Engr. Ebele Ofunneamakea Okeke FNSE, FICE, FAENG, C.ENGR., OON, CFR. First Female Head of the Civil Service of the federation

Engr. Ebele Ofunneamakea Okeke FNSE, FICE, FAENG, C.ENGR., OON, CFR.

First Female Head of the Civil Service of the federation


Engineer Ebele Okeke was the first female Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

She obtained a B.Sc. Hons in Civil Engineering from the University of Southampton, England and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration and MBA from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Engineering Technology Management by Tafawa Belewa University Bauchi.

Worked in both the private and public sectors.

Engr Okeke has had a distinguished professional career. She worked at a Public Health Engineer in Sandford Fawcett Wilton and Bell, Consulting Engineers in London; Highways and Transportation Engineer, Obiukwu Okeke Associates, Consultating Engineers in Enugu; and Highways Engineer, Gifford, and Tolefe, Consulting Engineers, Ibadan.

She also worked in the Federal Ministry of Water Resources where she became Deputy Director Water Supply; Director Rural Development; Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Water Resources and finally, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

She has received numerous honours and awards which including:

  • Certificate of Distinction awarded by the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 1992.
  • A number of Achievement awards presented by the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE-National).
  • Awards by NSE-Abuja, Association of Professional Women Engineers (National and Abuja branch) 1995,2002,2004,2005,2007,2008,2010.
  • Distinguished Award for Holding the Integrity of Civil Engineering Practice in Nigeria, 2005.
  • Special award by Nigerian Union of Pensioners, 2008,
  • Awards by Nigerian Labour Congress 2007 etc.


National awards in her honour include:

  • Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON, 2006) by President Olusegun Obasanjo
  • Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFR, 2007) by President Umaru Yar’Adua
  • Inducted into the Nigerian Women Hall of Fame in November (2007)
  • Public Service Award Presented by Arc Namadi Sambo, Vice President of Nigeria in 2013.
  • Nigeria Women of Distinction Award by Her Excellency Patience Goodluck Jonathan, 1st Lady of Nigeria, marking Nigeria’s 50 years of Independence 2010.
  • Professional Service Award presented by Abuja Branch of University of Nigeria Alumni Association 2010.


Her professional qualifications include:

  • Registered Engineer with the Council of Engineering Regulation of Nigeria (COREN),
  • Fellow Nigeria Society of Engineers,
  • Fellow and a chartered civil engineer of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Great Britain and Ireland
  • Member College of Fellows of Nigeria Society of Engineers.
  • Fellow Institution of Civil Engineers of Nigeria.
  • Fellow Nigeria Academy of Engineers.


Eng Okeke was appointed Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Ambassador for Nigeria by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Geneva, an organization within the UN System, in 2010; and was elected the Lead Spokeswoman for Sanitation and Water for All of the Global Partnership for Water and Sanitation, New York, U.S.A in 2011.

Engr. Ebele Okeke is now the CEO of Chantaly Engineering Services. She was a delegate to the 2014 National Conference and Chairman, Committee on Public Service.

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