Nkiruka Onyejeocha: Biography, Age, Education, Marriage, Political Career
Born on 23rd November, 1969, Nkeiruka Chidubem Onyejeocha is a Nigerian businesswoman, politician and the current Nigeria's Minister of State, Labour and Employment. She is a ranking lawmaker in Nigeria’s Federal House of Representatives. She represents Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia State. Onyejocha is an active member of the Nigeria federal parliament and often contributes brilliantly to debates on critical national issues in the house. She has sponsored several bills and moved motions that have improved the lives of ordinary citizens and help safeguard their rights.
Nkiruka Onyejeocha is married to High Chief (Sir) Kingsley Onyejeocha.
Early Life and Education
The 53 year old Nkeiruka Onyejeocha was born to Eze Bob Ogbonna in Isuochi in Umunneochi local government area of Abia State. She lost her mother at a tender age.
Nkiruka Onyejeocha’s mother died early in an accident, and then her father, Eze Bob Ogbonna, remarried. She grew up with her grandmother after her mother’s death.
She attended Isuochi Central Primary School and Ovim Girls School, Isuochi. In 1988, Nkeiruka Chidubem Onyejeocha graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN with a diploma in Social Work/Community Development. In 1993 she finished a Bachelor of Art Degree, BA with second class upper division (Honor) from University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Onyejocha holds Master's Degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy from Imo State University (2005) and Master's Degree in Shipping from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Oyo State.
During her days as an undergraduate student in the University, Onyejocha was active in student unionism and politics. She held various chairmanship assignments in the students’ union government of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN.
Onyejocha worked in the protocol office of the governor of State of Osun during her one year Nigeria National Youth Service in 1993. Her interest in politics is said to have been awaken from here.
Nkeiruka Onyejeocha was the Managing Director of Nikkings and Kingzol International Ltd that deals in baby and household items. Her leadership was credited for propelling the company to an international business profile. The company was owned by her husband, Sir Kingsley Onyejocha
Narrating her ordeal in early life, Onyejeocha in an interview said; “My father was what you could call a rich man, but my mother died early and my father remarried. So, I didn’t have that support from him because the woman would not let him.
“I can tell you that I graduated from University of Nigeria, Nsukka, without paying fees because I could only raise the money for hostel accommodation, which was N110 at that time. After paying for hostel, I would not have enough money to pay my tuition fees, which was N45.
“Whatever money I had left, I would use it to do 0-0-1, meaning that I would only eat at night. Sometimes, I would eat in the morning and skip the rest of the day.
“Any time the school authority came to check the receipts for tuition, I would find a reason to go out, and once they left, I would come in.
“So, I can tell you that I am somebody who graduated without paying school fees. But I paid after I had graduated and done with my youth service, because you had to pay your fees to get your certificate.
“Thank God for University of Nigeria, Nsukka, because they were lenient enough not to push people like me out of the exam hall.”
Nkiruka Onyejeocha ventured into the clearing and forwarding business after her husband became bedridden after being shot by armed robbers.
During her undergraduate studies, Onyejocha was active in student unionism and politics. Her experience in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka’s (UNN) students’ union government kickstarted her political career.
Local Government Chairman and Commissioner.
Onyejocha political career started with her appointment in 2002 to the executive cabinet of Abia State as commissioner for Resource Management and Manpower Development by Governor Orji Uzor Kalu. She is recognised for the establishment of skill acquisition centres across Abia state. In 2003 she was Transition Executive Chairman of Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State. During her term in office, she executed erosion control projects, improved community security, and carried out rehabilitation of feeder roads. In appreciation of her work, the Traditional Rulers Council Umunneochi conferred on her a chieftaincy title of Adaejiagamba- (ambassadorial daughter). She was the first to receive the title.
Election to Nigeria's Federal House of Representatives
Onyejocha was first elected to the Nigeria’s Federal House of Representatives in 2007 on the platform of People’s Democratic Party, PDP. Her legislative objectives focus on enactment of laws to enhance living standard of women and children; the youth and the less privilege; improvement of education, health and general infrastructure.
During the 7th assembly she was awarded the most vibrant female legislator in Nigeria by Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASSAN). Onyejocha was the pioneer Chairman of Women in Parliament committee that was created during the 6th assembly between 2007 and 2011. She led female legislators in efforts in tackling gender inequality and improving the living conditions of children and the less fortunate people.
In 2011 she was appointed chairman house committee on aviation that was at the time grappling with safety issues. Her oversight assignments led to upgrade of Nigerian airports to international standard. Her aviation committee was uncompromising and diligent in its assignment that it became a reference to other committees of the house. In 2013 she called for holistic investigation and prosecution of officials, who were involved in compromising aviation safety rules that led to the crash of a passenger plane Dana Air Flight 992 on a domestic route from Nigeria’s capital Abuja to Lagos on 3 June 2012. All 153 people on board and 6 persons on the ground died.
In 2013 Onyejocha placed national interest over regional sentiment when she called for the probe of Stella Oduah, aviation minister who was enmeshed in corruption allegation after she reportedly purchased two BMW cars valued at 250 million naira for the aviation ministry without approval. Onyejocha was publicly criticized by her kinsmen for openly calling for the probe of Stella Oduah.
- Chairman House Committee on Aviation
- Chairman Women in Parliament
- Member House Committee, Navy
- Member House Committee, Petroleum (Up Stream)
- Member House Committee, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, FCT
- Member committee on House Services/Welfare
- Member House committee on Public Procurement.
- Member committee on INEC
- Member committee on police affairs
Nkeiruka Onyejeocha was elected as the House of Representatives member representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi constituency in the 2019 election. She also served as the deputy chief whip of the House.
However, she lost her re-election bid to Chief Amobi Ogah, Labour Party (LP) candidate during the 2023 general elections.