Chu Okongwu, an economist and a former minister of finance, is dead.
He died on Wednesday morning. He was aged 87.
Okongwu was born on September 23, 1934, in Anambra State, Nigeria. He is the first of eight children.
He attended St. Michael’s School, Aba between 1941 and 1946. From there, he moved to Government College, Umuahia and was a student there from 1947 till 1951.
He studied economic theory at Boston University and completed the degree in 1961. He also attended Harvard University from 1961 to 1965.
He served for eight years in the administration of Ibrahim Babangida, former military head of state; firstly as minister of finance from 1985 to 1986, and later as minister of national planning from 1986 to 1990. He subsequently served as the minister of cabinet affairs, and later, as the minister of petroleum.
Speaking in an interview with Vanguard in 2013 at the age of 79, Okongwu described his health as being “as good as it can be at my age”.
“I still manage to do three miles of walk every day; that is four days a week and, from head to toe, there are usual old age problems, but I think I am happy to be around. I have no plans of wasting my time on chonyi, chonyi, chonyi… every minute of my God’s given time on earth. I have been usefully engaged in something productive,” he had said.
Okongwu said he was once a journalist and had served at Daily Times as a sub-editor.
In October, Okongwu’s house was set ablaze by gunmen in Anambra state.