Timipre Sylva

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Timipre Sylva
Timipre Sylva.jpg
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources
In office
21 August 2019 31 March 2023

Timipre Marlin Sylva CON (born 7 July 1964) [1] is a Nigerian politician who served as the minister of state for Petroleum Resources of Nigeria from 2019 to 2023. [2] He previously served as governor of Bayelsa State from 2007 to 2012.


Early life and background

Sylva was born in Brass, Bayelsa [1] (formerly Rivers State, of which Bayelsa State was split off from in 1996), He got part of his education in Bayelsa and in Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria. He was a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly in the 1990s. [3]


[4] Sylva graduated from the University of Port Harcourt with distinction in English (Linguistics) in 1986. At the time, he was the best graduating student from his department and departmental valedictorian. He was subsequently awarded a Doctor in International Relations (Honoris causa) by the UBIS University in 2011. [5] Sylva was awarded his second Doctorate (Honoris Causa) in Public Administration on the 2nd of December 2020 by AiPA (African Institute of Public Administration), Leading Edge Foundation and LBBS. [6]

Political career

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. At the time, he was the youngest of all the members in the house of Assembly. His political career continued when he was appointed as the Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Petrolatum in 2004 under the auspices of Dr Edmund Daukoru. He continued in that position until he resigned to join the PDP gubernatorial primaries in 2006 in Bayelsa State,[ citation needed ] in which he placed, second behind Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. After the PDP presidential primaries election and Dr. Jonathan was appointed as a running mate to Umaru Musa Yar'Adua of blessed memory, the gubernatorial candidacy for PDP became vacant, and conventional wisdom took the better of the political actors and Sylva was elevated to occupy the position of PDP gubernatorial candidate.[ citation needed ]

As a candidate of the People's Democratic Party Sylva won the 2007 Bayelsa State gubernatorial election and succeeded Goodluck Jonathan who went on to the position of Vice President. [7] During his inauguration he said that Bayelsa was "the least developed industrially and commercially" of all 36 states. [7]

Sylva's opponent in the 2007 election, Ebitimi Amgbare of the Action Congress, legally challenged his victory. Although the Bayelsa State Election Petitions Tribunal upheld Sylva's election, Amgbare took the matter to the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt which overturned the Tribunal's decision and nullified Sylva's election on April 15, 2008. The Appeal Court's five justices were unanimous in their decision and ordered that Speaker Werinipre Seibarugo be sworn in to replace Sylva as acting Governor, with a new election to be held within three months. [8]

A new election was held on May 24, 2008, and Sylva, again running as the PDP candidate, was overwhelmingly elected with 588,204 out of about 598,000 votes. [9] He was sworn in again on May 27, saying on this occasion that he would form a broadly inclusive unity government. [10] 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. [11] Sylva was appointed by President Buhari on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, as the Nigerian Cabinet Minister of State for Petroleum Resources. [12]

Corruption allegations

After the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in August 2021, Sylva was accused of facilitating the bribery of federal legislators to guarantee the legislation's advancement despite significant public opposition to parts of the text. According to Peoples Gazette reporting, at least $10 million was paid to legislators in payments organized by Sylva and Akwa Ibom North-East Senator Bassey Albert Akpan with between $1.5 million and $2 million going to both Senate President Ahmad Lawan and House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila. Multiple legislators corroborated the story with several legislators expressing anger, not that the Gbajabiamila and Lawan allegedly took bribes but instead that the bribes were not shared equally among the legislators as other legislators claimed to have received $5,000 for representatives and $20,000 for senators. Gbajabiamila, Lawan, Sylva, and Akpan all declined to comment on the story. [13] [14]


In October 2022, a Nigerian national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) was conferred on him by President Muhammadu Buhari. [15]

See also

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  1. 1 2 "Official Portal of Bayelsa State – The Governor". Bayelsa, Nigeria. Archived from the original on 20 October 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
  2. "Ministry floats $50m Nigerian content research, development fund". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 10 September 2021. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  3. Sylva, Timipre (17 March 2007). "Bayelsa: I'll Treat Sycophants As My Greatest Enemies". Nigerian Vanguard. PR Newswire . Retrieved 9 June 2007.[ dead link ]
  4. "Timipre Sylva, 'Ajegunle boy', returns to familiar terrain in petroleum ministry". Vanguard News. 21 August 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  5. "WEC19". WEC19. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  6. AriseNews (9 August 2021). "Nigeria's Search for a New President Begins; Meet Possible Contenders as 2023 Beckons". Arise News. Retrieved 16 September 2023.
  7. 1 2 "Sylva Laments Poor Industrial Condition Of Bayelsa". Niger Delta Standard. Archived from the original on 24 February 2007. Retrieved 9 June 2007.
  8. "Nigerian governor loses his job by court order" Archived 2008-09-20 at the Wayback Machine , Panapress (afrik.com), April 16, 2008.
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  10. Segun James, "Sylva Takes Oath of Office, Embraces Unity Govt" [ permanent dead link ], This Day, May 28, 2008.
  11. Acting Governors Take Over in Adamawa, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Kogi, Sokoto Archived 2013-07-21 at the Wayback Machine EIE Nigeria, January 30, 2012
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  13. Olubajo, Oyindamola; Essien, Hillary (20 August 2021). "EXCLUSIVE: Senators, Reps fight dirty over $10 million bribe to reject PIB's 5% for host communities". Peoples Gazette . Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  14. "Petroleum Bill: Shameless Nigerian Lawmakers Battle Senate President Lawan, House Speaker Gbajabiamila Over Lopsided Sharing Of Multi-million Dollar Bribe". Sahara Reporters . Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  15. "FULL LIST: 2022 National Honours Award Recipients The Nation Newspaper". The Nation Newspaper. 9 October 2022. Retrieved 1 November 2022.