RESUME: SENATOR (DR) DAVID ALECHENU BONAVENTURE MARK GCON, fnim, fnipr, psc+ fwc fss
Senator (Dr.) David Alechenu Bonaventure Mark, President of the 6th and 7th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and currently emeritus member of the 8th Senate, is a well-respected politician, business man and a retired Brigadier-General. He also possesses the enviable record of being the longest serving Senator (1999 to-date) and the longest serving President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2007-2015).
Senator Mark’s capacity and grounding in bridge building, legislative engagement and policy action is revered. As President of the Senate, Senator Mark demonstrated considerable maturity in leading his colleagues and managing national issues. He is a consummate team player. Prior to his emergence as President of the Senate in June 2007, Senator Mark served as Chairman of the Senate Committees on Communications, Banking and Currency, Police Affairs and Science and Technology. He also served as a Member of the Senate Committees on Defence, Governmental Affairs, Internal Affairs, Police Affairs, Security and Intelligence, Cooperation and Integration in Africa and Local and Foreign Debt.
Born in Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria, Senator Mark is a graduate of the Nigerian Defence Academy (3rdRegular Course). He holds a bachelor of Engineering Degree in Telecommunications. He is also a graduate of the National Defence University, Washington DC, the Command and Staff College, Jaji and the School of Signals, Blandford, England, amongst others. Senator Mark has served Nigeria in various capacities, including Governor of Niger state (1984-1986), Minister of Communications (1988-1993), member of the Armed Forces Ruling Council (1988-1993) and more recently in various capacities as a member of the Nigerian Senate.
A pragmatist, an outstanding parliamentarian and a shrewd politician, Senator Mark is deeply committed to the social, economic and political growth and development of Nigeria. His tenure in public service is characterized by the conceptualisation and implementation of brilliant ideas, bold actions and courageous initiatives. As Governor of Niger State, he introduced Compulsory Girl-Child Education. His legacy reverberates today as Niger State still has one of the highest number of educated females among the 19 Northern States of Nigeria. Appointed Minister of Communications in 1988, he set the tone for the modernization of the communications sector by introducing mobile phones and a digital telephone system in the country.
As a great believer in education, he established a scholarship scheme under the ‘David Mark Scholarship Foundation’, which awards scholarships ranging from Primary to University level education. No fewer than 20,000 students have benefitted from the annual scholarship scheme since its inception in 2005. In 2009, he built and donated a complex to the National Open University of Nigeria, Otukpo Study Centre.
In his unrelenting commitment to improving access to health care for all, he supports free medical services yearly. He has also facilitated the construction and functionality of health centres in several areas in his Benue South Senatorial district. He is a sports enthusiast and a sponsor of annual football, golf and basketball (‘Mark D Ball’) tournaments.
Along with his wife, Mrs. Helen Mark, women in Otukpo have access without charge to a Skills Acquisition Centre and are provided with equipment and a ‘start up fund’ on completion of their training. No fewer than 10,000 women have benefitted from the programme since its inception in 2007. In addition, he runs an interest free revolving loan to small scale enterprises for his constituents.
Senator Mark is a recipient of many honours and laurels, notable among which is the highly coveted national award of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), as well as Fellow of Legislation and Law from the Nigerian Institute of Legislative Studies (NILS), not to mention the many other honorary doctorate degrees.
Senator David Mark is the Chair of the Global Ambassadors of CHESTRAD International. In this capacity, he, along with other Ambassadors provides leadership to the private sector on parliamentary and policy engagement in domestic resource mobilization to support the sustainable development goals through the platform ‘I Will Give’, Africa.