By Henry Akubuiro
Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), the sponsor of The Nigeria Prize for Literature, has expressed shock and sadness over the loss of one of the Prize’s Advisory Board members, Professor Jerry Agada, who died on Tuesday 22nd December 2020, after a brief illness in Makurdi, Benue State.
The late Professor Agada joined the Advisory Board in 2011 where he was said to have contributed significantly to the development of The Nigeria Prize for Literature into a global brand and one of the most prestigious prizes in Africa, recalled the NLNG management in a statement.
According to NLNG, he supported the transition of the Prize to a new administration and governance structure, driving improvement initiatives that impacted positively on the administration and adjudication as well as the integrity of the prize.
“The late professor was a well-rounded professional who stood by the excellence and integrity of the Prize, and who animated deliberations with his witty remarks. He will be sorely missed by the Prize’s Board and secretariat,” said Eyoni Fatai-Williams, General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, NLNG.
“NLNG extends its condolence to the family of the late professor and the literature community in Nigeria and prays for their fortitude to bear the irreparable loss,” he added.
Before his death, Professor Agada served alongside Professor Emeritus Ayo Banjo and Professor Emeritus Ben Elugbe as a member of the Advisory Board and was the Chairman, Benue State Civil Service Commission.
Before then, he was President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) and patron of its branch in Benue State. He was the Vice-Chairman of Fidei Polytechnic, Gboko, and former Minister of State for Education, Nigeria.
A seasoned public servant, he served as the Permanent Secretary, Benue State Ministry of Information, Youth, Sports and Culture; Benue State Ministry of Education; Benue State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; and the Benue State Bureau of Political Affairs.