By Charles Edet

This Tuesday, October 11, 2022, Senator Chukwuka Godfrey Utazi, is amongst the 67 distinguished Nigerians conferred with the prestigious national honours of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in Abuja by President, Mohamadu Buhari at the International Conference Centre.

Senator Utazi was born on October 16, 1961, to the family of Joseph Ezeugwu Utazi and Mrs. Roseline Utazi of Nkpologu in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.

Utazi had his First School Leaving Certificate at Opanda-Nimbo, and attended St. Vincent’s Secondary School, Agbogugu, in Awgu LGA of Enugu State, where he obtained his General Certificate of Education (GCE).
He also attended Anambra State College of Education, Awka (ASCEA), affiliated then with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Senator Utazi , subsequently moved to UNN for the completion of his degree programme.
On completion of his education program, he registered and completed an LL.B degree at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, from where he went to Law School and was subsequently called to Bar.

He ventured into self-employment to become an entrepreneur, thus he registered Mckinghill Enterprises and later incorporated it. As his entrepreneurial profile was rising, he decided to diversify his business and ventured into the downstream petroleum business.
He started the Taz-Oil Ltd, and from there he progressed tremendously, thus opening chains of business during the period.
Chukwuka was elected the president of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Eastern Zone. While managing his businesses, he kept his eye firmly on legal practice.

Utazi’s political career started when he was elected vice-president of the Students Union Government at ASCEA and later member, Students House of Representatives at University of Nigeria ( UNN)When President Ibrahim Babangida’s transition programme opened doors of opportunity for young and upcoming politicians who were given the privilege to run for political offices of their choice.

Young and out from law school, in 1991, he won election into the House of Assembly to represent Uzo Uwani South Constituency in the old Enugu State House of Assembly on the platform of Social Democratic Party (SDP).

After a keenly contested election for officers of the State Assembly, Utazi won and was sworn in as the Deputy Speaker of the House.

Abacha regime having terminated the era he was Deputy Speaker, in 1999, Utazi once again joined governance, serving Enugu State Government under Governor Sullivan Chime, first, as Senior Special Assistant on Legislative and Labour Matters, and thereafter as Commissioner on Inter-ministerial Affairs and later as Commissioner for Transport.
He made good impact in the sector. In 2015, he resigned to run for Enugu North Senatorial District election on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He won, as Senator for the 8th Senate. And won again in 2019 to continue to represent the District in the 9th Senate.

Senator Utazi brought his experience to bear in the Senate
as he was nominated to be chairman of Senate Committee on Financial Crimes, a position he wisely used to facilitate the passage of the Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes bills: Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, 2017, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit Bill, 2017, Whistle Blowers Protection Bill, 2017, Proceeds of Crime Bill, 2017, Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2017. 
Achieving the operational autonomy and independence of the NFIU as demanded by the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units and Financial Action Task Force was the high point of his service as chairman, Senate Committee on Financial Crimes, in the 8th Senate.
It is said that good deeds, attract positive attention, people’s recognition and awards.
Cognitive of Utazi’s, selfless legislative services, President Buhari appointed him the Chairman of the Presidential Ad Hoc Committee on the Repositioning of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, (NFIU), then a unit in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

He is a visible Senator whose contributions in the 9th Senate cannot be swept under carpet. As a legislator, Utazi has demonstrated capacity.
Presently, he is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases, and he is the Vice-Chairman , Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, and has been honoured as the Senator with the most number of motions in the 9th Senate.

He is a recipient of numerous awards, his conferment of the prestigious national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger ( CON) is a fitting, colourful feather in his nest of accomplishments.

National Detective Magazine Crew, join Senator Chukwuka Utazi’s friends and well wishers to celebrate his award and honor on his conferment ofCON by the President.
Congratulations Distinguished Senator.

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