Chukwuka Godfrey Utaz, Senator Representing Enugu North In The National Assembly
Senator Chukwuka Godfrey Utaz, Senator Representing Enugu North In The National Assembly, was born on October 16, 1961 to late Pa Joseph Ezugwu Utazi and Late Roseline Utazi and hails from Ama-Ezike, Nkpologu, in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State. He obtained his first School Leaving Certificate from Community Primary School Opanda-Nimbo in 1976; and his West African School Certificate (WASC) from St. Vincent Secondary School, Agbogugu in 1982. For his tertiary education, he initially attended the College of Education in Awka, Anambra State but completed at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Government and Politics Education in 1989. Desirous of an all-round career development and conscious of the task ahead, he enrolled into the Faculty of Law of the University of Nigeria and, despite the many challenges, obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Law. He attended the Nigerian Law School and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2004.
His forays into politics started with Students Unionism at the College of Education, Awka where he was elected the Vice President of the Students Union Government. He was also a member of the House of Representatives of the Students Union Government at the University of Nigeria. That was the beginning of a career climb that would soon blossom into an important political voice in the South East of Nigeria. He was elected into the Old Enugu State (comprising of the present Enugu and Ebonyi States) House of Assembly to represent Uzo-Uwani South Constituency in December 1991 under the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Upon the inauguration of the House, the young Hon. Utazi was elected Deputy Speaker of the House. He thus became the official leader of the opposition to the ruling National Republican Convention (NRC) government of Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo in the State. In that capacity he was the Co-ordinator of the campaign of Chief Moshood Abiola, the SDP presidential flagbearer and the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential elections in the State. He held this position until November 1993 when the military, through a putsch led by General Sani Abacha dissolved all elected political structures across the country.
A natural entrepreneur, Senator Utazi established TAZ Oil, a company that would become a real competitor in the downstream sector of the Petroleum Industry in the South–Eastern part of the Country. In no distant time, off-shoots of the company sprouted, creating a business chain. Subsequently, he was elected the Chairman of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Enugu Depot Unit, and also the Legal Adviser to the Association in the South-East Zone. Later, he was elected as Chairman of the Association in the South East Zonal chapter. In those capacities, he represented the parent body during the Public Hearing debates on the original Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), in the National Assembly, where he shed light on some of the short-comings of the provisions and helping in the re-drafting of other sections of the bill.
He has held various political offices and had sat on the Boards of some State Entities. Governor Sullivan Chime appointed Utazi his Senior Special Assistant on Legislative and Labour Matters in 2007. After the General elections in 2011, the Governor made him the Commissioner for Inter-Governmental Affairs and later, Commissioner for Transport. As Commissioner for Transport, he introduced revolutionary and landmark initiatives that changed the transport sector in Enugu State. He resigned from that position in 2014 to contest as the Senatorial Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to represent Enugu North Senatorial District. The March 28, 2015 election saw him overwhelmingly elected as Senator and he, along with his other elected Colleagues were inaugurated on June 9, 2015.He presently Chairs the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes.
A deeply religious man, Senator Utazi is married to Uchenna and the marriage is blessed with four beloved children.