Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa was born on 8th July, 1959 into a humble and dedicated Christian family from Owa-Alero, Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State. He attended Iroro Primary School, Owa Alero (1965-1969), and later enrolled at the prestigious Edo College, Benin City from where he obtained the West African School Certificate (1974) and Higher School Certificate (1976).
After his High School education, Okowa proceeded to the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, where he qualified as a Medical Doctor in June 1981. Before then, he did his internship with the Central Hospital, Benin City (1981-1982), and thereafter, completed his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) with the Primary Health Care Department in Ahiazu-Mbaise Local Government Council, Imo State (1982-1983).
Dr. Okowa was employed by the Bendel State Hospitals Management Board in 1983 and worked at the General Hospital, Uromi, and Government Hospital, Igbanke, at different times. He resigned from government service in 1986 to establish Victory Medical Clinics at Igbanke and Boji Boji, Owa.
He ventured into politics in 1991 and became the Secretary of Ika Local Government Council. With the creation of Ika North East Local Government Area in the same year, he became its pioneer Executive Chairman (1991-1993). With the truncation of the Third Republic in 1993, Dr Okowa resumed his medical practice but returned to politics in 1998 with the lifting of the ban on politics by the then Military Government.
Dr Okowa became an active player in the formative stages of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). Since the inception of the Fourth Republic in 1999, Senator Okowa has had the privilege of wholesome engagements in the governance of Delta State. He was Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources (1999-2001), Water Resources Development (2001-2003) and Health (2003-2006).
In all the Ministries he served as Commissioner, his achievements were remarkable, considering the infrastructure decay and the state of the Civil Service at the time. Staying focused on his goals, he built new teams dedicated to service and good delivery. Discipline, hard work, accountability, teamwork and ownership of programmes enabled him to succeed in the implementation of set goals.
Dr Okowa resigned in October 2006 to contest election to the Office of Governor, Delta State, under the platform of PDP. He was runner-up at the PDP Gubernatorial Primaries, and later led the campaign of the Party as Director-General. He served as the Secretary of the Government Transition Committee in April/May, 2007, an assignment he also had the privilege to perform in 1999. The Transition Committees of 1999 and 2007 had the mandate to examine the programmes and policies of various Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government; proffer solutions where there were challenges; ensure a smooth transition from one administration to the other and to put up a working document for the next administration.
In June, 2007, he was appointed Secretary to the State Government (SSG). He had an enriched experience in the coordination of government activities, policies, and programmes. He resigned in July 2010 to contest the senatorial election for Delta North Senatorial District, an election he won convincingly.
As Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District in the 7th Senate of the National Assembly, Dr Okowa was the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health. During his time in the Senate, he sponsored 12 bills on the floor of the Senate, prominent among which is the National Health Act. In addition to his primary assignment as a Federal lawmaker, Dr. Okowa attracted laudable projects to Delta North Senatorial District. The people witnessed tremendous transformation in the areas of roads construction, primary healthcare facilities, installation of solar powered street lights, and water projects amongst others.
In summary, Dr Okowa’s life has been one dedicated to Public Service. His experience in the executive and legislative arms of government coupled with his credentials as a tested and proven politician and public administrator certainly put him in a vantage position to govern Delta State.
He is happily married to Edith, and they are blessed with four lovely children.