By, Dason Nemieboka – Portharcourt
The leis of honour haven’t ceased hanging on the neck of the member representing Yenagoa/Kolokuma-Opokuma Federal Constituency, Bayelsa State Prof. Steve Azaiki, OON. He is gradually becoming a tremendous national human resource. This man of a small physical frame from the bowels of the Niger Delta; has, since his return to the country after his educational pursuit overseas, continued to contribute his quota to national development. Interestingly, the activities of Steve Azaiki have not gone unnoticed.
The Bayelsa-born technocrat has left indelible marks from the public service, academia, international relations, and currently in the nation’s parliament. The globetrotting representative has continued to draw down from his network to improve the net worth of Nigeria and indeed the Ijaw Nation in particular. Steve returned to Nigeria and founded the most organized environmental NGO in the country, the World Environmental Movement for Africa, WEMFA. Propelled by the achievements of WEMFA, Young Dr Azaiki noticed the lack of intellectual depth in policy formulation and so mobilized some of the finest brains around to start the National Think Tank. That was to help the Nigerian government to tap from substantial human resources. The NTT began in March 2008. Repeatedly organized public workshops, specialized conferences, and seminars to brainstorm on issues of national concern, thereby supplying valuable suggestions to solve tough national challenges.
Hon. Professor Steve Azaiki, a former Secretary to the State Government of Bayelsa, is a rare breed. Even as a first-time parliamentarian, his contributions to the legislature are glaring. A member of seven Standing Committees of the House of Representatives, in addition to being the Chairman of an adhoc Committee, Azaiki is giving back to society through his strategic intellectual interventions. An agriculturalist by training, Azaiki is an international scholar and technocrat. With vast administrative experience in public and private sectors. He is the founder of the Azaiki Public Library, Yenagoa, and the Institute of Science and Technology, Yenagoa. He Chairs the board of the Azaiki Foundation and sits on several other committees. As a role model for youths who are drawn to the pursuit of knowledge for social development, Steve is a multi-tasking personality who easily fits into many roles.
Prof Azaiki had been a member of the Governing Councils of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, and Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island. He was also Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the NDU, thus justifying his service as president of the International Society of Comparative Education, Science and Technology (ISCEST), Nigeria. An organisation that is promoting research, development of knowledge, and skills, which he introduced to Nigeria. Azaiki is also active in education, enabling organisations such as Comparative & International Education Societies of America (CIESA), World Congress of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES), co-opt him into their Executive Committees. He is also an Executive Member of both the Under-Represented Group Societies (UREAG), and Southern African Comparative and History of Education Society (SACHES).
At the federal level, he had served as Special Adviser to Ministers at various ministries exposing him to leadership at all levels. No wonder he successfully expanded the influence and visibility of the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, GOPAC, Nigeria, after he was elected President in Doha, Qatar, a few years ago. Only in October 2021 was he again honoured with the Uhuru/Raila Peace Accord award by the London Political Summit in London. Just after he was elected to the board of the Global Parliamentary Network. That Prof Azaiki was elected to a ten-member board of the global organisation is by itself an honour to him and Nigeria. Indeed, Prof Steve Azaiki is becoming a serial awardee, with honours and recognitions coming worldwide.
- Dason Nemieboka is a Port Harcourt-based PR consultant and author.