Barr. (Mrs) Millicent Nnenna Ukachukwu by many standards had an eventful 41 years sojourn on earth. Though short, the impact of her sojourn will continue to reverberate for years to come due to the many lives she touched positively and the several empowering projects she was part of.
For the greater part of her brief mortality, she was the doting wife of Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu who himself has served Nigeria in many capacities principal among them as a member of the House of Representatives, serving at various as the Chairman of the House Committee on Oil and Gas as well as of the Federal Capital Territory. She was also a caring mother of five lovely boys namely Nicholas, Henry, Phil, David and Mathew.
Yet her matrimonial and motherly commitments did not stand in the way of her accomplishments in other fields of human endeavours as can be seen for instance in her accomplishments in the field of scholarship where she acquired several certificates, many of the of post graduate status from several leading institutions across the world. Indeed, motherhood seemed to have energized her the more as she left the shores of Nigeria with three kids in tow to study for her first law degree.
Nwunye Ikukuoma as she was fondly called had to her credit a Diploma in Computer Science from the University of Abuja; a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Buckingam; a Post Graduate Certificate in Energy Petroleum, Mineral Law and Policy and Master of Laws in Petroleum Law and Policy of the University of Dundee, Scotland and Barrister at Law, Nigeria Law School.
Not even her call to the Bar could quench her appetite for education. Rather she went on to further acquire a Diploma in International Arbitration Law, College of Law of England and Wales; Post Graduate Certificate in Education from University of Nottingham; Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management from Lagos Business School Pan African University; Certificate in School Management Leadership, Harvard Business School. At the time death, the grim reaper struck, she was simultaneously studying for two more university certificates, one a Master’s in Business Administration at the University of Nottingham and the other a Ph.D at the University College, London.
Our Nnenna put to fruitful use these academic laurels she acquired in the fields of Law, Education and Business Studies. She co-founded the British Nigeria Academy, Abuja in 2008 to give practical expression to her love for education. She deployed the business administration skills she acquired in the classroom in the running of the Prince and Princess Pharmacy which she established as well as in the management of the family business, Sneucou Group of Companies Ltd where she served in such capacities as Company Secretary, Vice Chairman and Executive Director. Before these feats she had as far back as 1997 worked as a staff of First Bank Nigeria.
Another area where Nnenna made her mark was in her membership of professional associations. At the international level she was a member of the International Bar Association and of the International Federation of Women Lawyers. At the national level, she was a member of the Nigerian Bar Association; Member, Association of School and College Leaders; Member, Abuja Schools Association and Member, Principal’s Centre, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
A child of the Catholic faith by birth and of the Anglican faith by marriage, Nwunye Ikukuoma wore her Christian virtues as a garment. She gave practical expressions to these virtues through philanthropy which saw her going regularly to the Internally Displaced Person’s (IDPs) camps to donate food, clothing and cash and in contributing to the execution of several church projects. These virtues also accozunted for her mentoring and assisting young entrepreneurs and women to start their business.
No doubt, she could not have been able to make these giant strides without the support of her husband, himself an accomplished politician, industrialist and estate developer. Together, they ran Prince and Princess Properties, a firm that has so far developed 2000 housing units for Nigerians in Abuja.
She also ably supported him in the running of their several other business concerns prominent among them Niccus Industries Limited, a manufacturing concern that has about twelve product lines and directly employs about 6000 people and Riok International Company Limited, a company that is into the building of roads, bridges and other heavy civil engineering works.
Perhaps it could be said that in her philanthropic endeavours, she also took a cue from her husband who is well known for empowering youths financially and is the founder of Prince C. N. Ukachukwu Outreach Ministries that rehabilitates and reforms stray youths, among other philanthropic endeavours.
As she goes home to be with her maker, we wish her peaceful eternal repose. We also pray that God Almighty will give her family and the loved ones she is leaving behind the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
•HRH Igwe Uchenna Okpalaunegbu IV MNIQS, RQS, the Traditional Ruler of Isuanaoma, Aguata LGA.