The chair, Committee on Foreign Affairs at Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, will be the 2019 Commencement Speaker at AUN.
Hon Ukeje is a third-term member for Bende, Abia State, in the lower chamber of the National Assembly and a leading voice in the campaign for better welfare for Nigerian soldiers, their families and war veterans.
The legislator has sponsored a bill to establish a national commission against the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NATCOM Bill 2013). She is as well a strong advocate in the push for the domestication of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Bill.
Among her many interventions include the legislative diplomacy between the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the South African Parliamentary delegation to curb xenophobia targeting Nigerians living in South Africa, and the establishment of the Nigerian – US Bi-National Commission.
Legislative positions she has held include Chairperson, House Committees on Donor Agencies and Development Partners, Navy, Defence, Women in Parliament, Telecommunication, Information Communication Technology, and Member Ad-Hoc Committee on Restructuring Nigeria, and Petroleum Industry Bill.
Ms. Ukeje has won numerous honors including ThisDay award for excellence in legislature (2012), Most vibrant female lawmaker for 2011-2015 (awarded by Nigerian Union of Journalists), National Council of Women’s Society (NCWS) Legislative excellence award (2016), Kwame Nkrumah foundation award for legislative excellence (2017), National Assembly press Corp Legislator of the year (2017/ 2018), Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) Legislative excellence award, Niger Delta Youth Forum for good governance (Best Lawmaker of the year), and Authority newspaper Legislator of the year (female) 2017.
Before her public service, Ms. Ukeje achieved distinguished success in the Private Sector as a Business Development Manager with Hudson Petroleum Ikoyi Lagos (1998-2002) and later became a director in the Hotel and Tourism industry, working with Protea Hotel Victoria Island Lagos (2002-2005).
In addition to English, she speaks the three major Nigerian languages: Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa with ease. Her educational qualifications include a BA in English from the University of Benin.
Reported by Omorogbe Omorogiuwa