Rt. Hon Austin Opara is a seasoned Management Consultant, with expertise in general management, marketing and purchasing. He possesses a Higher National Diploma (HND) and a Bachelor of Science (2nd Class upper) marketing option as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) all from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Nkpolu, Port Harcourt. Rt. Hon. Austin Opara also has certifications in Public Financial Management and Mastering Negotiation both from the prestigious Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Education in the United States of America.
He started his working career as a lecturer with the Rivers State School of Basis Studies, from where he worked as Head, Purchasing Department, Horicon Dredging Nigeria Limited, Port Harcourt and later honed his skills as an entrepreneur when he became a major dealer with Mobil Nigeria Unlimited. An active member of the People’s Democratic Party, Rt. Hon Austin Opara contested and won election in 1999 as a member of the House of Representatives, representing Port Harcourt II, Federal Constituency. In 2003 he was reelected as a member of the House of Representatives and subsequently elected to serve as the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives from 3rd June, 2003 -29th May, 2007. In the course of his stay as a member of the House of Representatives he served amongst others as Deputy Chairman, National Assembly Joint Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sub-Chairman, House Committee on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Member House Committee on Petroleum, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Member, House Committee on National Security & intelligence.
He was also a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament and was a member of the Governing Council of the ECOWAS Parliament between 2003-2007. He also led several delegations of the House of Representatives to various conferences and meetings including the House of Representatives Delegation to the 11th Crans Montana Forum in Monaco, France, House of Representatives delegation to all Inter – Parliamentary Union (IPU) meetings and conferences world over between 2003 – 2007. He sponsored and participated actively in the enactment of several strategic bills such as bill on Gas Re-injection, NDDC bill etc.
Rt. Hon. Austin Opara has also served the country as Member; Technical Committee on the Review of the Structure of Local Governments; Member, Nigerian Committee on United Nations Reform on Security Council, Member, Senator Mantu led Federal Government’s palliative Committee and Chairman, Board of Directors of the Abuja Investment Company Limited.
A man who is not just passionate about the prosperity of Rivers State but committed to ensuring that Rivers State occupies its rightful place in the comity of states within the Nation. He is committed to the cause of the economically active poor within Rivers State and has single handedly awarded scholarships and embarked on several financial empowerment schemes which has benefited numerous persons within Rivers State and beyond.
A God fearing gentleman who is a knight of the Anglican Communion. He is also the holder of the national honour, Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR). Rt. Hon Austin Opara who is the owner of Eruriz Nigeria Limited has received several awards, chieftaincy titles and honours. He is happily married to Justice Margaret Opara and they are blessed with children. He enjoys reading, sports and music.