Professor Jerry Anthony Agada is former Nigerian Minister of State for Education and was a Permanent Secretary to four Ministries in Benue State, Nigeria. He obtained the National Diploma in Commerce from Kaduna Polytechnic in 1973 as well as the Technical Teachers Certificate in Commerce of the Technical Teachers College, Yaba, Lagos in 1974. He proceeded to the University of Exeter, UK, where he obtained a Bachelor of Education Degree in 1981. Dr. Agada also holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing from University of Strathclyde, Scotland, and a certificate in Managing, Contracting and Partnership for Service Delivery from the University of Birmingham (School of Public Policy), UK, earned in October 2003.
Having commenced his career in teaching, he served as Principal of Government College, Makurdi, between 1988-92 and Principal (Special Grade) at Government College, Utonkon between 1993-96. Following this he was appointed Executive Secretary of Benue State Examination Board (1996-99) and in 1999 was appointed to the first of his four positions in the Benue State Civil Service as Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Information, Youth, Sports and Culture (1999-2000); the Ministry of Education (2000-01); the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs (2001-06) and the Bureau of Political Affairs (Feb-Sept. 2006). He took voluntary retirement from the Civil Service to contest the gubernatorial primaries for the PDP in December 2006, but was not successful. Between 2007-08, he served as national Minister of State for Education.
He is past Chairman of the Benue State Petroleum Monitoring Committee and a member of the Benue State Reform Team. He is former Board Chairman of the Governing Council of the National Commission for Colleges of Education, Abuja.
For a long time, Professor Agada has been active as a multiple award-winning author, and served in various offices in the Association of Nigerian Authors before becoming its National President. His books include poetry and short stories, many of which are used as approved texts in colleges and tertiary institutions across Nigeria. Titles to his credit include “The Magic Year”, “The Soothsayer” and “The Secret Deal”. His work “Rage and Tears” has been adopted for use by the Black Studies Centre of Ohio State University, USA. He has established his own Foundation in order to promote literacy among Nigerians.
Professor Agada has also made his mark on Nollywood – Nigeria’s emergent film industry – with two films, “Honourable Chairman” and “House Hold”.
Professor Agada, who is a devout Catholic with a large family, was named one of fifty Nigerians of Integrity by Guardian Newspapers in February 2010.