Senator Lady Uche Ekwunife (Iyom) is an outstanding personality of repute. Her successes and achievements in various positions she has held within a short period have continued to stand her out as one of the global leaders of the 21st Century.
Before joining politics, Senator Uche Ekwunife had a fulfilled career in banking. As a banker, she showed her mettle and ingenuity in funds management and displayed good organisational and administrative qualities. With impressive records at Royal Merchant Bank and Equatorial Trust Bank, Senator Ekwunife later joined Standard Trust Bank (now United Bank for Africa) where she rose to the post of Area Manager and Head, Private Banking Unit respectively. Her excellent banking career propelled her to the position of President, Young Banker’s Association (2000-2006).
‘Iyom’ as fondly called is many things to a lot of people. To some, she is a role model, a goal getter and a trail blazer; and to others, a philanthropist and amazon of distinct character who has distinguished herself in all spheres of life. Iyom has continued to put smiles on the faces of people especially the less privileged and the down trodden in the society. Indeed, she is succour to many families whose lives she has touched positively in various ways. It is also to her credit to have assisted over 500 youths to be employed both in Private and Public Sector. She has assisted over 50 women travel to outside the country to explore business opportunities. Iyom has also sponsored many people who went on Holy pilgrimages.
The leadership ability of Senator Uche Ekwunife has always manifested everywhere she goes. As a former Board member of Nigeria Film Corporation, she made unparalleled contributions to the development and growth of the Nollywood industry. Senator Ekwunife also serves as a Board member of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies.
As a Senator of the Federal Republic, Ekwunife delivered quality representation to Anambra Central Senatorial District. Within the period she was at the red chambers, Senator Ekwunife became Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream and made great input to the growth in the oil industry. She also meritoriously served as member of Finance, Works, Rules and Business, Basic Education, Women Affairs, Legislative Agenda and Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions committees.
Senator Uche Ekwunife had previously sat as the Chairman, House Committee on Environment where she displayed high leadership quality and bravery in tackling the nation’s environmental challenges. Through this platform, Iyom attracted the attention of the Federal Republic to the havocs and menace caused by erosion in Anambra State.
During the 6th Assembly she sat as Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts. Senator Uche worked in different Committees like Gas Resources, FCT, Public Procurement, Legislative Budget/Research, Rural Development, Power and House Services etc.
As a representative of Anoacha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency, Uche Ekwunife’s records were outstanding. She attracted a lot of quality and developmental projects to all the communities she represented. Iyom’s landmark achievements can only be described as wonderful. Indeed, she left an indelible mark in the delivery of her projects.
In the 7th Assembly at the House of Representatives, she belonged to committees of Public Accounts, Defence, Electoral Matters, Public Procurement, Special Duties, Women in Parliament and Health.
Senator Uche Ekwunife was among the delegates that represented Nigeria in Geneva for the 133rd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. She was also a member, Ad hoc Committee on Constitutional Review. She was the leader, Anambra State caucus of the House of Representatives. Iyom also led different legislative groups at the National Assembly. At the federal house, Iyom also held the positions of a Leader, Anambra Caucus and Leader All Progressive Grand Alliance caucus and performed excellently.
Senator Ekwunife moved several motions including the motion on the menace of armed robbery in Anambra State. This motion to an extent portrayed her interest and desire to see to the progress and security of the State, Anambra. Her motion on the erosion menace in Nanka which left many people homeless and properties destroyed, which she presented on the floor was admired by Nigerians and those who saw the effort of presenting a problem that is outside her constituency as a mark of nationality and incomparable love for the State. Till date, she fights for the welfare of Ndigbo at the Federal levels. Senator Ekwunife’s motion on the Completion of the abandoned Zik’s Mausoleum in Onitsha is a submission that was appreciated by all and sundry. The project which was abandoned for several years of commencement was brought back to life.
Apart from the National Projects monitoring Agency (Establishment) Bill and other bills credited to Iyom, the Bill for an Act to amend the provisions of sections 7 and 162 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) to provide for independence and financial autonomy of local government councils in Nigeria; and for related matters, 2011 was not only applauded and passed by the House but included to form part of the vital options for the review of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Other Bills credited to Senator Ekwunife as a member of the House include: A Bill for an Act to Provide for The Establishment of the National Environmental Sanitation Commission (NESC). A Bill for an Act to amend the Environmental Health Officers (Registration Act) 2002 and other related matters. A Bill for an Act to Establish the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria and other matters connected therewith and A Bill for an act to establish the National youth development agency of Nigeria for the purpose of planning, implementing, and overseeing a National Integrated Youth Promotion Development Program and for connected purposes.
Because of her desire to serve and improve the lives of people, Uche Ekwunife contested Governorship election in Anambra State and ran the best campaign ever to be witnessed by any woman in the Nation’s history. Her performance in the election is today a big reference for courage, vision and dexterity.
Being a woman of substance that enjoys putting smiles on the faces of people, Senator Ekwunife in 2001 established a scholarship and welfare scheme for the education of the indigent but intelligent students. Over 100 students have benefited from this initiative. The Youths and Widows Support Centre, is also a non-governmental Organisation she established to assist Youths and Widows.
Senator Uche Ekwunife is a Paul Harris fellow of the Rotary Club International and a recipient of many international and national Awards. Iyom also has Chieftaincy titles from communities within and outside Anambra State. She has been conferred with the titles of ‘IyomUgochinyeleze-na-nwata’ (Nri), ‘Ada Ugo-Igbo’ (Igbo-Ukwu),‘Anyanwu-Aguluzigbo’,‘Ife-Abagana’,‘Nnedioramma of Aguata’, Ezinne na Nimo and Ugomba- Agulu to mention but a few. Iyom for many years now has been a member of ‘Ndi Aro Eze’ (special Advisers) in Nri Kingdom.
Iyom is a Fellow Honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration and a certified National Accountant (CNA). She holds MBA in Business Administration, (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka) and B.Sc (Hons.) degree in Business Education (Accountancy) from University of Calabar.
She had undergone trainings in Harvard Business School (University of Witwatersand, Johannesburg ) South Africa, Lagos Business School- Management Development Programme, IBFC Augusto Training Lagos- Leadership Development and Fundamentals of Human Resources Management, Lagos Business School – Effective Performance Management Skills Training, Policy Programmes and Projects – United Arab Emirates and others. Iyom belongs to the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN)
Iyom is a hard-working, determined, focused, kind hearted and God fearing personality. She is a devout Christian, and a firm believer in God.
She is happily married to Chief Sir. Larry Ekwunife, a Knight of the St. John International and a successful businessman from Nri Community in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State. The marriage is blessed with children.