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Distinguished Senator.
Barnabas Andyar Iyorhyer Gemade OFR, FNSE


Chief (Dr.) Engr. Barnabas Andyar Iyorhyer Gemade hails from Mbawar District, Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria. He was born on the 4th day of September, 1948 at Mkar to Chief Gabriel Iyorher Gemade and Mama Mbatuhan Gemade.


He started his educational career at Mkar Demonstration School, Mkar in 1957 and obtained his First School Leaving Certificate, FSLC, in 1963. He entered the famous William Bristow Secondary School, Gboko in 1968 with flying colours, proceeded to Government College, Keffi in 1969-1970 for his Higher School Certificate, HSC. In 1971, he gained admission into the Ahmadu Bello University, Abu, Zaria to study Civil Engineering and graduated in 1974 with Bachelor of Engineering, B. Eng. (Civil) Degree. He satisfactorily completed his National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, at Western Nigeria Housing Corporation, Ibadan in 1975 as Graduate Engineer.

In 1977, he was admitted for post-graduate studies at the City University London where he bagged a Master of Science, M.Sc. (Eng.) (Highway & Transport) Degree in 1978 and became Member, Institute of Highways & Transport, MIHT, of the United Kingdom. Chief Senator (Dr.) Engr. Gemade became a Chartered Engineer by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, in 1979. In 1989, he became a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, FNSE, and in 1990 became an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Science & Technology, FNIST, Ibadan and became Honorary Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, FNIPR.


Prior to his award of Honorary Doctor of Science (Honories Causa) of the University of Calabar in 1996, Chief Barnabas Gemade was a recipient of the National Productivity Merit Award in 1993 for his exemplary contribution to National Productivity in Industry and Fellowship Award of the Benue Polytechnic, Ugbokolo.

In the year 2002, he was conferred with the Honorary Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi.  Other Awards include:

  • Distinguished Merit Award, ABU Zaria
  • COREN Merit Award, 2000
  • NSE Merit Award, 2000
  • OFR, Order of the Federal Republic


Chief Engr. Gemade began his serious working career with Etteh Aro & Partners, Consulting Engineers, as Senior Manager in the Jos office in 1975-1977 and later in Kaduna office from 1978-1979. From 1979-1980, he was the Senior Manager/Site Agent with Carl Ploetner (Nig.) Ltd. for the Construction of Wasagu Kotonkoro Road in Kebbi State. He left the Company in 1980 to co-found Sam-Barns & Partners (Consulting Engineers) with Head Office at Jos, serving as the Managing Partner.

He held that position till 1985 when he was invited to serve as Deputy Managing Director at the Benue Cement Company, BCC Plc, Gboko and in 1987, he was meritoriously promoted to Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. He was the first indigenous Managing Director of the Company. He served in that capacity for six (6) years. During his tenure, Benue Cement Company Plc produced 900,000 tons of Cement every year with an annual turn-over of over N500 million using a work force of over 1,500 persons. It was also during his tenure that the Benue Cement Company (BCC) Lions Football Club brilliantly won the 1989 Edition of the Challenge Cup and the 1990 Mandela (Confederation of African Football CAF) Cup Champions Cup.

He ensured the smooth running of the business enterprise, employed a good number of youths and gave financial empowerment to indigenous businessmen and contractors.

He trained and appointed many indigenous Managers to take-over from the Expatriate Managers. Particular mention can be made of Mr. Agum, Engr. Nyagba, Aende, Unum, Atagher, Mku, Ulam, Sam Tar, Achiatar, Chive, Kankwe, Yaji, Lorngurum, Ukpi etc.

Owing to Chief Engr. Gemade’s impeccable credentials and meritorious service, the then Military Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida appointed him Honourable Minister of Works and Housing and Member of the Ernest Shonekan-led Interim National Government, ING, in 1993. He was also Member, Board of Directors of National Agency for Science & Engineering Infrastructure, NASENI. The Interim National Government was however short-lived owing to a palace coup staged by late Gen. Sani Abacha in November, 1993.

However, during his short tenure as Minister, he facilitated the construction of many Federal Roads in the State e.g. Yandev-Buruku, Awajir Gboko-Ihugh, Tse Mker etc.  He employed a good number of Benue State indigenes into the Federal Civil Service most of whom are now high ranking officers. He also empowered numerous Benue people by contract awards, housing allocations and plots of lands in Abuja and Lagos.

These achievements won him an unprecedented reception by the Benue Community at the Makurdi Airport on his return home. He was escorted to the Tor-Tiv Palace with a motorcade of over 200 vehicles. The Paramount Ruler received him and his entourage with dignity and made a special address where he declared that Chief Gemade had opened a school for all Tiv sons and daughters holding or desirous of holding public office to attend. He was, by implication, telling Tiv sons and daughters to emulate Chief B.A.I. Gemade while in office.


Chief (Dr.) Gemade has held the following positions:

i.          Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Consus (Nig.) Ltd., Building & Civil Engineering Contractors.

ii.         Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Urban Habitat & Properties Ltd., Property Development Company in Abuja.

iii.        Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Anderson Drilling (Nig.) Ltd., Water Well Drilling Engineers.

iv.        Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sam Barns & Partners, Consulting Engineers, Jos.

v.         Director, Cornerstone Insurance Co. Ltd. 

vi.        Chairman, Benue Valley Investments and Trust Limited



i.          Economic Development of Benue State:

            Delivered at the President’s Dinner/Award Night of the Benue Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture, Makurdi, 19th February, 1987.

ii.         Engineering Maintenance for Technological Self-Reliance in Nigeria:

           Delivered at the Professional dinner organized by the Nigeria Society of Engineers, Benue State Branch at Plaza Hotel, Makurdi,15th  October, 1988.

iii.        Cement in Physical Development of Nigeria Prospects and Problems:

Delivered at the Annual Conference of Nigeria Geo-Sciences Kaduna, March 1990.

v.        Public Relations in industry:

Delivered at the National Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relation, NIPR, Port Harcourt. August 30th September 2nd, 1990.

vi.        Structural Adjustment Policy and National Self Reliance in Agricultural Development:

            Delivered at the Nigerian Society of Agricultural Engineering, NSAE, Makurdi, September, 1990

vii.       Housing for all by the year 2000. How feasible?

            Delivered at the West African Property Corporation, WAPCO, Conference, Lagos, November 1990.

viii.       Keynote Address at numerous Conferences including:

a.       National Conference on Works, Sokoto, July 1993

b.      National Conference  on Housing, Uyo, August, 1993

ix.      The Role of Political Inauguration of the Nigeria Local Government Consultative Forum, Abuja, 2nd August, 1997.

x.       The Consolidation of Political Mandate: The Challenges of Growth:

            Presidential at the PDP National Seminar, Abuja, July, 2001.




Chief (Dr.) Gemade who speaks Tiv, English and Hausa fluently, is widely travelled and has visited Britain, United States of America, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Taiwan, Japan, China Netherlands, India, Niger and South Africa.


Chief Barnabas Gemade, a devout Christian of the NKST faith is happily wedded to Chief (Mrs.) Vickie M. Gemade and they are blessed with four (4) children: Vandefan, Sedoo, Terpase and Shiekuma, three boys and one girl.


Badminton, Basket Ball, Current Affairs, Soccer Fan, Country Music, Hunting and Photography.


During his tenure as PDP National Chairman, over fifty Benue indigenes got appointed into Chairmanship and Membership of Federal Boards thus recording the highest representation ever since the State was created in 1976. He contributed to the peace process during the Benue –Taraba and Benue-Nasarawa boundary crises. He also gave financial and material support to the victims. He brought and distributed about forty (40) vehicles to many individuals from his personal resources.