Stephen J. Benstowe is a dedicated indigene of Bonny Kingdom and a well-respected professional in public service with the State of New Jersey, United States of America. He is a strong community advocate and supporter of the advancement of Nigeria. He holds a Master of Science (MS) degree in Occupational Safety and Health Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, New Jersey, a Bachelor of Technology degree (B. Tech) in Marine Engineering from the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt. He is an experienced engineer, strong community development advocate and an accomplished intellectual.
A man well recognized for his numerous achievements and immense contributions to the society, and general welfare of his people, he was found worthy by the Governor of Rivers State to be appointed a Justice of Peace in 2016.
He has remained in the consciousness of his friends and contemporaries as a builder of human social bridges, a teacher, technocrat, a man of transparent honesty and humility and an unshakable believer in the unity not only of Bonny Kingdom, Rivers State, but also of Nigeria. He was a scholar at the USA National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) a registered engineer and holds membership of several prestigious national and international professional organizations such as: the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, COREN, the American Society of Safety Professionals, the Nigeria Society of Engineers, and the Philadelphia Maritime Society. Stephen is a founding member and one time chairman of the Ijaw Foundation Inc. USA, Secretary of the Ijaw National Congress – North America, Chairman of the Bonny Kingdom Study Group, leader of the Ibani-se (Bonny Community) USA, member of the Nigeria Diaspora Organization USA and a regional director of the Rivers State Foundation Inc.
Born in Bonny Kingdom in Rivers State Nigeria, he had his primary and secondary education at Boyle Memorial and Bonny National Grammar Schools Bonny. For professional and university education he graduated from Rivers State University of Science and Technology in Port Harcourt with a B. Tech degree in Marine Engineering and later obtained a master’s degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark in the area of Occupational Safety and Health Engineering.
Stephen served Nigeria in the compulsory “National Youth Service Program” devoting his time as a servant with the Nigeria Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research Lagos 1985-86, lecturing students in “Marine Engineering and Nautical Sciences“. Upon completing the service, Stephen gained an appointment with the then Nigeria National Shipping Line Lagos as a Marine Engineer. He contributed his expertise in maritime operations to the Nigeria nation between 1986 and 1995.He has worked for Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. as Construction planning engineer in new ship constructions and currently works for the State of New Jersey as Environmental/Safety Manager managing human resources, high-end projects, and environmental/ safety operations to safeguard the environment, workers, and the public. He is an authorized safety trainer in all regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of the United States of America.
Stephen has been and a participant in most professional enrichment seminars of affiliated associations in the USA and Nigeria. He has presented several papers on Niger Delta problems such as; Using Peaceful Strategies to Address the Niger Delta Development Issues: The Bonny Module and alsoSustainable Development Policy: A Tool for Peace and Increased Oil and Gas Operations in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.
He is the currently the Vice President of Rivers State Foundation Inc. USA.