President Bola Tinubu, has appointed Heineken Lokpobiri, former minister, who served in the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari, as one of the additional ministerial nominees forwarded to the Senate for screening and confirmation.
Senate President Godwill Akpabio announced the names of the second batch of the President’s ministerial nominees during the ministerial screening on Wednesday.
Lokpobiri received an LL.B (Hons) in 1994 from Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, BL February 1995.
Expert in Environmental Rights and Environmental Law, holds a Doctorate degree Ph.D. from Leeds Beckett University, UK in 2015.
Lokpobiri was a member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly from 1999 to 2003, and speaker of the house from June 1999 – May 2001.
He was elected to the Nigerian Senate for the Bayelsa West constituency in 2007 and was appointed to committees on Sports, Public Accounts, Police Affairs, Niger Delta and Millennium Development Goals.
After Nigeria performed poorly at the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana, the Senate Sports Committee of which Lokpobiri was chairman issued a report which cast blame on maladministration and lack of cooperation from the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Dr. Amos Adamu.
Lokpobiri was chairman of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Transport.
In July 2009, the Senate passed the National Agency for Elderly Persons bill, sponsored by Lokpobiri, which will give legal support, welfare and recreational facilities to elderly people in the country.
In September 2009, the authorities of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) announced approval of new land charges in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
Senator Lokpobiri initiated a stormy debate when he accused the authorities of acting illegally by failing to first secure the approval of the National Council of States.
He ran for reelection as Bayelsa West Senator in the April 2011 elections, on the PDP platform, and was initially declared the winner.
In March 2012, Lokpobiri introduced controversial legislation that would make it harder for labor unions to call a strike.
Lokpobiri said, “This helps to achieve an affirmative consensus on union members through the instrumentality of ballot. Fairness, transparency and accountability are also given pride of place in the scheme of things.”
In 2015, he decamped from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
He was later appointed by the Buhari led APC as a minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development.