Between 1986 and 1988 he attended the School of Basic Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria, where he bagged the Interim Joint Matriculation Board, IJMB, Advanced Level, and thereafter attended University of Jos and graduated with BSc in Business Management between 1998 and 1991. He proceeded to ABU Zaria for a Master’s degree in Business Administration, specializing in Finance and Investment. Dr Kpelai returned to University of Jos in 2004 for a PhD in Management with bias in Finance which he obtained in 2009.
In a career which started in 1991 at ELF Nig. Ltd. as part of his service year, Dr Kpelai worked variously as Accountant for Nagogi Oils Ltd in Jos; UNDP Makurdi as a Resource Person as well as Consultant for DFID as part time Accountant among several others.
In 2002, he launched into the world of academics as part time lecturer at University of Agriculture, Makurdi from where he proceeded to University of Jos between 2003 and 2008, also as part time lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Management Sciences.
Between 2007 and 2008, he worked as a Resource Person at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, (NIPPS) Kuru in Plateau State.
From 2008 to 2010, Kpelai served as consultant to several professional organizations.
He has also been External Examiner at Jubilee University, Wukari in Taraba State, senior Lecturer in the Department of Business Administration, University of Jos as well as a visiting lecturer to Mkar University, Mkar-Gboko.
Dr Kpelai was Associate Professor and Head of Department, Business Administration at Benue State University, Makurdi as well as Associate Professor at University of Agriculture, Makurdi before his appointment as Commissioner.
Married with children and he is a member of several professional and non-professional bodies.