Governor Emmanuel Has Taken Akwa Ibom Back To God – Eld. Benjamin Udobia


Elder Benjamin Udobia is the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Benest Technical Services and Eden Hotels Ltd. Eket, a compassionate Christian and employer of labour. He speaks on the 32nd Anniversary of Akwa Ibom state, Governor Udom Emmanuel’s strides and the feats recorded by his firms in the state.
Akwa Ibom is celebrating her 32 years of state creation, what is your take on the journey so far?
Well all I can say is that Akwa Ibom people have every reason to thank God having seen the Progress the state recorded from creation till date. It is a journey we should be immensely grateful to God. This gratitude arise from the fact that God has given us a Governor who is leading the state well. Most especially a Governor that has taken Akwa Ibom State back to God. In terms of infrastructure, the Governor has done very well, the moribund educational sector among others have been resuscitated. God has been merciful to Akwa Ibom people and the people must worship God in truth and spirit.
Your firm Benest Nigeria ltd have done tremendous jobs for the state may we know how you started.
The story of Benest is that of God’s hand in the affairs of men. God is simply on my side. I am not an Engineer even my Hotel Eden Hotels Limited, the best in Akwa Ibom State with over 100 rooms and other good facilities that notwithstanding, I am not a hotelier by training. The only thing going for me is that I have great passion for what I am doing. I employ and work with the best hands in my companies. For instance, my project engineer, Victor Ekaete is a tested hand and very competent. There is no type of job we cannot handle. The latest project by our firm, a jetty in Onna Council Area is one everybody is happy about and wanted in their area. We started years ago, Obong Victor Attah’s administration engaged indigenous contractors for construction, I got 15km of road to do in Eket, and I delivered the project within a record time. During Akpabio’s era, we were given seven urban roads to construct, we delivered, a firmer president of Nigeria commissioned one of the roads in Eket, and that stood us out as a unique firm. The incumbent Governor, Deacon Udom Emmanuel have done so much to encourage indigenous contractors. All we have achieved is out of passion to excel and off course we return all glory to Almighty God.
What limitation do local contractors have because there is this fear that they will fail if given a major project?
There is no limitation at all, the only thing is that some people feel that indigenous contractors may not have the equipment or technical knowledge but watch for instance the job Henserk is doing in the state, which am very proud to identify with.
The governor has set a standard and for Henserk to do what he is doing presently means that there is no type of construction that indigenous contractors cannot do.
The Asphalt, Grader, payloader are all the same over the world. Even expatriate company like Julius Berger use the indigenous workers to do their jobs. There is no limitation at all, it just for us to have confidence in our indigenous contractors and off course our governor has so much confidence in us and has supported us tremendously.
Your support for the Governor in his first term and during his re-election was massive, could it be out of conviction on his capacity or the fact the he patronizes your firm?
No, it is not because of his patronage, I did support and I will continue to do so because on my conviction of who he is. When the governor then the SSG was introduced to us at the party caucus as the next Governor after Akpabio, everybody accepted him but I joined him as the only Elder in our senatorial district as at that time to go out for consultations and campaign.During that period, I saw his passion and love for the people of Akwa Ibom State. In one of our campaign outings between Uyo and Ibesikpo we saw a broken down vehicle at a sensitive spot and he stopped and called the agency in charge of removing break down vehicles and ensured that the vehicle was removed from the spot immediately. There would have been more accident if something were not done. That is the passion and interest from somebody who wishes the state and his people well. I am happy today that as a Governor, Deacon Udom Emmanuel has not failed Akwa Ibom people.
You said he has done well, can you cite some of the projects he has done to support this claim?
They are so many, look at the transport sector,we have Ibom Airline today to help people transact their business across the country effectively. Peace and security is been enjoyed in the state. We have over 1750km of roads completed and ongoing under his administration. You are also aware of the skycrappers which is done to accommodate multinational firms like Exxon Mobil or other agencies. It is a big plus. There are massive expansion in agricultural related business, the citing of over 15 industries and many more coming, the remodeling of Eket urban city, citing of sports centers across federal constituencies, building of a new fly over at Ekom Iman junction. The advancement in realizing the Ibom Deep Sea Port vision and many others too numerous to mention here.
In three years, Emmanuel will leave his seat for the next governor, are you worried about who will succeed him?
This is an issue for the entire state everybody will be involved in choosing their next Governor. Even though it is the turn of Uyo Senatorial District, all others Akwa Ibomites from Eket and Ikot Ekpene Senatorial Districts will be involved in selecting the next governor.
The choice of the next governor will be made public at the appropriate time.
But what we know is that the next governor must be somebody who has the fear of God and must manage the state, the way it is expected to be after Governor Emmanuel has done his best.
As an employer of labour, can we know the impact you have made in the society through the number of people on your payroll.
Well let me start with Eden Hotels that has about 200 workers who are working hard to serve the public through sound hospitality business. And we also dosoul salvation though the preaching of gospels there. I have a general manager who is a Senior Pastor at Redeemed Christian Church and we conduct prayers and fasting always which makes the business stronger and build confidence in the people.
I as the chairman of the group is also a practicing Christian. In Benest technical services, our equipment do not depart from the yard without prayers. That is why you do not hear of any accidents or hazards around us because God is protecting us. We put God first in all our activities. In Benest Technical Services, we have about 300 staff. I am also a farmer and will soon expand our scope in that sector.

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