Prof. F. E. Onah was born to Late Mr. John Onah and Late Mrs. Patience Onah of Edem Ani in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State of Nigeria. In 1957 at St. Paul’s Catholic School Edem Ani in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, a humblyparented and unassuming boy took the first position in Standard Five examinations conducted for all Catholic Schools in the then Nsukka Division. Yet another manifestation of the boy’s brilliance was recorded the following year when he became the only recipient, in St. Joseph Catholic School, Nsukka, of ta Certificate of Special Distinction in Religious Knowledge Examination her for Standard Six in the then Archdiocese of Onitsha in 1958. It was this performance that earned him selection as the sole candidate in his school for admission into Preparatory Training College (PTC) for teachers in 1959. Thus, the young, ambitious and diligent Felix was by Providence directed to the teaching profession.
He obtained the Teachers Grade III Certificate in 1962, the General Certificate of Education (G.C.E.) Ordinary Level in 6 papers in 1964, GCE Advanced Level in 3 papers in 1965, and the Teachers Grade II Certificate in 1966. He then started his life as a teacher in 1967. The same year he won a foreign Scholarship to study Economics in Western Germany, an opportunity which, to his utter dismay, was aborted by the economic blockade imposed on the then Biafra by the Federal Government following the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War.
Soon after the civil war, Felix got admission to study Economics at the University of Nigeria in 1970 and was the first of the only two students who graduated with Second Class (Honours), Upper Division, in 1973. He left for England in 1974 for his postgraduate studies, and obtained a Master’s and Ph.D degrees in Economics at the Victoria University of Manchester and University of Liverpool respectively in 1975 and 1979.
His post graduation career in teaching at the University level spans some 31 years, starting as Lecturer II in 1980, Lecturer I in 1982, Senior Lecturer in 1984, and Professor in 1998. Some of his academic and quasi-academic records and laurels include:
• West German Government Scholarship in 1967.
• Federal Government of Nigeria Scholarship Award in 1970-1973.
• The Departmental Prize for best graduating B.Sc candidate in the Department of Economics in 1973.
• Prize of best behavior in Aja Nwachukwu Hall in 1973.
• University of Nigeria Junior Fellowship in 1973.
• Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha Certificate for Special Distinction in Religious Knowledge Examination in 1958.
• A Certificate of Life membership of the Nigerian Economic Society in 1989.
• Academic Excellence Award by Edem Undergraduate Association in 2003.
• Award for Outstanding Achievements by Enugu State Students Association, 2004.
• Great Achievers Award by Nsukka Zonal Citizens in Abuja, 2004.
• Merit Award in recognition of his contribution to the world of Technology by the National Association of Physical Sciences of the University of Nigeria, 2004.