BENUE 2023: CHIEF ROBERTS ORYA ON MY MIND. BY Cletus Ralph Ebor Jr. – TrendyNewsReporters


Nigeria goes into a general elections in 2023. With it comes on the line, the plum presidency job. Side by side, some state governorship positions would be in contest. Amongst these states, would be Benue state in the north central Nigeria. Interestingly, Benue prides herself as the food basket of the nation and true to this slogan, it is belted in the Heartland of Nigeria with so much agricultural potentials to feed the entire people of Nigeria. This of course, underscores the importance of the state not only to the north central Geo-political zone but, to the entire Nigerian state. Benue, also boasts of some of the finest and well educated people in the middle belt as well as Nigeria. Joseph Tarka! Remember him? Arguably, he was one of the most popular and influential figure from that region, during the ill fated 2nd republic. After him, the great Benue produced the likes of Aper Aku, Paul Unongo, Iyorchia Ayu and most recently, Dr. Ortom, Senator David Mark, Senator Gabriel Suswam, Senator George Akume and a host of others.

However, along side these heavyweights, is the “new kid on the block”, no pun intended, please. Accept it or not, Chief Roberts Orya is the man of the moment, a guy with the midas touch and a giant in his own right. Come to think of it, there won’t be a better fashion to commenced a profile on a leader and visioneer in the mold of Orya, than, to extract a quote from the icon himself. Hear him on his vision and mission for the state : “To transform Benue state and improve the economic well-being of her people…i have a strong passion for strategic organizational restructuring and turn- around management initiatives towards producing superior returns to stakeholders and creating developmental impacts to the economy “.

Roberts Orya was born into a humble background in a town called Ugee, in Benue state. A businessman, banker and management consultant, he attended the nation’s premier university, the prestigious University of Ibadan, Oyo State where he earned a masters degree in banking and finance. The first of eight siblings, the Iron determination of his mother and the moral support of his father, saw him through his early education. He attended Teacher’s College and Benue state polytechnic for his TC 11 and OND respectively. Orya was the former Managing director/ CEO of the Nigeria Export Import Bank between August, 2009 and February 2016.

Degrees in banking was the needed springboard that catapulted him into the world of banking and its pinnacle. The actual journey began in February, 1984 when he joined the services of International Merchant Bank Plc and worked up until September 1990. He left to team up with Credite Bank of Nigeria Limited briefly as a founding staff. Here, he was seconded to Prime Merchant Bank Ltd in July 1991 as Head of Operations. Bob subsequently moved to Pace Mortgage Finance Ltd in October 1992 as the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer. He later joined Lobi Bank of Nigeria Ltd in January 1994 and later became the Managing Director and Executive Chairman until January 1998 when he was redeployed to Premier Commercial Bank Plc as an executive director. Orya’s last appointment was as an executive director in charge of Capital Markets, Financial Advisory Services and Research & Strategy with Afribank Capital Ltd. He was in this position until his appointment on 14 August, 2009, as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank. This was were he touched the lives of several people by assisting them grow their businesses. Orya was an honorary president of the Global Network of Export – Import Banks and Development Finance Institutions (G-NEXID).

As a consummate intellectual, Roberts has written and delivered several technical papers across a broad spectrum of human life; finance, agriculture, name it…Post COVID-19, and in an Era of dwindling economic fortunes, where banditry, farmers/herders clashes reign Supreme, a skillful leader in the shape of Chief Roberts Orya, is what Benue deserves.

This avid reader, intellectual of high standing, a socialite and fitness freak, is happily married with children.


TV Presenter/ Content Writer

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