Great Achiever; Dr. John Ndanusa Akanya

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Born in Akabe on the 5th of March 1953 in Bassa Local Government Area or Kogi State, Dr. John Ndanusa Akanya started his academic carrier at the ST. Paul’s College Wusasa, Zaria, Kaduna State. He finished his West African School Certificate Examination in Division 1 and proceeded to his Higher School Certificate (HSC) and finished successfully in 1972, all at Wusasa, Zaria.

In 1972, young Ndanusa proceeded to the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (ABU), where he studied Biochemistry graduating in 1976 before proceeding to the then Gongola State for his NYSC. He came back to ABU immediately after his NYSC and studied for his MSc certificate in Analytical Chemistry in 1979.

After a brief period of teaching at ABU, John proceeded to the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), United Kingdom on Study Fellowship and undertook his PhD program in Analytical Chemistry.

Upon his return from the UK in 1984, Ndanusa went back to lecture at ABU and rose to the rank of Senior Lecturer before moving to the Federal University of Technology, Minna in 1987.

As a young boy John was at his college a very determined academician. He was popularly known amongst his colleagues as a BOOK WORM. Despite all his flair for his books, Ndanusa was also known to participate in almost all school activities including sports. As early as that age he won many of his school academic award and in 1972 he was the National Winner of the UNESCO national award for its 25th Anniversary Essay contest in Nigeria.

Ndanusa being one of the smallest students in his school at that time was well liked by all his mates and seniors. He became the school Head Prefect in 1971, a feature that many see today as preparing the young Ndanusa for future leadership position.

At the Federal University of Technology Minna, Dr. Akanya lectured in Chemistry and rose to the rank of Associate Professor before he proceeded to work with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), from 1991 under the United Nations (UNIDO) Technical Agreement with the Federal Government as National Expert in Quality Assurance.

During his stay in FUT Minna, many knew Dr. Akanya for his very active role in many issues that affected the welfare of both students and his colleagues in the University.

At UNIDO, he was soon discovered to be what he is – a very hard working man who hardly rests. He is known in SON as the workaholic despite his very tender frame, which is hardly suspected to withstand stress.

He developed so many innovations in SON, including the construction and installation of Engineering and Food Test Laboratories, Metrology Systems, development of Quality Assurance Systems and Certifications and Training Scheme for SON in ISO 900 and 14000 Series of Standards and indeed, these outputs are nationally acclaimed and are a pride to Nigeria and beyond. Between years 2005-2006 SON witnessed very tremendous leap in the following areas:

  • Commencement of 30minutes weekly television program – Acceptable Standards on AIT and regular update on son website in-house for global awareness.
  • Publishing of Bi-monthly Newsletter of staff and stakeholders.
  • On-going renovation and electrification work on the abandoned Engineering Laboratory project.
  • Fencing and landscaping of abandoned Engineering Laboratory premises, Enugu and
  • Repair and calibration of Engineering Laboratory Equipment.
  • Acquisition of Automobile Glass Testing Equipment and on-going construction of Laboratory structure for the installation.
  • Introduction of an off-shore and local conformity assessment programs SONCAP and MANCAP to arrest the influx of substandard products from abroad and ensure the quality of local products.
  • Publishing and distribution of information booklets on SONCAP and MANCAP free to educate stakeholders in addition to commencement of Seminar for Trade and Market groups nationwide including Alaba International Market, ASPAMDA Alaba, and Surlier Markets in Lagos, Onitsha Main Market, Nnewi, Kano, Kaduna, Port Harcort, Aba, Ibadan, Jos etc.
  • Inauguration of the National Committee of the International Electro Technical Commission (IEC) and the Mirror Committee of the International Organization for Standard (ISO) by the Honourable Minister of Industry.
  • Hosting of a 2day Workshop on Corporate Social Responsibility n collaboration with the British Council Nigeria.
  • Commissioning of an office accommodation at Seme Boarder Post to enhance standard enforcement activities there.
  • Capacity development in Metrology to improve trade via accuracy of measurements through the invitation of Expert from Ghana.
  • Calibration of equipment for measurement accuracy for industries.
  • Capacity development for Industries through Laboratory Accreditation (ISO 17025) Training.
  • Publication of information booklet on accreditation and Certification of Laboratories – Roles of ISO/IEC17025:2005 and ISO 9001:2000.
  • Increased capacity development for industries through ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 Quality and Environmental Management Standards, Food Safety Management ISO 22000 Training.
  • Active contribution to Nigeria’s Certification as Universal Salt Iodization Compliant.
  • Increased Registration of locally manufactured and imported products for trace ability.
  • Establishment of Vitamin A testing Laboratory at Operational Headquarters through UNIDO assistance.
  • Establishment and commissioning of a state of the art Food Chemistry Laboratory through UNIDO assistance at Operational Headquarters, Lekki.
  • Laying of foundation stone of National Metrology Laboratory at Ogba Industrial Scheme in Lagos.
  • Increased Quality Assurance activities through Factory visits for routine inspections, certification and standards enforcement.
  • Improved equipment of the Electrical/Electronic Laboratory at Operational Headquarters Lekki.
  • Nationwide Public Enlightenment program through Seminars, workshops campaign rallies on, Tyre, Sandcrete Block making, painting etc.
  • Hosting the first Conference and Exhibition on Safety and Security in collaboration with private sector organizations.
  • Participation at International and Specialized Trade Fairs and Exhibitions.
  • Active participation in international and regional standardization activities through technical committees.
  • International paper presentations by the DG/CE on standardization with Nigeria and Standard Organization of Nigeria as case studies.
  • Spreading the gospel of standardization through opening of new SON offices in Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Abia, Kogi, Borno.
  • Publication, public presentation and nationwide distribution of a book on Standards for Cassava and Guidelines for Export jointly with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture.
  • Establishment of Standard Electronic Library.
  • Launching of Scratch Card for of Standards and other SON publications on-line.
  • Computerization of SON accounting system.
  • In-house cloning of Computers as cost saving measure.
  • Active participation in National Codex Committee Food safety Awareness Week and Launching of Procedural Manual.

In the year 2001 Ndanusa was appointed by Mr. President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, as the Acting Director General and Chief Executive officer of SON. Eight month later he was confirmed as the Director General.

During his tenure as the DG, SON, a number of facilities were put in place for the benefit of both his staff and Nigerians. He fought gallantly against the influx of sub-standard and harmful products into Nigerian market.

Dr. Akanya has written over 100 scholarly publications (standards and other scientific publications) in both national and international journals. He is a winner of over 20 scholarly awards, merit awards, and chieftaincy awards including National Award of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) conferred on him by the President in 2004. The following just to mention but a few, are some of the other awards he has earned:

  • Chromatographic Society Conference Award, UK
  • Brownlee Chromatographic Award, Federal Government of Nigeria, Overseas Award, PhD Manchester, UK
  • Brownlee Chromatographic Award, Amsterdam
  • Geselschaft Deutsher Chemiker Award for Chromatography, Vienna
  • Niger State Government Award to Giza, Egypt (to present international paper)
  • Tswett Foundation Award for Chromatography, (through the Netherlands Chromatographic society, Amsterdam)
  • Fellow of Excellence by Nigerian Institute of production Management (22\10\2000)
  • African International Merit Award (27\10\2001)
  • People State and resource (PSR-DINMA) Merit Award (293\2003)
  • Leadership Merit Award (PRIME int. Comm. Ltd. (115\2002)
  • Distinguished Person Award (NACOS) 258\2001)
  • Award of Excellence by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN, The Foam Group 213\2001)

A very humble personality, indeed, Dr. Akanya is known amongst his community in Bassa as a humanitarian and man of the people. His desire to improve the lives of the common man cannot be hidden.

Dr. Akanya holds professional Certificates in the following:

SCHOOL                                                                                      CERTIFICATE                                 DATE

St. Paul’s College Wusasa, Zaria                                           WASC ( O Level)                             1970

St. Paul’s College Wusasa, Zaria                                            HSC., ( A Level)                             1972

Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria                                         B.Sc. (Hons) Biochemistry             1976

Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria                                        M Sc. Anal Chemistry                    1979

University of Manchester, (UMIST), UK                           PhD. Anal Chemistry                      1984

Lead Auditor Quality Assurance training,                         Lead Auditor                                   1995

ISO9000 Certificate (BSI), UK

Lead Auditor Quality, ISO Guide 62                                   Lead Auditor                                     1997

Certificate (Nichols & Carr), UK

UKAS ISO 17025 Assessor Training                                   Lead Laboratory Assessor               1996

Course for Laboratory Accreditation

Lead Auditor Quality Assurance Training,                       Lead Auditor                                      1998

ISO 14000 Certificate (BSI), UK

Instrumentation and Measurement,                               Certificate of training                         1995

Metrology, (ROXBY), UK


To complement all these, his God has also endowed him with a wife who was designed to fit his life. Ndanusa married a Professor of Biochemistry, (Mrs.) Funmiloyo Akanya, in 1984after both of them completed their PhD in the UK. Funmilayo is a Professor of Chemistry at FUT Minna.

The combination of Ndanusa and Funmilayo has been a great profit to humanitarian service. Ndanusa and his pretty and humble wife are blessed with four children, three girls and one boy namely; Miss Nimo Akanya, Miss Mana Akanya, Miss Sokowonci Akanya and little Sokolayam Akanya.

He is currently National/International Consultant on Standardization and Quality Assurance with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Nigeria. He is also practicing Consultant in Quality management system and Laboratory Accreditation in line with ISO17025 Standards, ISO 900 series etc.

Ndanusa is a good father, an amiable teacher, a homely family man, a farmer a hunter and a sportsman. His asset is his love for mankind and his reverence and fear of God Almighty.



One comment

  1. Dr Ndanusa Akanya is everything you have said in this CV and more. He places the interest of Nigeria above material considerations. Give me 40 Akanyas and Nigeria will have a new narrative on the positive slope. A good teacher, humble, considerate and a gentleman par excellence. May your good work continue to speak for you. I would be glad to reconnect to you, Sir.

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