Senator Liyel Imoke

Senator Liyel Imoke

Sen. Imoke is a Lawyer, Statesman, Politician, Administrator par excellence and Founder/Chairman The Bridge Leadership Foundation.

Born, July 10th, 1961, at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, to late Dr. Samuel Imoke - a frontline nationalist and at various times Minister for finance, labour and education (between 1953 and 1966) and Leader of Parliament in the defunct Eastern region of Nigeria and late Mrs. Comfort Imoke - a nurse/midwife practitioner and pioneer community/public health expert.

Married to Obioma Liyel – Imoke; a lawyer, entrepreneur and acclaimed child and women's rights advocate; the marriage is blessed with children.
Primary school education at Santa Maria Primary School, Enugu; Ireti Primary School, Lagos, and Government Primary School, Itigidi, Cross River State. Attended Maryknoll College, Ogoja, and Federal Government College, Enugu, for his secondary education.

Obtained a B.A. in International Relations (major) and Economics (minor) at the University of Maryland, College Park, United States of America (1982) and, an LLB degree in Law from the University of Buckingham, England (1985). Following his Postgraduate Studies for an LLM degree in law, at the American University in Washington D.C.he proceeded to the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, and was called to the Nigerian Bar, in 1988.

Engaged in the private practice of law in Washington D.C. and Lagos at different periods in the 1980’s and early 1990’s; during the same period, he pursued business interests in oil and gas, construction, communication and merchandising.

Thrust into national prominence at age 30, when elected Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1992; he became the youngest legislator in the history of our country’s Senate.

Appointed Special Adviser to the President on Public Utilities in 1999.

As Special Adviser to the President on Public Utilities, he served also as Chairman of a special board tasked with the responsibility of completing all outstanding projects and winding down the operations of the now-defunct Oil Minerals Producing Areas Commission (OMPADEC), leading to the eventual setting up of the Niger-delta Development Commission (NDDC).

While still Special Adviser to the President on Public Utilities, he was appointed Chairman Technical Board of the erstwhile National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). In this position, he achieved a number of firsts including the initial restructuring of and lifting of protectionist policies and regulations in the power sector, through the decentralization of convoluted operational processes and the unbundling of the utility into 18 independent business units.

Appointed Nigeria’s Minister of Power and Steel in July 2003; he doubled also as Minister of Education for a brief period in 2005.

As Minister of Power, he worked tirelessly to ensure the enactment of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005, from which the establishment of the National Electric Regulatory Commission (NERC), the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the unbundling of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) was derived .