Senator Emmanuel Edesiri Aguariavwodo, a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), is one of the governorship aspirants jostling to succeed Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State in 2023.
Aguariavwodo, a former member of the House of Representatives and senator representing Delta Central, has also unveiled his ‘One Delta’ mantra of consolidating on Governor Okowa’s achievements.
Executive Profile of the Incoming Governor of Delta State His Excellency Distinguished Senator Emmanuel Aguariavwodo
To consolidate and build a united and prosperous Delta State with abundant opportunities through serial optimism to excel
A visionary and transformational leader, Distinguished Senator Emmanuel Edesiri Aguariavwodo is a pacesetter and a role model for this generation. He is goal-driven personality with over thirty-five years experience in policy making, strategy development, financial budgets, economics, infrastructural development and journalism. He has proven expertise in private and public sector policy formulation, strategic planning and relationship management; extensive involvement in political leadership, legislation and economic stimulation.
Presently, he is the only Deltan that has represented his constituency in both the lower and upper houses of the National Assembly. He has proven record of leadership with outstanding management and team building abilities; skilled in team motivation, development, coaching and mentoring; strong interpersonal, networking and negotiation skills; sound communication skills: written, verbal and presentations; trustworthy with very strong ethics.
Born on December 8th 1957, Senator Emmanuel Edesiri Aguariavwodo is a dynamic and purposeful Nigerian who hails from a humble family background in Okpare-Olomu Town in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.
He attended St. Joseph Roman Catholic Mission Primary School Okpare between 1963 and 1968; Ibru College Agbarha-Otor and St. Gregory’s College, Ikoyi, Lagos, where he obtained his West African Ordinary School Certificate (O Levels) and Advance Level Certificate (A Levels). Emma as he is fondly called by friends and associates proceeded to the University of Benin where he bagged B.Sc. (Honours) in Economics in 1983. In his burning quest to deepen his knowledge with international exposure, he proceeded to attend the famous Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Institutes for International Development in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A, where he obtained an Advanced Certificate with Distinction in the program on Budgeting and Financial Management in the Public Sector in the year 2000. In April 2014, he also attended the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC USA for a course in Executive-Legislative Relations and Performance.
In June 2015, Senator Aguariavwodo was appointed Special Adviser on Infrastructure and Housing Development by the Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa. This appointment came after Senator Aguariavwodo chaired the Governor’s Transition Subcommittee on Infrastructure. The recommendations made by the Subcommittee became an integral part of the Governor’s SMART AGENDA, which today is celebrated across Delta State, Nigeria, indeed the world over, because of the successful and exceptional implementation by the performing Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
Prior to being elected a Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen. Emmanuel Aguariavwodo was from 1999 to 2003, a member of the Federal House of Representatives and former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) were he distinguished himself in exceptional service and commitment to elevating the standard of living of his people and the Nation at large.
During his tenure in the House, Senator Aguariavwodo pioneered legislations that revolutionized the participation of indigenous companies in oil and gas sector of the Nigeria economy aptly titled ‘Operation Procedure (Regulation) of the Petroleum Company Act 2001”. This Bill sought to make it mandatory for the oil companies to look inward to Nigeria and Nigerians for sourcing of their raw materials and equipment to drive the push for increased local content in operations. This has inevitably evolved to what is known today in the Oil and Gas sector as the Local Content with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMC) duly established as a regulatory authority.
Senator Emmanuel Aguariavwodo participated actively in the activities that culminated into the enactment of the law setting up the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). He was among the selected committee members that toured the Niger Delta region to get the inputs of the various stakeholders into the Law, primarily enacted to bring succour to the impoverished people of the region upon conscientious implementation.
Like a gold fish with no hiding place, Senator Emmanuel Edesiri Aguariavwodo was in November of 2003 appointed by President Olusegun Obasanjo as the MD/CEO of NDDC. This position provided him the opportunity to further demonstrate his dynamism and leadership qualities in steering the NDDC to greater heights. His impressive achievements earned him a reappointment in 2005 as MD/CEO of the NDDC for another four year term. Some of his achievements at the NDDC include:
Design of Action Plan for Transformation at the Niger Delta
An Interim Action Plan involving physical infrastructural development of the Niger Delta and capacity building programmes was embarked upon pending completion of the regional master plan. As at December 2006, total infrastructural projects awarded by the Commission from inception stood at 2,171. While in the period of his stewardship, 1,459 infrastructural development projects were awarded, out of which 163 were duly completed, 1,027 were ongoing and 9 stalled. Of the completed projects, 25 were commissioned, 125 were completed and commissionable. In addition, 276 projects out of 712 awarded by the previous regime were completed and commissioned during this period also.
Development of a Regional Master Plan
Under Senator Aguariavwodo’s leadership, the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan was completed and approved by Mr President and the Federal Executive Council in the last quarter of 2004. As part of the implementation strategy of the Master Plan, a committee christened Partners for Sustainable Development (PSD) was set up. Its members were drawn from the NDDC, 9 state governments, civil societies, international development agencies, Organised Private Sector (OPS) and the oil producing companies. This is a public and private sector partnership that will ensure in an organised manner, an integrated and harmonious implementation of the Niger delta region master plan. This Committee under the chairmanship of the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer has been meeting monthly since December 2004 when it was inaugurated. The PSD forum has aptly identified quick impact projects (QIPs) under the Master Plan. Management has commenced plan implementation through setting up massive cassava and rice farms across the 9 states of the region, setting up technical training schools for our youths to equip them with oil and gas middle manpower skills, model schools development programme for each senatorial district in the region, sports programme – football tournaments across various communities in the region etc.
Massive Infrastructural Development
Whilst Senator Aguariavwodo was at the helm of affairs at NDDC, the Public Perception Profile of the Organisation rose remarkably with endearing goodwill due to the very concrete and visible achievements in roads and bridges, school buildings, health centres, canalisation and shoreline protection, water and electrification projects that have been delivered by the Commission in the Niger Delta Region. There were also programmes on Youth/Women Empowerment and Development in skills acquisition, sports development and job creation. Under his watch, the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan was completed and implementation commenced in earnest with the inauguration of the Partners for Sustainable Development Forum (PSD). All these were done with a visionary view to mobilizing every segment of the development chain to a common development agenda for synergy and optimization in resource utilization.
Awards and Recognition
In recognition of some of these outstanding and sterling accomplishments, various organisations have continued to honour him with awards. Amongst these awards are:
The University of Benin Alumni Award for Excellence
The Rotary District 9130 Community Service Award
AIT Award for Excellence in the Development of the Niger Delta.
Award for Leadership and Excellence by the Nigeria Advancement Award
Certificate of Honor by the Nigeria Union of Journalist
The NAPIMS Award of 2001
Research and Publications
Hon. Emmanuel Aguariavwodo ventured into journalism because of his innate interest in public affairs and public good. In his career at The Guardian, Emma distinguished himself as a prolific writer of repute, whose articles were readers’ delight in The Guardian, The Guardian Express and Lagos life. In fact, he kept a column with Guardian Express for a number of years even after he left active journalism. In 2000, during the 45th anniversary celebration of the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ), Hon. Emmanuel Aguariavwodo was presented a certificate of Honour by the Union in recognition of his contribution to the journalism profession and for being a good ambassador of the union. Most of the published column materials are now in a book form appropriately titled ‘A NATION OF MY DREAM’. Emmanuel is also the author of a collection of poems titled ‘OUR LOVE, OUR FREEDOM’. According to Gabriel Okara, the doyen of Nigerian Poets, the 49 poems in the collection reveal the ‘‘acute sensitivity and altruism of Aguariavwodo, a Jerusalem Pilgrim (JP)’’.
He is also a very active member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, where he has presented a number of position papers on the economy
During his tenure in the Senate, Senator Aguariavwodo was concurrently the Vice Chairman of the standing Senate Committees on Privatization and on NEPAD. It is on record that he is the first Senator to be Vice Chairman of two standing committees. He was also a member of the Senate Standing Committees on Education, Agriculture and Senate Services. His cerebral dispositions made him a knowledge reservoir, constantly consulted before critical decisions were often taken during his tenures in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
In 2009, he was appointed by Mr. President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua the Board Chairman of the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority, operating out of Port Harcourt. Also in 2013, he was similarly appointed as Board Chairman of Centre for Management Development in Abuja.
Philanthropist, Humanitarian and Peacemaker
He was the first Nigerian and Deltan who donated relief materials worth hundreds of thousands of naira in his personal capacity to assist the victims of the Warri Crisis through the Delta state Government at Asaba on April 29th 1997. He also financed and organized the well acclaimed WARRI PEACE AND CHARITY CONCERT on September 27th 1997 at the Cricket Pitch of Tafawa Balewa Square Lagos in collaboration with DAAR Communications Ltd, Lagos. This intervention effort was a much needed social innovation to preach the gospel of peace and also to assist the victims of the then Warri Crisis. A noble gesture of this nature portrays Emma’s firm belief in good neighborliness, the need for Deltans to continue to always live in peace and harmony with one another and consolidate on the inherent benefits of the principle of Unity in Diversity in the multicultural makeup of Delta State.
Senator Aguariavwodo along with other like minds from all the major ethnic groups in Delta State in 1993 formed the famous DELTA FRONT. This body amongst other things was responsible for highlighting the economic prowess of Delta State as the highest oil producing state in Nigeria at that time with revenue allocation formula subsequently to recognize this fact in distributing revenue amongst the states of the federation. Delta Front made two publications, the first was on October 22, 1993 while the second was on November 16, 1993 both of them in The Guardian Newspaper. Based on these activities and publications by Delta Front, the Federal Government eventually corrected the anomaly and Delta State took its rightful place as the number one oil producing state in the country and all the associated benefits accruable thereto until the 1999 constitution came into operations. All these Senator Aguariavwodo carried out whilst working in the private sector under tutelage and mentorship by the late Olorogun Michael Ibru, founder of the Ibru Organization.
Senator Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, a noble Knight of St. Christopher (KSC) of the Anglican Church, is a highly motivated and versatile personality with deep knowledge in political processes and policy making who has recorded tremendous impact in the State, National and International community. He has an innate drive to break barriers through refined interpersonal and communications skills, sharp attention to detail and passion for improved welfare of Deltans. He is an experienced grassroots politician with a vast network of committed nation builders spread across Delta State and beyond. He is a committed nationalist and firm believer in one indissoluble nation called Nigeria. He is happily married and blessed with children.