Gov. Emmanuel Has Made Investors See Potentials Of Akwa Ibom

. . . Ibom Deep Seaport Will Change Akwa Ibom Narratives

Otuekong Nse Essien recounts Gov Emmanuel's achievements in Akwa Ibom state

Hon. (Otuekong) Nse Essien is the member representing ONNA State Constituency. The honorable member who is also the deputy chief whip and chairman, House Committee on Security, Youth and Sports, is known for his effective representation of his people in the State House of Assembly as well as his lofty contributions toward sustainable development and more particularly in strengthening human capacity index in Akwa Ibom State by focusing on youth empowerment.

Otuekong Essien is one of the most eloquent members in the hallowed chambers. Very vocal and sound, a true advocate of his people who is always sponsoring people-oriented bills poised to affecting the lives of Akwa Ibom people positively. This and many more have, however, made the honorable member to stand out distinctively among his contemporaries.

In the past five years as the people’s representative, the honorable member has performed beyond expectations in meeting the dreams and aspirations of his people while addressing their concerns promptly. He speaks on some salient issues in this Interview with Crystal Express.


Mr Ephraim Inyang-eyen has just been appointed as chief of staff to the governor. What is your take on this?

The appointment of Ephraim Inyang by Governor Udom Emmanuel is timely and commendable. The governor is a visionary and result-oriented leader. Mr Ephraim Inyang-eyen is a dutiful, selfless and committed public servant who performed creditably as commissioner for works.

In the five years he served as Commissioner, Ministry of Works, he demonstrated unparalleled zeal and commitment in ensuring infrastructural renaissance and perfect interpretation of Governor Emmanuel’s dream in that sector of our state economy. In ensuring the best for the people of Akwa Ibom State, he displayed rare courage and shunned personal aggrandizement to the admiration of everybody.

As he resumes as the chief of staff to our dear governor, I pray God to energize him with wisdom and sound health to do even better for the overall interest of the state.

The great people of Onna whom I speak for also felicitate once again the visionary governor of Akwa Ibom State for this great elevation and more so for his five years of superior performance in infrastructural renaissance, industrialization, peace and security, agricultural development, sports development, massive improvement in the health sector, development of aviation sector, among many others.

Governor Emmanuel remains a promise keeper whose performance will remain indelible in the annals of the state’s history.  We reassured him of our total support and ceaseless prayers to ensure a successful and rewarding tenure for the people of Akwa Ibom State.


Covid-19 pandemic is ravaging the country and the state. How would you rate the efforts of the governor towards containing it in Akwa Ibom?

Governor Udom Emmanuel has displayed great zeal and commitment in the management of COVID-19 in the state, which I describe as unparalleled and futuristic. The governor was totally on top of the situation. He was fully prepared to confront the pandemic and shield the state from calamity. It is on record that he built and commissioned a world-class disease control centre in a record time. He has also ensured that those who contracted the virus are given the best medical treatment.


Take a general look at Akwa Ibom as a state and give us your assessement of its journey so far.

Akwa Ibom has done extremely well taking cognizance of when it was created and the length of time it has been in existence compared to other states. In a little over 30 years of her creation, it has become a cynosure of all eyes. Today we have signature projects spread across the state. The Victor Attah International Airport has already broken national record in terms of patronage, especially with the arrival of Ibom Air. The Ibom E-library, the over 18 industries recorded in four years including meter factory, syringe manufacturing industry, flour mills, among others. All the past and incumbent administrations have been very impressive. They did and are still doing a lot to put Akwa Ibom in not just Nigeria but world map. An American ambassador once visited Akwa Ibom and said that he has seen the future of Nigeria in Akwa Ibom State.


Talking about governance, how would you rate the performance of the incumbent administration in the state?

Governor Emmanuel has done very well and has achieved so much. At a time most states are still struggling to pay workers’ salaries, he has not just paid salaries up to date but attracted and executed very meaningful and life-touching projects across the state. Such projects include the Coconut plantation and Refinery, Flour mills, Syringe factory, Metering company, Plywood factory, Toothpick and pencil factories among others.

Even in dire times, road constructions are still being intensified with more than 2000 kilometres of roads and still counting. When the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo visited the state recently to commission one of the factories, he described the governor as a very clever person. When you consider the personality of the Vice President, you then understand that he meant what he said.

The governor has ensured equitable distribution of projects to every part of the state. That is why he has been labeled Mr. Industrialization. The key feature of this is that some of the projects are being financed by the contractors through alternative funding approach. He has been able to deploy his many years of experience in the banking sector to turn around the fortunes of  Akwa Ibom people. Gov. Emmanuel has taken Akwa Ibom from a supposedly civil service state to an investor’s haven. I salute his vigour towards ensuring that Ibom Deep Seaport, which is in its last preliminary stage, becomes a reality. This is one project Akwa Ibom people are looking forward to. This will definitely change our narrative. The governor needs our support to achieve his completion agenda.

Otuekong Nse Essien


Are you disturbed that some key projects of the past administration are yet to be completed?

There is no cause for worry. The important thing is the general welfare of the people and when a government has the people’s welfare at heart, every other thing will align. When the compass of the ship is right, definitely it will arrive at its destination. In this instance, there are projects that needed urgent attention and others that will follow suit; it is all at the prerogative of the governor. Therefore, there is no project that will be abandoned. It is just that every government has its timeline and milestones. There is no cause to worry at all, as most of them are presently ongoing.

However, looking now at  the completion process of his five-point agenda of industrialization, poverty eradication, creation of jobs, political inclusion and consolidation of infrastructures, you will see that he has performed beyond expectation. He has done several projects including the ones in the power sector. We have sub-power stations courtesy of him to improve the power sector, enhance the standard of living and encourage more investors to come down here for investment. See the number of roads constructed which is to his credit. Before now very few were in existence.


What areas will you like the governor to concentrate on in his remaining years of the second term?

He has marked out his path clearly, which is industrialization and he is working hard on it. Foreign investors who have seen the potentials of the state are coming in droves. The state is in the top two investors’ destination. Somehow, he has created an enabling environment for foreign direct investment in our state. He should be encouraged. I have personally had calls from people who are interested in investing here, how much more the governor of the state?

Governor Emmanuel’s administration has touched every facet of our public life. This state is one of the very few states that have been able to meet up their obligations to both civil and public servants. We have over 2,000 kilometres of roads with several bridges done already. There is free education for primary and secondary school students; free medical care for children and the elderly including pregnant women; payment of WAEC and NECO fees for our children and several interventions in many sectors. There are many achievements on ground for all to see. Therefore in my view, the governor has almost fulfilled his campaign promises to the people of the state. However since the society is dynamic and issues arise from time to time, I expect the governor to be ahead of the challenges.


FEYReP has been in the news lately over their campaign against rape and other vices including giving succour to widows. What is your take?

In Dr Martha Udom Emmanuel, I see a compassionate mother and pillar of support for the less-privileged. The wife of the governor hardly sleeps well because of the problems of women, children and the aged. She set up FEYReP, an NGO, to address the issues confronting this set of people in the society, and the organization is building houses for the poorest of the poor, especially widows, to enhance their living standard, lending support to the pregnant women, and nursing mothers to ease their burden. They are also in the forefront of war against rape, domestic violence and any form of molestation against women and children. The governor’s wife is battling age long vices and needs all the support and publicity to change what appears to be the status quo in some people’s way of life. Today things are getting better because Martha is bearing the cross for many women and children without a voice.


As the chairman, House Committee on Security, using security as a yardstick to measure Gov. Emmanuel’s performance, is the state more secure now than before?

I am sure that you know the answer because anybody who has lived in this state in the last 10 years will know that there is a big difference. There was a time you would have to devise all manner of wisdom in the way and manner you conduct your movement around the state in the name of safety. If you recall at campaign grounds of PDP during the build up to 2019 elections, there were testimonies from Akwa Ibom people on how they are living now in peace without fear, showing that the era of insecurity has fizzled out. How it happened remains between God and Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Security to me is everything, be it in your business, private or social life, once security is intact things move normally. Today people can stay in their business premises until midnight unlike before, by 6pm everybody shut down for the fear of unknown. Moreover, it affected productivity.


How you would rate the impact of this government on the youth who form the most active population and tomorrow’s leaders? 

You are aware that in any society where youths are not meaningfully engaged, you will understand better the adage that an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. The several opportunities created by the administration in various sectors have positively engaged the youths. The governor had also taken the state and the youths to God. Today we have youths who believe so much in the powers and provisions of God, which is why we have monthly youth prayer conference in the state. It has helped to re-orient our youths. In 2015 when the governor took over, he brought the “Dakadaa” philosophy meaning “Arise and Shine” which has re-awakened the consciousness of our people that they have the capacity to be whatever they wish to be and the person God created them to be. If youths are properly mentored, their mindset will be positive and they will achieve their full potentials.

Today in Akwa Ibom, we have a set of youths who do not only want to stand out but believe totally in themselves. The industries the governor facilitated are employing youths. Employment in agriculture and production of rice now available in the state is mainly dominated by youths. A staple food like Garri is now available everywhere because his government has encouraged and empowered youths to go into commercial agriculture. These are the things the governor promised Akwa Ibom people, he has done them. Several youths have gotten employment via these government initiatives. It cannot go round at once but will gradually affect a greater majority.

Our governor’s efforts in agriculture are legendary. Many governments don’t like going into agriculture because it is not something flashy and glamorous. You have to go into the forests or bushes to see for yourself. So many governments shy away from it because it is laborious. It is also difficult to get massive lands for commercial agriculture. This investment on youth empowerment is one of the reasons we have witnessed this level of peace in the state. Above all, the Bible says that when the righteous is on the throne the people rejoice. The governor is a child of God and God is with him. All he has achieved is by His grace.



Could we have a look at some of your recent activities as a representative of your people in the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly?

Today, the Indomitable Foundation has offered scholarship up to secondary school level to 10 talented youngsters after getting parental consent to groom them to stardom gradually in football and quality education.

At the risk of sounding immodest, as at my midterm 128 ONNA youths are on monthly stipends from my office. The party structure in my chapter has received commensurate financial attention,  I have reconstructed the Clement Isong Civic Centre at Ikot Udo Esang, granted annual loans to women to boost trade and sponsored 100 youths in skills acquisition training in scaffolding, rigging and welding.

On social and humanitarian services, I have opened up new frontiers in reaching out to the hitherto unreached. It is to my credit that over 40 convicted prison inmates regained freedom after I facilitated payment of their fines. Rather than make news from donating wheelchairs, I have placed some physically challenged constituents on scholarship, God has used me to bless some indigent families with shelter over their heads, while an ailing ONNA child with eye defects not long ago returned hale and hearty from an overseas medical trip I facilitated.

On projects, my people can overtly recount with gratitude the numerous water projects, establishment of ICT training centre, training of ONNA youths in fashion/designs, as well as my contributions to the construction of the sports complex in the area in addition to the various soccer tournaments I sponsored, to groom sporting talents for export.

In the last five years, it would not be an hyperbole to aver that I have motivated the Akwa United Football Club to an “A team” status in the African continent, from a team that barely survived local league relegations. I took the uphill task of sponsoring the team’s monthly player award, as well as cash incentives to the team for all matches played, while physically travelling with them at a time not many people could have trusted their resources in the team’s capacity.

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