Deputy Chairman HoRs Committee on Science, Technology, Ukodhiko will Chair Year 2024 Maris Lecture

Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology, Hon. Pastor Jonathan Ajirioghene Ukodhiko

Deputy Chairman HoRs Committee on Science, Technology, Ukodhiko will Chair Year 2024 Maris Lecture

Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology, Hon. Pastor Jonathan Ajirioghene Ukodhiko, will Chair the Year 2024 edition of Maris Annual Public Service Lecture.

According to Comrade Fidelis Egugbo, Secretary, Maris Trust Council, MTC, organisers of the annual event, Hon. Ukodhiko, has accepted to be Chairman of the occasion which will see the Vice Chancellor, University of Delta, UNIDEL, Agbor, Prof. Stella Chinye Chiemeke, speaking on the topic, “Flight Of Talents: Navigating Nigeria’s Brain Drain Predicament.”

Egugbo, who is also, the Senior Special Assistant, Media, to the Governor of Delta State, on Wednesday, said, “it is heartwarming for us at Maris Trust Council, MTC, to say that an astute businessman, tactical politician and a notable figure in the Nigeria’s Green Chambers, Hon. Pastor Jonathan Ajirioghene Ukodhiko will be the Chairman of occasion at this year’s Maris Lecture.

“Hon. Ukodhiko who has accepted to be the Chairman of occasion was carefully chosen because of his antecedents as a well travelled businessman, a man of God and a philanthropist. It would be recalled that oil magnet, Dr. Gabriel Ogbechie (OON), Ambassador Godson Echegile, OFR, among other personalities, have passed through this route as ‘Chairman of Occasion’ at Maris Lectures.

“On Wednesday of the Holy Week, that is, the Wednesday before Easter Sunday of every year, Nigerians gather at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba, to proffer solutions to identified topical issues with a bid to make the society better.

“This year’s lecture by the grace of God Almighty, will meet its mandate as the Guest Speaker, Prof. Stella Chinye Chiemeke who will dissect the topic for discussion, ‘Flight Of Talents: Navigating Nigeria’s Brain Drain Predicament.’ is well educated and has found herself in positions where she had a lot to do with people from diverse backgrounds as former Rector, Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku and as the Vice Chancellor, University of Delta, UNIDEL, Agbor

“It is worthy to note that for this year’s lecture, former Commissioner for Economic Planning in Delta State who is presently, the Special Adviser to Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, Dr Barry Gbe and a former Chairman, Delta State Post-Primary Education and former member of the Delta State Universal Basic Education Board, Chief Philomena Ededey Ugheminaye, have also, agreed to be members of the discussion panel for the lecture.

“The MTC is grateful to Governor Oborevwori for making Delta conducive for such lecture to take place, we also, thank participants at the annual lecture who are in different parts of the world and wish to assure them that the lecture will hold at its normal venue of Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba from 12 noon on Wednesday, March 27, 2024.

“Those who desire to come in on that day can make use of the Asaba International Airport or come days before the event to savour the hospitality Delta is known for as the state has good network of roads and hotels of international standard with bubbling nightlife that strongly indicate how peaceful and secured the oil and gas-rich state is under the leadership of Governor Oborevwori.”

The Chairman of occasion, Hon. Engr. Pastor Jonathan Ajirioghene Ukodhiko, was born on May 25, 1975. His father is from Erawha-Owhe in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State while his mother is from Oleh in Isoko South Local Government Area also of Delta State.

He started his early education at Ozade Primary School in Erawha-Owhe, and James Welch Grammar School, Emevor. Upon graduation from secondary school, he was admitted to study Foundry Engineering at Federal Polytechnic Idah, Kogi State, before he proceeded to the prestigious University of Benin, UNIBEN, in Edo State where he studied Production Engineering.

For over two decades, Ukodhiko has been a frontline member of many engineering professional bodies, associations and learned societies including the highly respected Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE). He is a certified engineer by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).

He has attended and participated actively in innumerable conferences and symposia where his profound views are highly sought after and used. His contributions to the engineering profession are unquantifiable; he worked briefly as a field service engineer at the International Oil Field Service Ltd, a major contractor to the Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd (SPDC). The fecund and ever diligent Ukodhiko rose through the ranks at the oil services company to the position of a Coordinator before he left to establish his own company, Joeny Integrity Nigeria Ltd in 2005. With the necessary technical and managerial skills, organizational prowess, and self-discipline, he soon made a dizzying success and went on to set up more companies, Legacy Drilling Ltd, Target Drilling Ltd, Gibraltar Marine Oil and Gas Ltd. These companies are subsidiaries of Joeny Holdings Ltd which is a foremost group of companies today that have spread to the rest of the world of which he is the Chairman, Board of Directors and ran daily as the Group Chief Executive Officer till 2021. The companies offer creditably and impressively, wide range services in core areas of drilling services, Well Services, Engineering and Constructions, Mining and Property Businesses, facilities maintenance and services to multinational oil and gas service companies. The SPDC, TOTAL Plc, NAOC Ltd, NPDC, NNPC, AITEO, SEPLAT are among the numerous bluechip companies as clients of Joeny Holdings.

The parent company, Joeny Holdings under his purposeful, visionary and inspiring leadership is a brand name in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, and it has gone global with a palpable strong significant presence in foreign countries of Cote d’Ivoire, Congo Brazzaville, South Sudan, amongst others.

A significant milestone recorded by the Joeny Holdings was the diversification into property business with the establishment of UJA Homes Ltd which is into building and selling of exquisitely luxury homes at the United States of America, USA.

His foray into politics came to the fore with his appointment as Commissioner for Energy and member of the Delta State Executive Council in July 2021. Under his headship as Commissioner, the Asaba Independent Power Plant was completed by the Okowa administration and was inaugurated by the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

After less than a year in office, he resigned to yield to the call of his people to represent them at the House of Representatives in Abuja. He contested the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election and won to become the party’s candidate for the Isoko Federal Constituency in the 2023 general election which he eventually won and became Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Science and Technology.

Ukodhiko has been a great supporter of many good causes both within and outside Delta State, and has provided substantial financial assistance to religious bodies, social and cultural organizations, professional and students associations amongst others.

He initiated a yearly humanitarian and socio-economic empowerment programme as a means of providing succour to his people and alleviating poverty among the vulnerable ones, through the provision of financial assistance to women and youths for business startups, thereby, boosting small and medium scale enterprises in Isoko, provision and distribution of food items to the needy every December, and provision of supportive aides to people with disabilities.

His empowerment programmes over the years, has seen over 3,000 indigent, aged and people with disabilities benefiting from his kind gesture in line with the goals of the Gender 2040 global initiative.

In 2021 and early 2022, he sponsored free medical outreach ranging from free laboratory test and treatment of common ailments, dental treatment, eye check and treatment, and provision of free medical eye glasses to over 23 communities in Isoko nation.

He is a recipient of several awards, including an award as Peace Ambassador.

Engr. Ukodhiko, is a devout Christian, an ordained Pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG and a satisfied family man, who is married to the love of his life, the beautiful and genial Mrs Ivie Ukodhiko and their union is blessed with lovely children.

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