Mr Okara served as Honourable Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Investment from April 2014 - February 2016. He was re-appointed to the same portfolio on the 13th April 2016. As Commissioner, Mr Okara set out a vision to make Bayelsa State the model of an African economic success focusing on industrialization of the State economy.
Mr Okara was responsible for developing The Bayelsa State Industrialization Policy, designing the masterplan for the State Eco-Industrial Park, designing the masterplan for the State Power Generation Hub, providing conducive trading infrastructure, and developing the strategic plan for viable inward investment into Bayelsa State. In addition, Mr Okara organized the inaugural edition of the Bayelsa State Investment and Economic Forum from 16th-18th July 2014 and the 2nd edition of the Bayelsa State Investment and Economic Forum from 29th-31st July 2015. Mr Okara also oversees the N2b CBN MSME funding for Bayelsa State providing single digit interest rate financing for the MSME sector.
Prior to his appointment as Honourable Commissioner Mr. Okara was also a Trustee of Freedom Foundation and a Director in King Solomon’s Micro Finance Bank Ltd faith based initiatives actively involved in providing rehabilitation, education and empowerment to the disadvantaged in Lagos. Mr. Okara is also a Trustee of This Present House church, in Lagos. In the Niger Delta area, Mr. Okara set up Kemela Okara Foundation to provide scholarships to indigent students and the Firi Ke Ebi Initiative to provide Vocational and Entrepreneurial training to young unemployed men and women in Bayelsa State. Mr. Okara previously chaired the board of Arc Lights Limited holders of the LEGO Franchise for West Africa and parts of North Africa.
Mr. Okara is a member of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, London, England having been called to the English Bar in 1989. Mr. Okara was also called to the Nigerian Bar in December of the same year. Mr. Okara holds an LLB degree with Honours from the University of Middlesex, London, England. He was one of the founding partners of Streamsowers & Köhn, a major commercial law firm located in the heart of Victoria Island, Lagos, with branch offices in Abuja and Port Harcourt.
He is happily married to Chineze Okara and they have four children.