HON: NED MUNIR NWOKO- THE LAWMAKER WITH FORESIGHT
Nearly all the laudable policies of the Federal Government since 1999 to present day, emanated either from the bills sponsored by the extra-ordinary lawmaker (Hon. Ned Nwoko) or are motions moved by the Prince of Idumuje-Ugboko, Aniocha North LGA of Delta State during his tenure in the National Assembly.
It is on record that Hon. Ned Munir Nwoko who represented Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency between 1999-2003 sponsored twenty-two (22) bills that have direct bearing on the people and equally moved the all-important motion for the National Conference.
The bills sponsored by this erudite UK trained lawyer include the following:
(1) Bill for the establishment of National Information Network Centre
(2) A bill for an act establishing a National Disability allowance
(3) A bill for an act for prohibition of corporal punishment in schools
(4) A bill for an act for compulsory vehicle road worthiness test
(5) National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) reform bill (2000)
(6) A bill for an Act to establish Public Funds recovery and reward commission (Whistle blowing)
(7) A bill for the establishment of a National minimum wage council
(8) National minimum wage bill (1999)
(9) A bill for an Act to standardize allowances and fringe benefits payable to public government officials- Monetization Bill
(10) Bill for an Act for continuity of evidence in court proceedings
(11) A bill for an Act for compulsory professional indemnity in Nigeria
(12) A bill for an Act for the protection of Nigerians abroad
(13) A bill for the amendment of fire arms Act
(14) A bill for an Act for the consolidation of all Decrees
(15) A bill for the prohibition of expensive burial rites in Nigeria
(16) A bill for an Act for community legal service
(17) A bill for an Act for the convening of a National Conference
(18) Bill for an Act for establishing a National Sports University
(19) A bill for an Act for compulsory Fire & Insurance Regulations at Homes and Offices
(20) A bill for an Act to Regulate the Activities of Okada Riders in Nigeria
(21) A bill for Federal Government Contract Awards performance Act.
It is significant that a brief background of this lawmaker per excellence is given to enable readers appreciate where he is coming from. Hon. Ned Nwoko is a blue blood from the revered stool of Idumuje Ugboko in Aniocha North LGA of Delta State.
Before coming to serve his people at the National Assembly, he had already set up and maintained one of the leading black law firms in the UK, where he practices as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. He is a Senior Consultant with Ned Nwoko Solicitors, a city of London firm of lawyers engaged in management and verification of foreign debts of third World countries, including their component States. Perhaps, no wonder he performed exceptionally well. He also served in Vision 2010- Committee set up by General Abacha which was then christened as the Assembly of some of the best minds within and outside the Country. Hon. Ned Nwoko was appointed Chairman of the External Committee of Vision 2010.
The well-known monetization policy of the Federal Government should be credited to Hon. Ned Nwoko, who sponsored the bill and followed it up with a detailed explanation for the implementation of the government under President Olusegun Obasanjo.
It is also instructive to note the bill he sponsored on Public Funds Recovery and Reward Commission which today is known as the whistle blowing policy of the Federal Government being coordinated by the EFCC. It is a known fact that it has become an effective tool in tackling corruption.
He initiated the exit from London and Paris Club loans and is the author of all the reports that led to first, the Federal government stopping monthly deductions from states’ allocations and then the commencement of refunds to the states.
He took Federal government to court on behalf of the 774 Local governments for the refund of illegal deductions and obtained a judgment of $3.2billion for the local governments. The Federal government of Nigeria has just started refunding these monies in line with the judgment of 2013.
I also recall the motion he moved on the National question which later translated to the Constitution of the National Conference Committee that was set up under President Goodluck Jonathan. For a lawmaker with such a foresight over the years, it is only imperative that his works are clearly documented for history. Today as we reflect, we see many of his positions on National issues during his sojourn at the National Assembly gradually coming out to play in the present dispensation.
Hon. Ned Nwoko epitomizes diligence, assiduity, honor, integrity, compassion, benevolence and indeed finesses. He has a stubborn proclivity for distinction and he is a voracious reader that goes through any literature that comes his way. He is always of the view that a lawyer must know what is happening around him, hence he reads all major newspapers published in Nigeria on daily basis. Even his arch-rivals and adversaries always agree on one point that he pays attention to the minutest of details. His capacity for giving is unassailable, his penchant for philanthropic activities is awe- inspiring and his proclivity for humanitarianism is unmistakable. He is an exceptionally good man with an outstanding pedigree.
He is a recipient of several awards in recognition of his sterling qualities, exemplary character and contribution to human endeavors. He was a very serious minded legislator, interested in the creation of law to grow the economy, and alleviate grinding poverty across generations.
Despite his tight schedules as an international lawyer, he has never lost contact with the people at the grassroots.
I am very proud of him, and I have really learned so much under his mentorship.