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Awardee: H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva Minister of State for Petroleum Resources

Timipre Marlin Sylva was born on the 7th of July 1964 in Okpoma, Brass, in what was then River State and is now the East Senatorial District of Bayelsa State.

He started his primary education at St. Paul’s Anglican Primary School, Okpoma and finished at Ajeromi Central School I, Lagos in 1976. His secondary education took him to Government Secondary School, Brass from 1976 – 1981.


Sylva secured admission into the University of Port Harcourt, where he studied English Language / Linguistics and finished as the best graduating student from his department. For the mandatory National Youth Service Corps Programme, he served with Shell Petroleum Development Company at Warri, Delta State.

His working career started with the National Minority Business Council, Port Harcourt, where as the Executive Secretary, he diligently saw to the creation of employment opportunities for his people.

Sylva’s political career started in 1992 when he won a seat in the House of Assembly election representing Brass constituency in old Rivers State on the platform of the then National Republican Convention, NRC. This was however, cut short by the military intervention of the Late General Sani Abacha.

Thereafter, he went into private business. When the ban on politics was lifted, he became one of the founding members of the United Nigeria Congress Party, UNCP, where he served as the State Financial Secretary.

He was political adviser to the former Governor, D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha up till 2002, when he resigned.

His political career continued when he was appointed as the Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Petroleum Dr. Edmund Dakouru in 2004. He continued in that position until he resigned to join the PDP gubernatorial primaries in 2006 in Bayelsa State, in which he placed, second behind Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

Sylva won the Bayelsa gubernatorial election on May 29, 2007 but an Appeal Court in Port Harcourt nullified Sylva’s election on April 15, 2008. A new election was held on May 24, 2008, and Sylva, again running as the PDP candidate, was overwhelmingly elected and sworn in again on May 27.

On January 27, 2012, his tenure was terminated by the Supreme Court with an acting governor appointed to oversee the state until the election of February 2012.

Sylva was appointed by President Buhari in August 2019, as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.

He is married with three children.
His life mission is to aid society and lift the people of his home state of Bayelsa to prosperity, security, and unity.