PROFESSOR FRANCIS OGBONNAYA OTUNTA was born on April 29, 1958. He hails from Amangwu Nkpoghoro Village in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
He attended St Patrick’s Primary School Afikpo between 1964 – 1971 and thereafter proceeded to Izzi High School Abakaliki. In 1976, he sat for the Senior School Certificate Examination and came out with flying colours. Between 1978 and 1982, he studied Industrial Mathematics in the University of Benin and graduated on top on his class with a First Class Honours. In 1984, he enrolled for his Masters Degree in the University of Ibadan, and by 1985, he added to his kit, M.Sc (Mathematics). To cap it up, Prof. Otunta obtained a Ph.D in Mathematics from the University of Ilorin, in 1991.
With his record First Class Honours, Prof. Otunta was offered appointment upon graduation, by the University of Benin as a Graduate Assistant. From Graduate Assistant in 1983, he maintained a steady growth till 2003, when he got to the highest echelon of academic designation – he was made a Professor of Mathematics.
While in UNIBEN, Professor Francis Otunta discharged many critical responsibilities and was external examiner to many Universities. He remained at the fore-front of the University’s administration, until he was appointed the Rector of of Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana in 2006. As the Rector of one of the outstanding Polytechnics in Nigeria, Prof. Otunta significantly expanded the infrastructural facilities of the Institution to make for a better learning environment.
When Prof. Francis Otunta applied for the position of the Vice Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, there was one major odd that stood on his way. He, like a few others, was applying as an outsider: whereas the sentiment is always a preference by University communities for one of their own, to emerge as the Vice Chancellor. Thirty-two (32) Professors applied for the position. Admirably, this distinguished Ebonyi scholar rose high above the odds in the screening exercise, recording 79% as against his closest rival who had 76% and the third placed candidate who had 67%.
Today, Professor Francis Ogbonnaya Otunta has made history as the First Ebonyi man to be appointed the Vice-Chancellor of a Federal University in Nigeria. Prof. Otunta is married to Bertha Otunta with whom they have six children.
The ebonyimovers team celebrates this trail-blazer and wishes him years of greater achievements. Together, we shall keep moving Ebonyi State and take her highly hospitable people, to heights of glory and repute!