Sam Onazi

The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who is exercising his powers in the absence of a substantive Board for the National Universities Commission (NUC), has approved the appointment of Mr. Sam Marcel Onazi as Deputy Executive Secretary, (Management Services), with effect from 7th September, 2022, sequel to his recommendation by the Executive Secretary, NUC, Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, MFR, FNAL.

In his letter of appointment signed by the Executive Secretary, it reads inter alia, “The appointment is in recognition of your performance, loyalty and commitment to duty. 

“While congratulating you on the appointment, I look forward to your continued, efficient and dedicated service in the collective effort at moving the Nigerian University System forward.” The letter said.  

Until his new position, Mr. Onazi was the Director, Finance and Accounts (DFA), a position, he has held since 2013.   

With this new development, the NUC now has two serving Deputy Executive Secretaries, with Mr. Chris Jibreel Maiyaki, in charge of Administration and General Services.

The newly appointed Deputy Executive Secretary, Management Services, graduated from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) with B.Sc Accounting, and was Winner of Coopers &Lybrand (Chartered Accountants) Prize for the best graduating student in Auditing and Investigation (1987). He later attended the Post Graduate Nigerian College of Accountancy, Jos, and also Nasarawa State University for his Master’s Degree in Finance and Accounting.

After his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 1986, Mr. Onazi started work as a banker in 1988 with Nigerian International Bank (Citibank), Lagos, in the International Operations Department, and later the Head of International Operations at the erstwhile Diamond Bank Plc, and was the pioneer Manager of MoneyGram (International Money Transfer) Operations at United Bank for Africa Plc in 1997. While in the banking industry, he superintended the management of the foreign exchange/operations including Letters of Credit, Bills for Collection, Form A – Invisible trade transactions. He supervised Customer Services, funds transfers – Local and International, development of operations/control procedures and manuals. He also worked in the oil industry in various capacities including internal auditor and marketing manager.

 He later engaged in financial and management consulting with JBH International Associates, West Africa Regional Office, Lagos. He developed and carried out training programmes for several banks.

 By 1998, he left the private sector having served in various areas spanning the Banking, Oil Industry and consultancy in a career that is now an impressive 33 years at the helms of affairs at the private sector, prior to joining the public sector at the National Universities Commission (NUC), precisely in 1998 as Principal Finance Officer and rose through the ranks to become the Director of Finance and Accounts in 2011.

During the course of his career, he had attended several management courses and workshops at top institutions across the globe including Change Management in Higher Education (UK); Management of Higher Education Institutes (Israel); Project & Resources Management (UK), PRINCE2 Project Management (UK); Total Project Management (Ghana); Efficient Finance &Accounting Operations (Dubai, UAE); Public Procurement, Supply Chain and Stakeholders Management; Service Excellence, Managing People, Banking Operations, Credit Administration; Network & Internet Operations; Sage ERP Accounting System; World Bank Trainings/ Workshops on Procurement, Professional Selling Skills and Foreign Exchange Operations, among others. 

He is a Professional Accountant and Fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (FCNA) and also the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN). 

He is a recipient of several awards of excellence and commendation due to his outstanding performance and hard work. He was responsible for the transformation of the manual accounting processes of the Commission to computerised accounting system, using SAGE ERP 1000, a job that attracted accolades and promotions by the Federal Government as well as Professional and Management Institutions.

He particularly received a Presidential Letter of Appreciation (2001) for Providing Effective Support for the Success of the 2001 Negotiations with University-Based Staff Unions, and NUC Executive Secretary Letter of Commendation (2017) for participation in Quality Assurance Accreditation Activity.

He is widely travelled and exposed in the course of his training and career; among the countries visited include USA, UK, Canada, China, France, Ghana, Gambia, Senegal and a host of others. 

His humility, qualifications, influence, in-depth knowledge of finance and accounting had remained unparalleled. Mr. Sam Onazi is married and the union is blessed with children.

The NUC Monday Bulletin congratulates the New DES for his deserved elevation.