The Senator representing Uyo Senatorial District, Obong Bassey Albert Akpan (OBA) has been a world-class banker and first-class politician. Under his wealth of experience brought to bear while in the banking sector and public service, he has left a lot of impact on society. No wonder Senator Chris Ekpenyong described him recently as “a pride to Akwa Ibom and Nigeria”.
It is by his capacity and experience that Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor of Akwa Ibom State, believed OBA would be the next best Governor for the state. “I am aware that you are experienced, you know how Nigeria is and where to tap the resources for the good of our people. I know you have the capacity”, Ekpenyong said.
OBA started his professional career in 1997 when he joined the International Operations and Consumer Banking/Retail Banking Unit of the United Bank for Africa (UBA). In 1999, he moved on to become Manager, Corporate Banking group at the Continental Trust Bank at the bank’s Victoria Island Lagos, Head Office. He later joined First Inland Bank Plc in 2003 as the Uyo Branch Manager, where he won the bank’s best-performing branch manager award in the South-South region. He also won the award of the best-performing branch manager nationwide in the bank’s mid-year review of the 2004 financial year.
In 2005, he joined First City Monument Bank as Vice President, where he was the General Manager in charge of Akwa Ibom and Cross River states respectively.
He was responsible for directing and overseeing the day-to-day running of over 15 branches spread across the zone and as the Zonal Head, he articulated and developed key market penetration strategies for the bank, for sustainable market share and growth.
Obong Bassey Albert Akpan in 2007, answered a call to public service. The call came through his nomination as a commissioner into the Executive Council of the Akwa Ibom State government. In his acceptance to that call, he was handed the Finance Ministry to manage as Commissioner.
With his wealth of experience in the banking sector and background as an Economist, he was able to grow the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), to N15.6 billion as of the last quarter of 2013.
He was also the Chairman of the Inter-ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee, whose job was to ensure that government projects were completed using direct labour to save funds for the state.
He saw through successful completion of over 6000 life-touching projects in the health and education sectors, as well as areas of rural and human capital development.
In April 2009, Albert chaired the first-ever Akwa Ibom State Revenue summit. The Summit with the theme: “Maximising Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) potentials in Akwa Ibom State – A Collective Responsibility” had in attendance stakeholders from diverse socio-economic sectors in the state and was organized as part of strategic efforts to boost the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.
In 2014, Senator Albert declared his intention to contest for the Governorship seat of Akwa Ibom State. Even though he was a front-line aspirant, he decided to respect, as a loyal party man, the zoning policy of his party (PDP), which paved way for Eket Senatorial District to produce Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel as Governor of the State.
He further contested and won the Senatorial seat under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and was sworn in as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on June 9, 2015.
Obong Bassey Albert Akpan has distinguished himself in character and performance at the Senate, with the sponsorship of several bills, motions, petitions and other matters of strategic relevance, not minding the fact he was a first-timer.
He moved a motion on the floor of the Senate to look into the state of the Ikot Ekpene-Itu-Calabar highway, which had been abandoned for years and was in a state of disrepair. This led the senate to inaugurate a committee of which he was a member.
Quite an accomplishment as a banker cum politician of which time and space would not allow me to list them one after another here, but with the above submission, there is no doubt that Obong Bassey Albert Akpan meant it when he boasted, ‘l am a world-class banker and a first-class politician’.
This is the kind of person we need to manage our state, a man of integrity and quality; a man who has a plan for the women, men and youths. We need a man who knows our peculiar problems per local government and can solve them. Akwa Ibom needs a man like OBA!
-Bassey Samuel Jnr