One Year Anniversary Tribute: Elder Effiong Essien’s Strides As Head Of A’Ibom Civil Service

By Edem Okon


According to Timothy L. Griffith, an American scholar, author and inspirational speaker, “achievers are not only persistent, they are also hard workers who believe in themselves.” The Bible in Proverbs Chapter 22 Verse 29 says; “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men”.

It is encouraging and instructive, therefore, to note that Elder Effiong Essien’s sincerity of purpose and unwavering commitment to assigned tasks from his years in the then Directorate for Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DEFFRI), a Federal Government Agency, tenure as general manager, Akwa Ibom State Rural Water and Sanitation Agency (AKRUWATSAN),to his elevation as director and subsequent appointment as Permanent Secretary and deployment to the Ministry of Works, did not go unnoticed by man and unrewarded by God.

It was therefore not surprising when the grace of God located a hard-working gentleman, seasoned administrator, Geology graduate of the University of Calabar and distinguished son of Afaha Atai Ibesikpo ,Elder Effiong Edem Essien, with a call by the State Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, engaging him as a player in his Completion Agenda team.

With his swearing-in on Monday ,the 3rd day of June ,2019 by Gov Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, as the 6th Head of Akwa Ibom State Civil Service, Elder Effiong Essien settled down to work with a “firm commitment to build on the solid foundation laid by his predecessors.” By God’s grace, Elder Effiong Essien is already keying into the Completion Agenda of the present administration with tremendous support from the worker- friendly Governor and has recorded tangible achievements.

Through the effective supervision of his office, construction work at the two locations of the Civil Servants Housing Estate (located at Ikot Ntuen Nsit, opposite UUTH, and Ikpedip Ibiono\Itak lkono along Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Road, Uyo) has been fast-tracked and over 200units of houses have been completed and alloted to interested workers.

The documentations by interested workers for the collection of house refurbishing loan, a credit facility from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (3rd batch), were facilitated by his office. Workers who applied for the loan were paid. The new national minimum wage has been paid to workers with arrears despite the economic downturn occasioned by the COVID-9 pandemic which is another clear demonstration of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s sincere concern for workers’ welfare.

The tradition of regular payment of salary, pensions and effort at clearing the back log of gratuity is still being kept under his watch.

The 2017/2018 outstanding promotions have been released and effected, and over 6000 workers have moved to their next grade levels enjoying the financial benefits with smiles while the processing of 2019 promotion is ongoing.

Government has also recruited medical personal to fill existing vacancies in the health sector and eight permanent secretaries have been appointed by the Governor since his assumption of office. Ten brand new vehicles have been procured for permanent secretaries to enhance their productivity and more are still being expected.

For Elder Essien, the organized labour is a partner in progress” and he has been able to mediate and resolve contending labour issues, hence the enduring industrial harmony in the state.

To ensure effective service delivery, the Public Service Monitoring Committee has been supported and further strengthened by Elder Essien to effectively carry out its task of monitoring and effecting adherence to work ethics and service rules. Elder Essien’s personal involvement in the monitoring exercise has yielded tremendous result.

Just recently, precisely Tuesday March 3, 2020, the Head of Civil Service, Elder Essien, personally led the monitoring team where he urged the workers to reciprocate Governor’s magnanimity by showing practical demonstration of dedication to duties.


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In line with the capacity building policy of the present government, the Office of the Head of Civil Service planned and hosted training programmes tailored towards meeting the peculiar training needs of each ministry, department and agency.

All service examinations have been conducted to ensure that workers obtain the prerequisite certification for confirmation, conversion and promotion and the 2019 promotion process is ongoing.

The Head of Civil Service also paid a working visit to the Civil Service Training Centre and the attention of government drawn to the need to renovate, equip and upgrade the civil service centre popularly called Kilometre 9. The request is receiving favourable attention.

The monthly keep fit programme tagged, “Jogging to Serve Better”, handed down by successive heads of civil service has be reinvigorated and rebranded. This is one very important health-related event that affords the public servants an opportunity, at least once a month, to take some hours out of their daily work routine and busy schedules to exercise themselves and also get sensitized on the health tips for healthy living. This helps the workers to keep fit for effective service delivery.

To ensure the safety of the workers during this COVID-19 pandemic, the Head of Civil Service, Elder Essien, distributed re-useable face masks to all junior workers during the resumption of work after the lockdown. He also ensured the decontamination of the offices and their environs and provision of sanitation equipment in all offices.

To ensure that pending issues in the service are sorted out, various relevant committees have been set up. The activities and the implementation of the committees’ reports are already yielding desired results.

However, the successes recorded would not have been possible without the Governor’s sincere concern for workers and support to the Head of Civil Service. “It is therefore necessary to give a clarion call”, Elder Essien always re-echoes, for all workers not to relent in their support and loyalty to our dear Governor to enable him actualize his Completion Agenda of which workers’ welfare is an integral part.

As Elder Essien’s good stewardship as the 6th Head of Civil Service continues to stir workers’ support and confidence in his ability to further reposition the public service, it therefore behooves all workers to join their voices in thanking His Excellency, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, for giving this seasoned technocrat, Elder Essien, the opportunity to lead the Akwa Ibom workers and pray for grace, wisdom, courage and good health as he enters his second year as Head of Akwa Ibom State Civil Service.

-Edem Okon, Esq is the Information Officer, Office of the Head of Civil Service

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