Dame Dr Esther Uduehi, PhD, KSG, LSM FNIM, JP
Dame Esther Uduehi graduated from the University of Lagos in 1970 with B.A (Hons) English and Philosophy. She thereafter attended, the University of Glasgow in Scotland, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA and the University of Benin, Benin City from where she obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Education, Masters in Education Administration and PhD in Political Science and Public Administration, respectively.
In addition she holds some Diplomas in Professional courses from the Royal Institute of Public Administration in the U.K. She is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management where she once served as a member of Council.
She started her career as a class room /graduate teacher rising to the rank of Principal. She also worked as Principal Education Officer/Head of Department in the Bendel State Education/Teaching Service Board. Thereafter she was appointed Chief Executive of Orhionmwon Local Government Council in 1978 from where she transferred to the Administrative class of the Bendel State Civil Service.
She rose to higher ranks in the Bendel State Civil service and held various challenging and sensitive positions in the service. In 1986, She was appointed Sole Administrator of the then Bendel State Broadcasting Corporation and was charged with the responsibility of merging the then Bendel Television Service and Radio Bendel into one entity known as Bendel Broadcasting Service, an assignment she completed very effectively.
She rose to the post of Permanent Secretary and served in various Ministries and Departments until she voluntarily retired in 1991. As Permanent Secretary, she also served as Chairman / Director of over 10 Companies owned by Government or where Government had interest. Dame Esther Uduehi contributed greatly to infrastructural and Human resource development of the then Bendel State ( now Edo/ Delta States)
On retirement from the Civil Service, Dame Dr Esther Uduehi went into Politics. She was a member of the National Electoral Board of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and conducted the Presidential Primaries in various States until the Parties were disbanded. She joined the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in 1998. She was appointed Special Adviser to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Liaising in the National Assembly in June 1999-2003, and also served as Chairman, Governing Board of the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education, (NMEC) from 2013 to 2015.
Dame Esther Uduehi is married to Engr Damien Bamidele Uduehi, also a Retired Permanent Secretary, from Eme-Ora in Edo State. The Uduehi's were the first couple to be appointed Permanent Secretaries at the same time in any Service in Nigeria. Their marriage which clocked 50 years in September 2017, is blessedwith Children and grandchildren.
As an ardent Catholic, she has been very active in the church activities at the Parish, Archdiocesan, Provincial and National levels. She is a member of the Catholic Women Organization (CWO) and a one time National Patron of the organization, a Lay reader, Church warden, and she is also a 4th degree Lady of the Order of Knights of St Mulumba. In 2005, Dr Esther Uduehi and her husband were both honoured by the Pope with the Papal Knighthood of the Order of St Gregory the Great. She is the current National Vice President of the Association of Papal Knights and Medalists in Nigeria.
Dame Dr Esther Uduehi has been in the forefront of the fight for the rights of Women and participated actively in the various World Conferences on Women from Mexico, 1975, Copenhagen, 1980, to Nairobi, Kenya 1985 and Beijing, China 1995, and Beijing Plus Five, New York, 2000, and more. Dame Esther Uduehi is a life member of the International Alliance of Women which has Consultancy Status with the United Nations. She is President or Patron of many Women Organizations and NGOs, both Local, National and International, and Patron of various Youth Organizations. She received over Ten Chieftaincy titles from various Communities. She is a Poet and has presented and published a number of papers.