A PRAGMMATIC SERVANT-LEADER, PROF. STEVE SINIKIEM AZAIKI
BIRTH AND EDUCATION
Born to Mr. Stephen Azaiki and Mrs. Abirindi Azaiki, both late of Yenebebeli-Atissa in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the State, Prof. Steve Sinikiem Azaiki did his primary educatio in St. Peter’s School, Yenagoa. He proceeded to Bishop Dimeari Grammar School, Yenagoa, and later Government Secondary School, Kaiama, where obtained a Grade One West African School Certificate (WASC).
He obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees as well as a Doctorate Degree in crop science from the Agricultural Academy in Kiev Ukrain, now known as University of Life and Environmental Sciences. Much later, he obtained a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Project Management from Federal University of Technology, Owerri; a second PhD in Public Administration from the Ukrainian Regional University of Personnel Management. These are besides certificates in foreign languages; management and leadership, from Harvard and Oxford Universities, among others.
He is married and blessed with children.
Prof. Azaiki had a stint as science teacher in Bishop Dimeari Grammar School, soon after obtaining the WASC. On Return from studies abroad, he got employed as Level 13 officer in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 1993, and retired on Grade Level 17 in 2007, haven served as State Director in Rivers and Oyo States Directorates of National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
In Bayelsa State, he has served in about 16 positions, notably pioneer Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources; twice as Secretary to the State Government (SSG) in late Chief D. S. P Alamieyesiegha regime, and a number of honourary advisory positions in the state, most recently, as Honorary Special Adviser on Agriculture, education and capacity building, to Governor Seriake Dickson; Pro-Chancellor and Governing Council Chairman of the Niger Delta University (NDU).
At national level, Prof. Azaiki served as Special Adviser to Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; Special Adviser to Minister of Police Affairs; Special Adviser to Minister of Youth Development and Governing Council member, Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).
Chief among NGOs founded and co-founded by him are the World Environment Foundation for West Africa (WEMFFA) and the National Think-Tank of Nigeria (NTTN), all which he served as president, respectively, as well as coordinator and chairman of 13 committees to generate and recommend ideas for the development of the country. He also founded and served four years as President of the International Society of Comparative Education, Science and Technology (ISCEST), Nigeria, an organization promoting research, development of knowledge and skills, especially in Africa.
Recently, Azaiki was appointed President of the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), Nigeria.
He has held academic leadership as Professor of Agronomy/Plant Protection at the Institute of Potato Research, University of Life and Environmental Sciences, Ukrain, his Alma Matter; Professor of Conflict and Crisis Management and International Relations at the Ukrainian Academy of Personnel Management and International Relations, as well as a Visiting Scholar/Fellow at the Institute of Petroleum Studies, University of Port-Harcourt.
AUTHORSHIP AND ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS ACTIVISM
Prof. Azaiki has delivered many conference papers as well as published academic articles and books such as Inequities of Oil Politics in Nigeria; Oil Politics and Blood; The Evil of Oil; Oil, Gas and Life in Nigeria; Oil, Democracy and the Promise of True Federalism in Nigeria; Thoughts on Nigeria, My Journey in Politics (upcoming), and co-authored many others.
REMARKABLE SERVICES TO NIGERIA AND BAYELSA
Some of his contributions to national development include resolution of Finima-NLNG crisis at the start of the project; initiation of the National Directorate of Employment’s skills acquisition schemes for youths; input into creation of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC); input into creation of Niger Delta Ministry and submission of recommendations on restructuring and resource control at the 2014 National Conference through WEMFA and NTTN.
At the state front, Prof. Steve Sinikiem Azaiki contributed to the creation of Bayelsa; made valuable inputs into policies and programmes such as development appeal fund that helped to kick off the state soon after its creation in October 6, 1996, the proceeds of which were also used to construct a major road in Yenagoa City.
While serving as Secretary to Bayelsa State Government, Prof. Azaiki played pivotal roles in classification of chieftaincy stools; establishment of Niger Delta University (NDU); creation of 24 local government areas; award of foreign scholarships to over 1000 Bayelsans during Chief Alamieyesigha administration.
In Governor Seriake Dickson era’s scholarship programme, Prof. Azaiki was engaged gratis, to facilitate admission and conveyance of many Bayelsans, notably, twenty-one students to the Lincoln University at Pennsylvania in the United States of America, where the scholars broke records.
He has also facilitated political appointments and employments to many Bayelsans at the state and national levels, and still doing so till date.
Azaiki has contributed to the development of Christian and educational institutions as well as awarded personal scholarships to students; free health and housing support to the needy within and outside his community, besides providing and facilitating employment and political appointments for several persons in public and private organisations.
Through Azaiki Foundation, he provides public library and cultural museum services, free agricultural and environmental management services; a languages training centre as well as science and technology institute for promotion of research and knowledge-based economy.
Prof. Azaiki is currently in Nigeria’s House of Representstives, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), representing Yenagoa-Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal Constituency, and serves on vital house committees related to his areas of interest.
In his first year in the House of Representatives, the people-oriented leader rendered laudable constituency services to his people. These include skills acquisition training and empowerment with cash; installation of solar street lights; donation of electricity generating sets to about forty primary health care centres; donation of safety gears, medicants and enlightenment campaigns against Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, among others.
Soon after inauguration in the House of Representatives, he joined the contest for the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship ticket for the 2019 election, but withdrew before the primary election in order to focus on the legislative position, instead.
Esteemed readers, it is a privilege and honour, to present to you an illustrious Bayelsan, a patriotic Nigerian, global scholar of diverse backgrounds, crack administrator and pragmatic leader, Prof. Steve Sinikiem Azaiki. OON, JP, the Honourable Member of the Federal House of Representatives, Abuja.