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When Professor Stephen Ocheni was announced as replacement for our late brother and friend, the erudite legal luminary, Mr James Ocholi (SAN), may his gentle soul continue to rest in peace and God continue to comfort those he left behind, it was a decision taken in the right direction given the antecedent of Professor Stephen Ocheni.

In the last 21 months that he has served as Honourable Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Professor (Chief) Stephen Ikani Ocheni has distinguished himself as competent and a worthy Ambassador of Kogi State. As a successful career civil servant, diplomat and University Don, he brought all his experiences, knowledge and expertise to bear in the discharge of his responsibilities as Honourable Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Like the popular Nigeria saying, “It is not how long, but how well “, this quintessential and humble gentleman has served his fatherland with honour and dignity. Though, one can conclude that he was not in a Ministry(often regarded as juicy), he has made good use of the opportunity by attracting human and infrastructural development to his state and the nation at large.

Professor Ocheni within the period of his service, provided many youths from the three senatorial Districts of Kogi State job opportunities, in addition to attracting physical development to Dekina Local Government, where the Federal Government through the efforts of Professor Ocheni is at present undertaking 800 million Naira flood and erosion control project, which is expected to be completed in the next six months.

The Dekina flood /erosion control project is among the five that has been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari across the three Senatorial Districts of Kogi State that are expected to be executed in phases, achieved through a memo to the Federal Executive Council by the Honourable Minister of State, Labour and Employment.

Similarly, an ICT project is on going at the Idah Secondary Commercial College in Idah Local Government Area. The project include a building that will be fully equipped with computers for the use of the students and teachers of the College. There is also a Federal Government skill acquisition centre sited at Ogbogbo in Igalamela /Odolu Local Government also by the effort of the Honourable Minister of State Labour and Employment.

Could anyone still be in doubt in the capacity of Professor Stephen Ocheni to even surpass his present performance if given a more challenging Ministry?

Professor Stephen Ocheni is indeed a rare gem, a workaholic, party loyalist and a very passionate personality about the development, unity and growth of Kogi State and Nigeria as an entity. This also made him to pursue vigorously the agenda of Mr President and Commander -in-Chief of the Federal Republic of one Nigeria moving to the Next level in all sphere of development.

As you take a bow from the Federal Executive Council, I join your numerous admirers and supporters to give you a pat on the back for the successful outing. Indeed, I’m proud of your sterling leadership qualities, and like it is always the belief, One good turn deserves another ,your presence in the next Federal Executive Council will be a good development for the people of Kogi State.

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