Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson on Thursday appointed the Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Investment Barr. Kemela Okara as the new Secretary to the State Government.
Okara who hails from Bumoundi in Ekpetiama Clan of Yenagoa Local Government Area holds a LLB degree with Honours from the University of Middlesex, London and he is a member of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, London, England having been called to the English Bar in 1989.
He was also called to the Nigerian Bar in December 1989 and was one of the founding partners of Streamsowers & Köhn, a major commercial law firm located in the heart of Victoria Island, Lagos, with branch offices in Abuja and Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Okara served as Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Investment from from April 2014 to February 2016 and was re-appointed to the same portfolio on April 13, 2016 after the re-election of Gov. Dickson for a second term.
He was responsible for developing the Bayelsa State Industrialization Policy, designing the master plan for the State Eco-Industrial Park, the master plan for the State Power Generation Hub as well as providing conducive trading infrastructure, and developing the strategic plan for viable inward investment into Bayelsa State.
Okara also organized the inaugural edition of the Bayelsa State Investment and Economic Forum in 2014.
Known for his impeccable integrity, Okara oversaw the CBN MSME funding for Bayelsa State providing single digit interest rate financing for the MSME sector.
Prior to his appointment as Commissioner in 2014 he was a Trustee of Freedom Foundation and a Director in King Solomon’s Micro Finance Bank Limited, a faith-based initiatives actively involved in providing rehabilitation, education and empowerment to the disadvantaged in Lagos.
The new scribe of the Bayelsa State Government is also a Trustee of This Present House church, in Lagos while in the Niger Delta area, he instituted the Kemela Okara Foundation to provide scholarship to indigent students and the Firi Ke Ebi Initiative to provide Vocational and Entrepreneurial training to young unemployed men and women in Bayelsa State.
Okara previously chaired the board of Arc Lights Limited holders of the LEGO Franchise for West Africa and parts of North Africa.