Since 1958 till date, the Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria has produced 46 ministers of education. Aja Nwachukwu was the first Nigerian minister of education.
Nwachukwu was in office from 1958 to 1965. He handed over Richard Akinjide who oversaw the ministry from 1965 to 1967.
Note: The federal ministry of education has the highest number of agencies among the ministries in Nigeria.
We shall come back to the full list, but first…
What are the functions of the Minister of Education?
All over the world, there is a Ministry of Education specifically designed to formulate and implement education policies for the country to be able to meet up with demands of academics.
Like every country, below are the mandates of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Education in accordance with global standards:
1) To formulate, coordinate, and implement through its agencies national policy on education
2) To implement policies that meet the global best practices
3) To control and monitor the quality of education throughout the country.
4) To harmonize educational policies and procedures of all 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
5) To collate useful data for planning and financing of education
6) To prescribe and maintain a uniform standard of education
7) To collaborate with other global educational bodies on a standard of education
8) To develop curricula and syllabuses at the National Level.
9) To ensure that national education policies are implemented by the states
Past and Present Education Ministers in Nigeria
|Names||Years in Office||Notes|
|Aja Nwachukwu||1958 – 1965||First education minister in Nigeria|
|Richard Akinjide||1965 – 1967||The first military coup truncated his tenure|
|Wenike Briggs||1967 – 1970|
|A. Y. Eke||1970 – 1975|
|Ahmadu Ali||1975 – 1978||During his tenure, JAMB was established in 1978|
|G. B. Leton||1978 – 1979||He implemented some of the recommendations of a committee that set up JAMB|
|Sylvester Ugoh||1979 – 1982||He was the Vice Presidential candidate of the National Republican Convention (NRC) in 1993|
|Bala Usman||1979 – 1982||He is the founder of the Centre for Democratic Development, Research and Training at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU)|
|I. C. Madubuike||1982 – 1983|
|L. A. Bamigbaiye||1982 – 1983|
|Sunday Afolabi||September to December 1983||The coup of December 31, 1983, sacked him from office. He later served as Minister of Interior after Nigeria’s return to democratic rule|
|Alhaji Y. Abdullahi||1984 – 1985|
|Jubril Aminu||1985 – 1989||Prof Aminu transformed JAMB by expanding its mandate|
|Babs Fafunwa||1990 – 1992||Fafunwa was the first Professor of Education in Nigeria|
|Ben Nwabueze||January 1993 to August 1993|
|A. I. Imogie||January 1993 to November 1993|
|Alhaji Dongodaji||January 1993 to January 1994|
|Iyorchia Ayu||January 1994 to February 1995||He’s the present Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a minister during Obasanjo’s era|
|Wada Nas||January 1995 to February 1995|
|M. T. Liman||February 1995 to December 1997|
|Iyabo Anisulowo||February 1997 to December 1997|
|Dauda Birmah||December 1997 to June 1998|
|A. N. Achunine||December 1997 to June 1998|
|Olaiya Oni||August 1998 to May 1999|
|Alhaji S. Saadu||August 1998 to May 1999|
|Tunde Adeniran||June 1999 to January 2001||He is a former staff member of the United Nations|
|Lawam Batagarawa||June 1999 – 2001|
|Babalola Borishade||February 2001 to June 2003|
|Bello Usman||February 2001 to June 2003|
|Fabian Osuji||July 2003 to February 2005|
|Hajia Bintu Musa||July 2003 to June 2005|
|Chinwe Obaji||June 2005 to June 2006|
|Halima Tayo Alao||June 2005 – 2006|
|Grace Ogwuche||February 2006 to June 2006|
|Oby Ezekwesili||June 2006 – April 2007||She was a former vice president of the World Bank|
|Sayadi Abba Ruma||June 2006 – April 2007|
|Adewunmi Abitoye||June 2006 to May 2007|
|Igwe Aja Nwachukwu||June 2007 to December 2008|
|Jerry Agada||June 2007 to December 2008|
|Aishatu Jibril Dukku||June 2007 – 2010|
|Sam Egwu||December 2008 to March 2010||He’s a former governor of Ebonyi State|
|Ruqqayat Rufai||April 2010 – September 2013|
|Ibrahim Shekarau||2014 – 2015||A former governor of Kano State|
|Adamu Adamu||November 2015 – Present||Adamu Adamu, a long-time ally of Muhammadu Buhari is the incumbent Education Minister in Nigeria|
What are the agencies under the Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria?
The agencies under the Federal Ministry of Education are more than 20, they include National Universities Commission (NUC), West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Board for Technical Education (NBTE); Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) among others.
How many agencies are under the ministry of education?
According to the available data on the ministry’s official website, there are 24 agencies in the federal Ministry of Education.
Which government Ministry in Nigeria is responsible for schools and colleges?
The Federal Ministry of Education is responsible for all policies that revolve around education in Nigeria.
What is the difference between parastatal and Ministry?
Parastatal is a sub-division under a ministry that helps the ministry to carry out its mandate while ministry is a government arm for administrative purposes and to help the government to achieve its set goals.
Who was the minister of education during Goodluck Jonathan’s administration?
Prof. Ruqqayat Rufai and Ibrahim Shekarau were the ministers of education during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan.
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Federal Ministry of Education. “Our Mandate”. Education.gov.ng. Retrieved March 25, 2022
SaharaReporters (July 11, 2011). “Jonathan Assigns Portfolio To 31 Ministers, Creates New Ministries, Redeploys Minister Of Transport”. Saharareporters.com. Retrieved March 26, 2022