-tourism. All these later enhanced the REDD+ programme of the Cross River State government under the United Nations Programme where Cross River State Forest is registered for community sustainability benefits. He served as National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party between 2005 and 2007. He has been active in the media, with positions such as General manager of South-South Communication Newspapers, Chairman of news Agency of Nigeria and Party Spokesman.
He was in this position until he was nominated and inaugurated as the Minister of Information and Communications by President Umar Musa Yar’ Adua (GCFR) in July 2007. He was retained in the Federal Executive Council and re-assigned the portfolio of the Minister of Environment by the President in December 2008 to June, 2010.
He was head of African Technical team and leader of Nigeria delegation to Copenhagen on climate change conference in December 2009. He had the opportunity again to head the Nigerian delegation to Cancun in 2010 on the same world climate change conference. He pioneered the national Reforestation progamme across the country, the enhanced CDM projects in the country, the establishment of the Renewable Energy Initiatives and the Nigeria REDD programme supported by the UN-REDD. Under this programme, the REDD+ initiative for Cross River State as his Pioneer project is anchored.
Currently he is Chairman of Global Outreach for Energy & Environment Initiative. They are working on Renewable Energy Progammes to build local capacity in partnership with enabling institutions to leverage the poor. Emphasis have been on employment generation, training & capacity building, research & technology acquisition/development.
His stint in the manufacturing sector, close working relationship with the financial institutions and his immediate past political positions have exposed him to high level personalities both nationally and internationally.
He is married to Mary Alache Odey and they are blessed with children – Anthony Ikaba, Grace Owokonu, John Ogar(jnr) & MaryRita Owogoga.
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