Uche Nnaji, also known as Nwakaibie, is a Nigerian businessman and politician who has made significant contributions to both the business and political sectors. With a focus on healthcare, oil and gas, and real estate, Nnaji has achieved success and has been actively involved in uplifting marginalized individuals in society. This article explores his background, achievements, and ongoing projects.
Early Life and Education
Uche Nnaji was born in Akpugo Nkanu West LGA in Enugu State, Nigeria. He was born into the family of Chief & Mrs. Obed Nnaji and is the first of four children. Uche had all of his education in Enugu state, attending the University of Nigeria’s Nsukka Campus, St. Patrick’s College in Emene, Enugu, and Santa Maria Primary School in Enugu.
Uche Nnaji’s early exposure to the business world was influenced by his mother’s enduring value for resource management, integrity, and hard work. During his service as a Youth Corper at NASCO and Jos International Brewery in Plateau State, he gained valuable business practices and general procurement skills. After receiving N10,000.00 from his mother, he ventured into business, procuring CLAFORAN INJECTION in vials and selling them at a good profit to Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu.
He also ventured into business, importing and procuring various items such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and motor spare parts. His business took him to several countries, where he secured significant contracts and achieved success.
Nnaji has served in various public positions, including being a member of the Board of Directors for the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and chairman of the Finance and General Purpose Committee for FCDA. These positions allowed him to contribute to the development and progress of the country.
Focus on Healthcare
In the early 2000s, Nnaji shifted his focus to the healthcare sector. His business group engaged in transactions with federal and state institutions, procuring, installing, commissioning, and maintaining high-resolution healthcare equipment and machinery. They also constructed hospitals and referral centers in different senatorial zones of the state.
Oil and Gas and Real Estate
Nnaji’s business group expanded its interests to the oil and gas industry and real estate. He supported businesses in start-ups and expansion projects and partnered with foreign entities to seek investments in exploration and production opportunities.
Currently, Nnaji is building an integrated industrial complex in his hometown, Akpugo, Nkanu West LGA of Enugu State. The complex will include a rice mill, a bag manufacturing factory, and a printing factory. This project aims to create employment opportunities and contribute to the economic development of the area.
Uche Nnaji Political Career
Uche Nnaji came to the limelight in 1999 when he won the senatorial ticket of the then Alliance for Democracy (AD). However, he later switched to the Alliance for Democracy (AD) 72 hours before the election and defeated PDP candidate Senator Ken Nnamani in 65 out of 66 wards. He later stepped down for Chief Jim Nwobodo, who was eventually elected senator for the senatorial district. Uche Nnaji is also the brother of Hon Nnoli Nnaji, representing Nkanu East and West Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
Accomplishments in Politics
Some of Chief Uche Nnaji’s accomplishments in politics include winning the election as Senator for Enugu East Senatorial Zone in 1999 (but later relinquishing the seat to Chief Jim Nwobodo), being a foundation member of the PDPSouth East Zone in 1998, serving as the convener of PDP Enugu State in 1998, and being a caucus member of PDP Enugu State in 1998. He has also held various positions in committees and has served as a financier for political parties.
Appointment as Minister
In 2023, Uche Nnaji was appointed as the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology by President Tinubu. This appointment highlights his expertise and dedication to driving innovation and technological advancements in Nigeria.