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Ephraim Inyang-eyen: When Stewardship Justifies Brief

By Patrick Albert

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Diligence counts as a distinctive attribute of success. A philosopher, Antiphanes (408–334 BC) rightly opined that “Everything yields to diligence.” This is also echoed by a British statesman, Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), who stated that “Diligence is the mother of good fortune.” Where outstanding accomplishments are recorded, diligence is certainly the vibe behind one’s capacity.

As experts are wont to say, it is meticulousness that enhances one’s capacity to achieve excellence in life. In Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel’s success story in the road sector echoes beyond borders. As a critical sector, aimed at touching the lives of the citizenry across the nooks and crannies of the State, in line with his knack for service delivery, Governor Emmanuel entrusted the road sector development into the hands of Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-eyen as the Commissioner for Works. And his hands have proved to be very fertile in yielding harvests for the administration.

Without any doubt, the Governor’s choice of Inyang-eyen surely had divine interplay. Before the end of Governor Emmanuel’s first tenure – May 2015 – May 2019, the road sector witnessed a phenomenal development. Inyang-eyen marshalled the Governor’s dream to successfully execute over 1725 Kilometres of quality roads, covering 232 roads as well as the construction of 39 bridges across the State. With the commencement of the second term in May 2019, apart from working to complete ongoing roads’ projects, new ones are being added, including a flyover project at Ikot Oku Ikono, Uyo, actualization of the Coastal Highway in Eket (Akwa Ibom South) Senatorial District and the delivery of Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Road by December 2019.

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The scorecard of Governor Emmanuel’s administration had come up for applause in far away Enugu State on Monday, May 20, 2019, during a National Workshop by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for journalists across the 17 States of Southern Nigeria, INEC officials and the National officers of NUJ.

Through a goodwill message by the Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Inyang-eyen to the Conference, participants at the workshop, held at Top Rank Galaxy Hotel, No. 1, Hill View Street by Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS), gave the Akwa Ibom Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel a standing ovation for his rare accomplishment in the road sector in the State, which stands in the lead over other States of the Federation. Reacting to Governor Emmanuel’s feat, Sir Roland Osakue, Chairman of NUJ, Edo State Council, described it as monumental. “Each time I come to Akwa Ibom State, I reflect on what good governance stands for. I am so impressed about the development there. Your Governor is wonderful. Let me also say that he made a good choice in finding someone like Mr. Ephraim Inyang-eyen to handle the Ministry of Works. The Commissioner is doing very well,” Sir Osakue said.

As experts and stakeholders in the construction industry readily agree, it can only be someone with obvious capacity and crave for due diligence who can easily muster the courage and nerves to waltz through and record monumental successes in a combative sector like works. Without hedging, Akparawa Inyang-eyen knows his job and fully understands how to go about it. As an acknowledgement, the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State recently conferred on him a meritorious award for his hard work, selflessness, integrity and a clear sense of purpose in discharging the responsibility placed before him. He has equally attracted accolades, certificates and awards across Nigeria and beyond.

A peep into his intellectual disposition resonated glaringly at the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on Thursday, August 8, 2019. The occasion was the defense of the 2020 Budget Estimate of the Ministry of Works before the Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh led House Committee on Finance and Appropriation held at the Conference Room of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

Hon. Uduak Odudoh, the chairman of the committee and member representing Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo, had the following members of the Committee in attendance at the event: Hon. Udeme Otong (Abak), Hon. Godwin Ekpo (Ibiono Ibom), Hon. Effiong Bassey ( Oron/Udung Uko), Hon. (Barr) Otobong Bob (Nsit Ubium), Hon. Victor Ekwere (Mkpat Enin), and Hon. Asuquo Nana ( Ikono).

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Inyang-eyen, who was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Engr. John Itiat, Director of Accounts, Mr. Edet Ayara and other ministry officials, was a delight to watch during his presentation. He made a superb overview of the roads already executed and the ones ongoing, including the recently flagged off flyover in Ikot Oku Ikono, Uyo and the super highway scheme cutting across several local government areas in Eket Senatorial District. The super highway, he hinted, will be key to the success of the Ibom Deep Seaport in Mbo LGA.

The Works Commissioner laid before the Committee, nay the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly the need for cooperation in funding of the various ongoing roads’ projects across the State. As often said in Latin, Res Ipsa Loquitor (The facts speaks for itself), the activities of the Ministry of Works under the supervision of Mr. Inyang-eyen since Governor Emmanuel ascended the pinnacle of political power of the State are glaringly seen and appreciated. Communities across the State have their stories changed forever in the road sector development of Governor Emmanuel.

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The Chairman of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon. Odudoh, was categorical in his response. The legislator gave thumbs up to Governor Emmanuel on his mind blowing performances in the road sector as excellently x-rayed by Mr. Inyang-eyen during his briefing. He said his competence in driving the road projects of the Governor has met the expectations of the people and assured that the Committee, nay the Assembly will readily support the government to achieve its Completion Agenda Programme.

The event was enveloped with praises for the former no-nonsense Customs officer, Mr. Inyang-eyen as another member of the Committee, Hon. Godwin Ekpo passed a vote of confidence on him and described him as a valuable asset in the administration of Governor Emmanuel. “Let me acknowledge that you have performed even better than some professionals in the field. You are one Commissioner that we greatly respect. You know what is expected of you and goes all out to accomplish it,” the legislator, who had served as chairman of Ibiono Ibom Local Government Council stated amidst ovation by colleagues and others present at the budget defence.

On October 10, 2017, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Zone F – South South covering Akwa Ibom, Delta, Edo, Rivers, Cross River and Bayelsa States, installed Ephraim Inyang-eyen as its Grand Patron in recognition of his record in the public space, humanitarian services and community development. The event held at the Emerald Event Centre, Edet Akpan Avenue, Uyo, capital city of Akwa Ibom, had the cerebral and highly regarded Professor Effiong Johnson of the Faculty of Arts, University of Uyo as the keynote speaker with the theme, The Role of the Media in Harnessing Human Resources for State Development. The investiture was performed on behalf the zone by the then President of NUJ, Mr. Waheed Odusile and assisted by the National Secretary, Comrade Shuaibu Usman Leman, Vice President of the Zone, Mr. Edward Ogude and Elder Patrick Albert, who was the Chairman of the Award Selection and Conference Committee in the Zone.

And each day, Mr. Inyang-eyen has lived up to the billing in justifying his capacity for service delivery. The Commissioner is indeed a gift to Governor Udom Emmanuel and the administration.

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