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The struggle to clasp the plum position of the president of the apex Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has continued to cause ripples, but amongst the candidates, one has stood out tall above others and that is Honourable Chris Chigoziri Asoluka (Ph.D.) who recently declared his interest to run for the apex position.
The highly learned lector has bagged two Bachelor’s degrees. One in advanced Political Science at the Univeristy of Ibadan and the other in Law at the Univerisity of London, UK. He can also boast of multiple masters degrees in International Economic Relations at the University of Lagos, Shipping Economics/Finance and International Trade at the CASS Business School, London and a doctorate degree in Policy Analysis at the University of Ibadan.
In addition to his advanced literary mind, he is also an astute businessman and a serial entrepreneur. He is a highly respected management, development, and legislative strategy consultant (FIMC), who has expertise has been very profitable in various sectors of the Nigerian economy and politics. Dr. Chris Chigoziri Asoluka is also an Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, at the Nipal Consulting Network, a multidisciplinary firm, which has successfully handled significant assignments for clients, including Federal and State Governments/Agencies, National Assemblies/States’ legislative Assemblies and multilateral/non-governmental institutions within and outside Nigeria.
Dr. Chris Chigoziri Asoluka is also a wonderful community man. With his experience in politics, he has delivered several humanitarian projects to his immediate community, his state and Igboland at large. He was first elected as the Honourable Member of Nigeria’s House of Representatives and Deputy Chairman of Committee on Appropriations, National Assembly (NASS) in 1992 and he was also the leader of the Bipartisan Caucus of NASS. He went on to serve as the Honourable Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Imo State and then as chairman, of the Committee of Finance Commissioners in Nigeria from 1994 – 1996. Some of his other political achievements include:
- His unopposed election as Foundation Secretary General, of the Aka Ikenga organisation from 1988 to 1990. In this capacity, he helped the institutionalisation of the Aka Ikenga secretariat and committees. He went on to serve two more unopposed tenures as the president of Aka Ikenga from 2004 to 2008, this was where he directed the closing of ranks among Ndigbo in some Southsouth states like Delta State, Rivers State and some other South-east States culminating in the Asaba-Ndigbo Leadership Retreat and similar activities jointly hosted by Ohanaeze and Aka Ikenga. This project was scribed and documented in a book – Ndigbo in Search of New Standards, Njiko-Ka.
- In lieu with his excellent records and achievements while he was President of the Aka Ikenga association, he was then elected as the Foundation Co-Chairman with Emmanuel Ijewere as Chairmain of the Southeast – South-south Professionals (SESSP) which piloted an economic development agenda for the two regions based on the Proffessor Utomi-led committee report on Lower Niger Development Basin from 2006 to 2008.
- He was also the Vice Chairman under the Justice Oputa-led Imo State Transition Committee and Chairman Technical Committee on the ‘New Face of Imo State’ project in 2007 under the Ikedi Ohakim administration.
- He went on to serve as the Public Policy Advisor/Consultant, for the Imo State Government, from 2007 to 2011.
- In line with some of his humanitarian projects, he also conducted and developed Imo State Local Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (LEEDS) Studies for the entire 27 local government councils. And he coordinated the 2009 Ahiajoku lecture hosted by some Southeast Governors in honour and as a befitting reception for African literary icon and great son of Ndigbo, Professor Chinua Achebe in celebration of 50 years of Things Fall Apart.
- He was also the Chairman of the Imo State Government Projects Review Committee, under the Ernst Ebi’s Imo State Transition Committee of 2019.
In one of the highlights of his career, he was elected National Vice President-General (Imo) for the Ohanaeze Ndigbo socio-political organisation from 2009 to 2013. This was where he headed several NEC Committees including the Election Committee, 2012/13; and Member Election Committee of Ohanaeze, 2016/17, which conducted the electoral process that led to the emergence of Nwodo-led NEC/Ohanaeze.
His literary and educational backgrounds have also pushed him to the forefront of various mammoth projects which spanned Nigeria to Africa. He was the Chairman of Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), and elected he was elected as an Ambassador for Africa at the World Free Zones Convention (WFZC), in 2013 to 2015.
He is also a member of the Nigeria Chamber of Shipping Governing Board and a Chairman of the Maritime Development Committee and Fellow Nigerian Institute of Transport Administrators forum, these are positions which he has held from 2012 till date.
Some of his other career achievements include:
- Policy Advisor and Foundation Consultant on Finance, Appropriation and Transport to the Senate and House of Representatives Committees, a position he held from 1999 – 2003. He was also a Member of the Presidential Committee of Petroleum Affreightment in 2003.
- He was the Policy Advisor and a consultant on Finance and Appropriation to Lagos State Assembly from 2004 – 2012 and he also served as a Senior Legislative Advisor to National Democratic Institute (NDI) on NASS, from 2005 to 2007. He also held the same position at DFID, USAID and PAK from 2005 – 2007.
- He is also a consultant and a facilitator for the United Cities and Local Governments, Africa (UCLGA), in Morocco, a position which he has held till date.
- He is in line to serve as an expert and a consultant for the European Commission on the European Cooperation Programming Process, a position which he is due for from 2021 to 2027.
Dr. Chris Chigoziri Asoluka has also participated successfully in numerous public sector assignments including a consultancy and advisory service to the Association of Local Government Councils of Nigeria (ALGON), from 2016 till date, where he developed a Holistic Reform and Advocacy Plan (H-RAP). He has also led a consortium of Maritime experts to restructure and refocus the then National Maritime Authority, (NMA).
He is an Advisor/Lead technical consultant in the formulation and passage of the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act, 2003 and he is a legislative adviser in the passage of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Act, 2007. And he is also a consultants and facilitator in the passage of Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Bill 2006, Fiscal Responsibility Bill (FRB) 2007 and the National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABRO) Bill (2007); Lagos State for amendment to the Local Government Administration Act.
He has also orchestrated capacity building programmes for various National and State Assemblies, National and State Governments and agencies and Local Government Councils. He was a consultant to the proposed West African Chamber of Shipping.
Dr. Asoluka has written, edited, and published many books including:
- Compilation of Nigerian Maritime Laws in two volumes (2003);
- Nigerian Maritime Resources Development: Issues and Challenges in two volumes (2003);
- And three volumes of Ndigbo: A Matter of Identity (2010). This is a collection of seminal papers delivered by esteemed scholars of Igbo extraction at the Ahiajoku Lecture Series, 1979 to 2010.
He has delivered several lead papers at conferences, seminars, workshops and keynote speeches within and outside Nigeria. In fact he was the special Guest of Honour and Keynote Speaker at World Igbo Congress Conventions in New Jersey (2005), Los Angeles (2006) and chairman of a breakout session in Detroit (2007).
Chief Chris Asoluka is a proud recipient of numerous religious recognitions such as the Knight of St. Christophers guild and some other traditional titles including the revered traditional title of Okwuruoha.
He is also the recipient of several academic and non-academic awards for distinction including the Second Best graduating student in the Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan, 1979, Alumni Achievement Award; Award as Role Model for the Youth, by University of Ibadan SUG 2006, Role Model Award Council of SUG Presidents South East of Nigeria 2011, and so on.
So far so good, Dr. Chris Chigoziri Asoluka is one of the best candidates for this race and it is only deserving of a man of his societal and academic stature to lead and orchestrate the affairs of the apex Igbo socio-poliitical group. He has proven his leadership mettle in so mant ways and as thus is the right man for the job.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK