Dcns. Grace Isu Gekpe is the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Nigeria. Dcns. Gekpe is from Itigidi in Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State, Nigeria. Dcns, is the first Federal Permanent Secretary from the Local Government Area.
The Permanent Secretary attended Government Primary School, Itigidi and Comprehensive Secondary School, Obudu for her primary and post primary education. She later enrolled in the famous University of Calabar, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in Theatre Arts. She further obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Administration of the National Open University of Nigeria.
Dcns. Gekpe started her career as a Corps member with the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and was subsequently employed into the Federal Civil Service of the Federation in 1984 as a Cultural Officer II and rose through the ranks to become the first Cultural Officer to be elevated to the post of a Federal Permanent Secretary in Nigeria. Before her appointment as Permanent Secretary, she served in numerous capacities amongst which are:
- Production Manager, National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos;
- Head/Administrative Officer of the National Troupe of Nigeria;
- Chief Protocol Officer, Personal Assistant and Technical Adviser to a number of past Honourable Ministers of Culture and Tourism;
- Public Relations Officer – Nigeria Copyright Commission;
- Head of Multilateral Division, External Cultural Relations Department of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture
- Head of Secretariat, Abuja Carnival Management Committee; and
- Pioneer Director, Entertainment and Creative Services Department.
Dcns. Grace Gekpe has represented Nigeria at International Conferences and attended numerous courses at home and abroad. She is very urbane, thorough, hardworking and a veritable team player.
Dcns. Gekpe, as Director, Entertainment and Creative Services Department from 2014, mid-wifed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2016 between Nigeria and the British Council on the training of Festivals/Carnivals Managers and mapping of the Creative Industry in Nigeria. So far, 48 Festivals/Carnivals Managers from Nigeria and the West African sub region have been trained.
The Permanent Secretary successfully signed the Protocol of the Programme on Implementation of the Cultural and Educational Cooperation and Exchanges between the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the People’s Republic of China for the years 2018-2021 in Beijing, China on 7th August, 2018.
Dcns. also led the Nigerian Delegation to the Fourth Edinburgh International Culture Summit held at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh from Wednesday 22nd – Friday 24th August, 2018. She also led a team of Nigerian Military Officers to the 2018 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at the Esplanade, Edinburgh Castle on Thursday 23rd August, 2018 in preparatory to Nigeria’s participation at the 2019 Edition. She also spearheaded the spectacular cultural component of Nigeria’s 58th Independence Day Celebrations.
She played a key role during the 2019 Presidential Inauguration Ceremony and the 2019 June, 12 Democracy Day Celebration. In collaboration with the Nigerian Army, FCT, Osun, Katsina and Kano States, she successfully packaged the 120 man Guards Brigade, Silent Drill and Cultural Ensemble of Nigeria’s historic and spectacular participation at the 2019 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo from 2nd – 25th August, 2019 at the Esplanade Castle, Edinburgh-Scotland.
Dcns. Grace, as she is fondly called, is an astute administrator, a dedicated, committed and innovative Civil Servant with unquestionable integrity. According to the Permanent Secretary, she lives to serve humanity selflessly. All through her career in the Service, she has brought vim, vigour, zeal and enthusiasm in the way and manner she does her work.
She is a practical Christian and church worker at Living Faith Church, Jahi-Abuja, Nigeria and at present the Vice Chairman of the Deacons’ Board. Her hobbies include: mentoring, empowering, dancing, playing chess, table tennis, golf, scrabble, reading, cooking, travelling and making new friends.