By J. P. Owoupele
Proverbs Eleven: Twenty-Four states “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give and only suffers want”.
This scripture aptly describes Dr. Nimibofa Ayawei, who is seen by many as a silent achiever who has done so much for humanity and who reaches out to all.
Born on November 7th 1971 in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Dr. Ayawei attended St Johns Primary School Koluama between 1977-83.
He then proceeded to Community Secondary School in the same community and obtained the West African School Certificate in 1983.
Young and intelligent Ayawei was always top of his class and thus given double promotion from class two to four in recognition of his brilliant performance.
In 1991, he enrolled to study Chemistry at the then Rivers State College of Education, an affiliate of University of Ibadan and subsequently graduated in 1995 with flying colours at the age 24 yrs.
Ayawei began a postgraduate programme in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Port Harcourt and graduated in 2008.
In 2013 when the Niger Delta University opened its doors for Postgraduate studies, he enrolled for a doctorate degree in Analytical/Environmental Chemistry and became the first to be awarded a PhD in Niger Delta University.
Dr. Ayawei is of the belief that the development of a place heavily depends on the level of education of the people, hence his love for knowledge. Little wonder, he started an educational outreach which has given opportunity to many persons of less economic privilege, access to tertiary education at various levels.
Dr Ayawei also championed the development of his hometown, Koluama through various deliberate planning and construction of roads and provision of recreational facilities.
Having started his professional career as a Scientific Officer with the Bayelsa State Ministry of Environment, he was appointed as a member of the Bayelsa State Scholarship Board in 2001 by Governor Alamieyeseigha.
With the creation of the twenty-four Rural Development Areas, (RDAs) which were created to take development to the grassroots; Dr Ayawei became the Chairman of Bassan-Koluama RDA in 2002.
Owing to his open disposition and achievements in the RDA, it was easy for the people of Southern Ijaw Constituency 4 to elect him as their representative in the State House of Assembly in 2003.
Dr. Ayawei as a man of integrity with high moral standards is principled to a fault, and a firm believer of the Bayelsa vision as envisioned by the founding fathers.
It is on record that when members of the State House of Assembly were placed under intense pressure to impeach former Governor, DSP Alamieyeseigha in 2005, Dr Ayawei was amongst the seven members who stood their grounds and refused to sign the impeachment because they believed that such decisions must come freely without any duress .
At the expiration of his tenure in 2007, Dr Ayawei ventured into business and later joined the restoration movement which galvanized support for the election of Governor Seriake Dickson.
Shortly after the election of the Governor, he was appointed the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer of Bayelsa State Housing and property development Authority and later Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development.
Upon the expiration of his appointment as Commissioner, he took up appointment as a lecturer in Niger Delta University as his efforts to return to the House of Representatives was thwarted.
In 2016, he was appointed Chairman, Bayelsa State Board of Internal Revenue. Upon resumption of office as the chairman of the board, he brought in phenomenal changes that saw the state revenue move from a paltry three hundred million monthly to a staggering sum of one billion and above monthly within a short period.
The astronomical rise in internally generated revenue is clearly attributed to his administrative prowess in managing the revenue collection process and deployment of electronic payment platforms that greatly plugged areas of leakages.
This positively led to Bayelsa State ranking fifteenth amongst states in highest IGR according to the National Bureau of Statistics having generated over twelve point five billion Naira in 2017 in line with Governor Dickson’s drive to prepare the state for life after crude oil production.
Dr. Nimibofa Ayawei is not just a Chemist, Academic, Politician but a knowledgeable and highly skilled administrator whose touch of excellence in management places him high above many.
Bayelsa state needs a home grown leader who is at peace and at home with all, with a clear understanding of the issues and people. This expectation is met by Dr Ayaowei and he has shown clearly that he has the capacity, pedigree and the wherewithal to give sound and visionary leadership to the people of Bayelsa state.
As we await the flag amongst the PDP aspirants, we commend the leadership of the PDP and the people to embrace such a SHINNING LIGHT IN OUR MIDST.