(1924-2000), who died in September, was one of the most outstanding
Nigerians of his generation. A world-renowned economist, academic and administrator;
he served different Nigerian governments and the United Nations in various roles.
Until recently he was special adviser on economic matters to Nigeria's new civilian
leader, President Olusegun Obasanjo, and was a consultant to the UN on developing
He surveyed the Nigerian national income (1958-60) and was first economic adviser
to the government adviser to the government of Eastern Nigeria (1960-62). Okigbo
was first economic adviser to the government of the federation of Nigeria (1962-67),
and the first Nigeria ambassador to the European Community.
He was also chairman of a panel that in 1994 investigated the disappearance
from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of the $12.4 billion "Gulf War windfal"
earned by Nigeria during the 1991 Gulf war. In 1977, Okigbo was awarded the
national award of the Commander of the Order of Nigeria (CON), followed, in
1983, by the Nigerian
National Order of Merit and in 1992 the international honour of the International
Order of Merit.