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2023: I’m Most Prepared To Represent Aniocha/ Oshimili At House Of Reps’ —Anthony Ochei
Published Nov 13, 2022 IN Features,
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 ANTHONY Onochie Ochei, the candidate of New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) for Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency, Delta state in 2023 National Assembly elections is a passionate about good governance and quality leadership. He is a Fellow of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria; Fellow of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria with over 20 years’ experience in public and private sectors.

In a chat with our correspondent, Ochei asserts his aspiration to represent Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency in Abuja is predicated on quality representation for the people.

Excerpts:

Please let’s have your background?

I’m Anthony Onochie Ochei, friends and admires call me Onochie obodo. I trained as a chartered accountant, chartered tax practitioner, and certified professional forensic accountant. I’m a Fellow of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and also Fellow of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria. I hold a Masters of Business Administration in Banking and Finance from Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka, Anambra state. And a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Accountancy from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State. I have had the opportunity of attending professional courses and conferences in Nigeria and abroad. In a nutshell, I’m prepared me for the task ahead.

Professional and public sector experience:

Over time, I have had both private and public sectors experience in varied capacities. I served as special assistant to Honourable Minister of Transport for four years. Also I served as Internal Consultant to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for two years. I equally consulted for numerous Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives, and several Ministries, Departments and Agencies at federal level. I equally provided professional services to several private entities in Nigeria.

With a deep understanding of inner workings of government at the federal level and private sector, I know nation’s political economy, inter-governmental affairs and public policy space.

Why are you in politics now?

I was inspired to join politics to change the narrative about what elected political office holders. From what I learnt while growing elective leadership position is opportunity to offer service to the community. You’re expected to utilise your knowledge, exposure, education, and profession experience to the overall good of the people. I’m ready to serve the people of Aniocha and Oshimili in House of Representatives, if I get their mandate in 2023 elections. I believe I owe my people an obligation to serve in whatever capacity that I am offered. I want to facilitate rapid development of our constituency.

I reflected over time about quality of leadership our people get now, I am not happy. So I decided to consult friends and associates on the way forward. I waited for the right time to throw my hat into the ring. I can assure that I receive the nudge about a year ago, it’s time to step out.

Frankly, our people deserves better representation than we are getting now. Aniocha/Oshimili deserves only the best, nothing more, nothing less.

Additionally, I’m at a stage in life, I needed to follow up on initiatives dear to my heart I was opportune tofacilitate when I served consultant to National Assembly and adviser to the Honourable Minister.

A good example is my role when I consulted for the National Assembly. I lead an investigation on the contractor handling Ogwashi-Uku Multi-purpose Earth Dam Project for the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on the investigation into Nigerian Food Crisis and Agricultural Sector (1999 to 2008).The project is a federal government funded initiative that started in 2006. It was meant to provide potable water, irrigation facilities and hydro power for the people of Aniocha and Oshimili.

Today, in Ogwashi-Uku, it costs N20,000 to buy a tanker of water. Most poor households augment this with harvested rain water, stored largely in unhealthy deep local wells. The cost on house to have access to portable water is huge and eats into their pockets.

I’ll revisit this issue as part of my legislative agenda to fast track the completion of this moribund project. You know access to water is a challenge in most communities in Aniocha/ Oshimili.

Also, there are pending initiatives I want to bring back on board, on railway and dry port for the Constituency. By the grace of God influenced it to our constituency during my time as adviser to the Minister. I will be interested to know the status of these initiatives and others new intervention to improve the lives of our people.

My advice for our people is to reflect deeply in these election season as they get ready to cast their vote. Vote for leadership that will facilitate infrastructure that support inclusive development in the communities not those that give you money, which will fizzle out soon. So my aspiration is a clarion call to serve, and serve and serve my people.

Women and Youth Impact Initiative

Women and youth of any communities form the fulcrum of any community. In my legislative agenda, women and youth of Aniocha/Oshimili occupy a central spot. Working expertise on skills and economic development sector, I will design and implement a robust women and youth skill development program that will change development landscape in Aniocha/Oshimili.

I have collated baseline data on opportunities and potentials that exist in Aniocha/Oshimili now. I have begun the process of categorizing the data across different productive sectors that with high impact in terms of job creation, soft skill and capacity building to realign untapped energies of our young people, who will be thought leaders in this process.

It will be a train-the- trainer development model with a multiplier effect in every household and communities in our constituency. Beginning with value reorientation, refocusing of passion, skills, and innovations of young people to deliver big results.

We want to reclaim the lost ground and strengthen women and youth in our communities. I promise to lead this initiative from the front to unleash our collective social capital, competitiveness, creativity and entrepreneurship of our people.

I collaborate with key federal government agencies and donor agencies to drive this initiative from design to implementation.

Highlights of your career that will impact on your job as legislator?

In the course of my career I have taken every opportunity to engage and take the appropriate lessons for the next stage.

I did my National Youth Service Corps at National Assembly as my place of primary of assignment. Serving with House Committee on Solid Minerals provided me with some valuable take aways. Also in consulting for various committees in the Senate and House of Representative since 2008. I consulted on several key national assignments which provided me with good lessons about the structure of public sector and how it can be reformed for improved services to the citizens. Serving as internal consultant to the Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources from 2008 to 2010, and later as Special Assistant (Finance) to the Honourable Minister of Transport from 2011 t0 2015 was a good preparation time.

I led several public hearings of the National Assembly as key consultant which gives me an edge over other contestants in this race. Working with both Executive and legislature in various capacities places me shoulder high above others candidates in this race. I believe I’m most prepared by every standard to represent the good people of Aniocha and Oshimili. The National Assembly is familiar turf for me, hence I hit the ground running from day one.

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