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STAFF OF DEFUNCT QUALITY CERAMICS OWED 29 YEARS ENTITLEMENTS TO SUE AKSG

STAFF OF DEFUNCT QUALITY CERAMICS OWED 29 YEARS ENTITLEMENTS PLAN TO SUE AKSG

Enwono-Abasi Elisha.

It is 29 years since the defunct Quality Ceramics Company, Ikot Ekwere/Ikot Ebom Itam, Itu LGA, Akwa Ibom State was closed down and surviving staff of the company are yet to be paid their entitlements.

The chairman and secretary of the National Union of Chemical, Foot Wear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Product Employee (NUFRAMPE) at the company said the state government has been non-committal to their plight despite numerous attempts to persuade the government.

Site of the defunct Quality Ceramics now Dimo Investment and Manufacturing Company.

In 2017, the state government ordered a verification of staff of the defunct company, an exercise which presume would be followed by the payment of backlog of entitlements to the surviving staff.

On April 6, 2021, after waiting for three years plus after the verification exercise, the affected workers writing through a legal firm, Prospect Chamber & co. sent an SOS to the state government through the office of the chairman, Akwa Ibom State Investment Corporation (AKICORP).

The SOS reads, “Sir, you may recall series of correspondences between the year 2017 and 2020 sent through our firm to you that culminated in an official invitation extended to our clients by the Akwa Ibom Investment Corporation and subsequent verification exercise conducted between 23rd day to 27th September, 2017. Sadly, ever since that Government invitation and conclusion of the verification exercise aforesaid, there has been no action taken to meet the needs/demands of our clients.”

Chairman of the Union, Mr. Denis Edet Thompson, said their appointments were not terminated when the company was shutdown.

“Our appointments were not terminated. We were basically rendered redundant by the government. The government keeps telling us it will reopen the company and we have waited for 29 years.

“Now, most of us are weak and can’t work even if the government resuscitates Quality Ceramics. What we need now is the payment of our accumulated entitlements and the two months arrears of salaries we were owed before the company was hastily closed down on 23rd Sept, 1992.”

Mr. Thompson said life has been so hard with the workers of the defunct company.

“We have lost some of our members who were part of this struggle. Also, many who were critical support and motivation to the struggle are now blind and some bedridden. They can not join us in our physical struggle though they do send messages across to us.

“We have all grown old and may not have the needed support to push this, but we believe the Court is the last hope for the common man.”

In his contribution, the Secretary of the the Union, Mr. Isaac Edet Usanga, said it is an irony that in an administration where industrialization is a policy, people who contributed their quota to the state owned company have been neglected.

He said despite the long silence from previous administrations, they believe the Udom Emmanuel administration will fast-track the payment of their entitlements.

Some of the staff of the coy that have passed on include, Nse Samuel, Augustine Ekim, Peter Essien, S. U. Ukpong, Nelson George Akpan, among others.

•Change of Ownership

The defunct Quality Ceramics Company has been bought over by Dimo Investment and Manufacturing Company.

The company had told the old staff of the company that they have been indemnified of any outstanding debt by the state government at the point of change of ownership.

“The new executive of the company since taking over has outrightly told us they are not indebted to us in anyway. They said they are not concerned about our welfare because the state government indemnified them and they can not owe us,” the Union Chairman said.

When this reporter visited the old site of Quality Ceramics Ltd now Dimo Investment and Manufacturing Company, there were no noticeable activities ongoing.

Security officers were on guard at the gate which was under lock and key.

A villager told our reporter that work has not begun at the company.

“The place is always locked. But initially there were preparations as if work was going to start but till now, nothing happens here. The gate is always locked with those security people you see.”

The reporter learnt reliably that NUFRAMPE will be heading to Industrial court to get an order compelling the Akwa Ibom state government to pay the entitlements of her members who worked in the defunct Quality Ceramics Company.

NDDC EMPLOYS 12 PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED N/DELTANS

NDDC BOSS EMPLOYS 12 PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED N/DELTANS

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has reiterated the importance of giving opportunities to persons living with disability, in its efforts at making the development of the Niger Delta region integrative, inclusive and sustainable.

Speaking at the presentation of letters of engagement to twelve new employees of the Commission who are physically challenged in Port Harcourt, Interim Administrator/CEO of NDDC, Mr. Efiong Okon Akwa, said the Commission was determined to harness the potentials of all Niger Deltans in order to make the region a better place.

Mr. Akwa said that NDDC “is perhaps the first Federal Government agency to begin the implementation of the Act on persons living with disability which was passed into law in 2019,” adding: “This shows that we are human and we understand and care for others, thereby impacting the lives of people in the region, regardless of their physical condition.”

The NDDC Boss stated: “It is our view that this gesture the government has shown to you will prompt you to extend same to your friends and relatives. We want you to be ambassadors of this government, this Commission and the people of the Niger Delta, so as to serve as a source of motivation to others.”

Mr. Akwa gave credit to President Muhammadu Buhari for directing the agency to intervene, not only in physical infrastructure projects, but also in human capacity building.

“By passing the disability rights law the government,” he said, “has committed to ensuring that people living with disability enjoy their human rights. This is to instil a sense of responsibility, recognition and pride, as well as ownership, in persons living with disability. That is why we are intervening in your lives, and in the lives of all Niger Deltans.”

Mr. Akwa noted that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, who forwarded government’s approval for the engagement, had stated that “President Muhammadu Buhari is aware of what you are passing through and is doing his best to ensure that government stands by you. It is not your choice to live with disability.”

He added: “It is a condition you found yourselves in. But it will not stop you from adding your quota to the development of the Niger Delta, Nigeria and humanity.”

Also speaking at the ceremony, the Director of Human Resources of the Commission, Barr. Silas Anyanwu, said that “this is an epoch-making event, because the NDDC has shown, as perhaps the first government agency to give employment to persons living with disability, that we are mindful of all Niger Deltans, and that we are prepared to work with everyone to develop this region.”

He called on them to give their best in their duties, stating that while the Commission will provide every support to make their work easier, “no one would receive any special favours or considerations. It is important for you to know that we expect the best from you, because to whom much is given, much is expected.”

The regional chairman of the Joint Association of People Living with Disability, Mr. Simon Bidei, thanked the Commission for coming to the aid of persons living with disability, noting that “it was the first of its kind.”

He stated: “NDDC has made history today, by giving us the opportunity to serve. We are grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari, to the honourable minister and the interim administrator for remembering us and knowing that we are living with capability.”

He called on other organisations to emulate NDDC, noting that the Commission had taken into consideration the needs of persons living with disability in constructing the new headquarters building.

A’IBOM ASSEMBLY DEBUNKS INK NEWSPAPER CLAIM OF N35M THANKSGIVING FUNDS

A’IBOM ASSEMBLY DEBUNKS INK NEWSPAPER CLAIM OF N35M THANKSGIVING FUNDS

The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has debunked the allegation of N35m fund released by state government to each lawmaker for the just concluded thanksgiving programme hosted on Sunday, 20th June 2021 throughout the 26 state constituencies simultaneously.

The House deliberated on the matter published on the Ink Newspaper during its plenary as they commenced its third legislative year, Tuesday, June 22, 2021.

According to the matter of urgent public importance raised by member representing Nsit Atai State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Mark Esset, it frowned at the report with the headline ‘A’Ibom Gov. spends N35m on each AKHA Member for Thanksgiving.’ The Member termed it as ”false, baseless, without facts.”

The Nsit Atai Lawmaker decried the indirect act by the publisher of the Ink Newspaper to incite their constituents against the House with an unverified report.

The Leader of the House, Rt. Hon. Udo kierian, expressed dissatisfaction over the report and said he has never witnessed the state government funding a thanksgiving outing.

The Chief Whip, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Bassey said the House needs to get to the root of the report to seek proof of such an allegation.

The Ibesikpo representative, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko while contributing to the matter described the report as ‘campaign of calumny against the Lawmakers,’; ‘a vilification of the House’ and ‘smearing of the reputation of the Assembly’ which has been termed very peaceful and unified since its inception.

Adding their views, Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh of Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo; Rt. Hon. David Lawrence of Eket; Rt. Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh of Esit Eket/Ibeno, unanimously expressed displeasure over such allegation and said the publication can incite violence against them in a period such as the society finds itself where insecurity takes order of the day.

They called on House leadership to institute serious legal action against Ink Newspaper to serve as a warning if a retraction is not published within 24hours.

Presiding over the plenary, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey urged the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Justice, Human Rights and Public Petition, Hon. (Barr) Victor Ekwere of Mkpat Enin to commence the process of instituting a legal action against the Newspaper and write to the state Commissioner of Police.

Meanwhile, later at plenary, two reports of Public Account Committee chaired by Hon. Charity Ido were considered and subsequently ratified after due legislative process.

The reports are; ‘Report of the Committee on Public Account of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on the report of the Auditor General on Covid-19 Budget Execution report of Akwa Ibom State Government for the House on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.

Another is, ‘The report of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Public accounts on the arrears of two (2) years audit reports of the Auditor General for Local Governments on the accounts of the 31 LG Councils of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria for the years ended, 31st Dec, 2015 and 31st Dec 2016 submitted to the House for adoption Tuesday, June 22.’

Earlier, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly solicited for media support as it commences the third legislative year.

The House made the call through its Chairman, Committee on information, Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Denis during a media parley.

He acknowledged the media collaboration enjoyed by the House in the last two years and hoped for better support in future. He used the occasion to also present ‘Assembly Update,’ a magazine publication by his Committee which captures the activities of the House in the last 2 years.

However, the House adjourned its plenary to reconvene on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 by 10:00 am prompt.

© Enwono-Abasi Elisha.

INSIDE THE ‘GLASS HOUSE’ OF HOMELESS KIDS ROAMING STREETS OF UYO

INSIDE THE ‘GLASS HOUSE’ OF HOMELESS KIDS ROAMING STREETS OF UYO

By Enwono-Abasi Elisha/David David

There is a proliferation of homeless children living permanently on the streets of Uyo. These children live on alms. Despite the austerities they face daily on the streets, they are determined to survive and live as other kids who have good parental care.

Crest newspaper had a conversation with some of these children who are aged between 6 and 16. They usually gather in clusters doing nothing meaningful to the society but for themselves. They have taught themselves how to face the troubles of life and survive at all cost on the streets.

A cross section of the street children around University of Uyo main entrance.

They do not look bothered about the heart-rending circumstances they find themselves.

With few ruffled naira notes ranging from N5.00 to N50.00, amounting to nothing really tangible, they line up in the morning and buy at most two balls of bean cake (akara) each for breakfast. Some days, that would be all they have to eat the whole day. Some of the very young ones fight to hide their little change in their pockets away from the preying eyes of the elderly ones who are fond of bullying them to take their money.

They are unkempt – adorning unwashed, tattered clothes, scaly-dusty-skin typical of ghetto kids who have not had good bath for months. Visible scars of old wounds and fresh wounds that are still bleeding are common on every part of their body. Old reddish cuts on their skins are a lucre for flies to feast on. Their body, their wounds, and clothes ooze a strong stench.

These street kids have different stories and reasons for living on the streets, jumping at every passer-by begging for money for food. Their shelter is the bus stop at University of Uyo first gate and they call the place their ‘glass house’.

More of the street children.

Some others live in a rented apartment offered to them by Hon. Ukai Udeme, former Vice Chairman of Uyo Local Government Area. They live there in Itiam and trek about two kilometers to plaza, University of Uyo main entrance, and some of them trek up to 5kms to where they hang around and beg for alms.

One of the homeless children was caught bullying another homeless child, Precious Okon Bassey, to collect the money he got earlier in the day through begging. On sighting these reporters, he left the child he was molesting and ran to them and begged for money.

Crest reporters who interacted with about a score of street kids at different locations in Uyo found out that the homeless children are products of failed marriages, separation caused by spousal conflicts and polygamous homes.

• The world of street kids in Uyo

One street child happens to be the oldest in this cluster living around the University of Uyo. He hails from Ibafo, Lagos State. His mother is from Ibagwa, Abak local government area in Akwa Ibom state. Master Isaac Akaneno Umoren, said his mother shot his father to death in Lagos and ran away with him as a child. Later, she dumped and left him in Ibagwa.

Since then life has moved him from one hand to another. Currently, he is fending for himself. He said his other siblings who are still stranded in Lagos and do not want him to join them in Lagos. He only contacts them on phone through someone once in a while.

Visibly hungry street kids.

Even though Isaac who is about 16 years still lives on the streets, he told Crest that he has a girlfriend who visits him on the street all the way from Idu Uruan.

Another street child is Miss Precious Okon Bassey, an orphan. She said she would love to serve under someone and possibly learn a skill. According to her, she is from Ikot Ekpe, Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area and she’s interested in going back to school. She does not know any relative except her sister who lives with her father, Precious’ step-father in Lagos.

Precious and another street kid, Master Christopher Gabriel Sam said they were recently taken by someone from Adadia, Uruan to Inua Abasi in Bakassi, Cameroon, where they served in a fishing boat. They escaped from the boat and returned to Uyo because they were severely maltreated.

Hear Christopher Gabriel Sam, “my mother died when I was a baby. I don’t know my mother. My father stays in Benin. I used to stay with my elder sister’s mother in-law. She accused me of being a wizard and maltreated me so much. I ran away from home. I know my village. I am from Ikpe Annang in Essien Udim LGA. That market side. I will return to stay with one of my uncles when I have begged enough money to buy new clothes. I don’t have any clothes now, apart from the one I am wearing now. I sleep at the University of Uyo glass-house.”

Some leaning on the wall for strength.

One of the street kids said he is a primary six pupil of Methodist primary school, Itiam, in Uyo local government area. Elijah Ekom Frank said he was sent away by his teacher because he does not have a pair of uniform and books.

“I don’t go to school again because I walk around for days without eating food. I will be so hungry and weak to trek to school. I am also ashamed that I do not have books to write on and the teachers ordered that I should not come to school again if I don’t have a school uniform.”

Elijah said he hails from Ekpene Ikpan in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area. He said his parents died a long time ago leaving him behind without care. “I have lived alone for a long time. I am fine living alone because everyone I have lived with were in the habit of branding me a wizard, molested me and left me starving.”

The youngest with one other kid.

One of the boys who was taken off the streets still comes around once in a while to show solidarity with his friends.

His name is Goddy (not real name) from Offot Ukwa, Uyo. Goddy is currently a sales boy in a grocery shop. He said he was chased out of the house by his step-mother.

“My madam gives me food and clothes. I come to see my friends here. I also beg anytime I come to see them before I run back home to my madam.”

One of the street kids, Charity Akpan said she was a student of Community Secondary Commercial School, on Itu road. She dropped out in JSS2, and wished to return to school.

The youngest among the street kids is Deborah Michael. She has never gone to school. Deborah had an abrasion on her left leg, she was brushed off the road on to a median by a tricycle while begging for alms. She told these reporters that she does not know her father, but her mother is a retard.

• Intervention by former Vice Chairman of Uyo local government area

Some of the street children who do not pass the night at their ‘glass house’ near the gate of the University of Uyo, return late at night to a room at Itiam, rented for them by Hon. Ukai Udeme, former Vice Chairman of Uyo Local Government Area.

“He (Hon. Ukai Udeme) gave us a house. We thank him. But many days we go hungry because we don’t have what to eat. That is the reason we beg. Some of us want to go to school but we don’t have money for uniform, books and sandals, even food.

“We don’t want a situation where Government will come to arrest us into a vehicle and take us to one house like thieves or prisoners, as they did sometime ago.

More of them posing for a shot.

“This government has not really done anything for us. They should either rent a house for us, provide food, clothes and send us to school. Some of us want to learn skills.”

• They get violent while asking for alms

During the tenure of Dr. Glory Edet, there were concerted efforts by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare to rid the streets of homeless kids. There is no such pronounced effort of late, hence the proliferation of homeless children on the streets of Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital.

Near their ‘glass house’, a student of the University of Uyo Student, Abasikpongke Umanah of the Department of Home Economics Education, said the presence of the street children was a threat to some students going in and leaving the school.

Abasikpongke said the street children get wild sometimes and attack passers-by who refuses to give them alms and appealed to the state government to get them off the streets.

“It is time the government acted about these children. They are growing every day without proper care and guide. Don’t be surprised one day females amongst them will be impregnated and the cycle will widen. They are already becoming nuisance not just to the University community but to the society,” she said.

Attempts to reach the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Dr. Ini Adiakpan, for comments on what the government was doing about the proliferation of homeless children in Uyo, proved abortive. The Commissioner did not pick her phone calls nor responded to SMS sent to her known phone number as at press time.

UYOCCIMA BOSS DECRIES CAPITAL FLIGHT TO ABA

UYOCCIMA BOSS DECRIES CAPITAL FLIGHT TO ABA

The Chairman, Uyo Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (UYOCCIMA), Obong Nseyen Ebong laments over the level of capital-flight from Akwa Ibom State to Aba and other Igbo areas; deeming it fit, as a matter of urgency, to boost Small and Medium Scale Enterprises to curtail the economic effect.

He laid bare the claims Thursday when the Conference of Online Publishers Akwa Ibom engaged the new Chairman of UYOCCIMA following his emergence as the new President of the organization.

Further on, the former Rector of Maritime Academy, Obong Ebong said the state’s revenue does not stay to generate more revenue in the state rather it is on economic flight to Aba.

“Even in Uyo here, 90% of the businesses here are owned by our Igbo brothers. So, the position of UYOCCIMA is that we want to change that narrative.

“The money that comes into Akwa Ibom State does not stay in this State. It ends up in Aba and Onitsha. Look at the number of people that go to Aba to buy things for weddings, burials and other events,” Obong Nseyen Ebong, Chairman UYOCCIMA.

According to UYOCCIMA Boss, the body is poised to change the narrative of Akwa Ibom as a civil service state and empower women, youth by giving interest free loans. Also, it is to support the creation of more jobs in Akwa Ibom State and lessen the burden on government.

To achieve the above, UYOCCIMA said, collaborating with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council by registering over 1,500 new businesses and mentor them; encouraging women and youth to become successful entrepreneurs. This they have begun with the establishment of the women and youth groups which according to the UYOCCIMA Boss have already been taken up since last year.

He also acknowledged the fact that poor mentorship of mentees and misapplication of funds collected for businesses have remained major pitfalls for business growth.

“In most cases than more, the monies collected for business are misapplied. That’s why at the level of UYOCCIMA, we give a lot of attention to mentorship. Mentorship and discipline are critical factors in business,” Obong Nseyen Ebong stated.

However, the UYOCCIMA Chairman commended the Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for the industrialization strides in the aspects of the Toothpick, Fertilizer, Syringe factories which in nearest future will stimulate and have a multiplication effect on the economy.

#COOPA
#COOPAChat
#COOPASMConvo
#UYOCIMA
#AkwaIbom

© Enwono-Abasi Elisha.

 

 

 

FINAL RATING OF AKHA LEGISLATORS FARED BETWEEN JUN 10, 2020-JUN 10,2021

PUBLIC GALLERY: HOW 26 AKWA IBOM LEGISLATORS FARED LAST LEGISLATIVE YEAR.

After the one week review of the assessment of the Lawmakers of the 7th Assembly by the public, the following were drawn.

Follow the articles of each member and the PUBLIC ASSESSMENT at the end of each narrative.

These categories were used for the Assessment:
•VOP (Very Outstanding Performance).
•OP (Outstanding Performance).
•LP (Low Performance).
•PP (Poor Performance).

PROLOGUE

Between March 27th 2020 till now, the world experienced a tumbling reality which affected the economic strength of nations. The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic caused a ripple effect which spread across human efforts and existence.

A lot of changes were recorded and no less will be said had a toil on the legislative business of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

This analysis will beg to restrict its scope to the SECOND LEGISLATIVE YEAR of the SEVENTH ASSEMBLY, that is between June 10th, 2020 through June 9th, 2021. But where necessary, a recall or reference may be made to the preceding year.

How has the SEVENTH ASSEMBLY under the leadership of Rt. Hon Aniekan Bassey FARED DURING THE COVID-19 PERIOD through the respective roles of the 26 CHARACTERS interpreting the DEMANDS of their people whom they represent in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

PLEASE NOTE:
• During the pandemic period, the House from June 10, 2020 through June 9, 2021, convened for plenary sessions about 20 times with strict observation to the Covid-19 protocol.

• Also, note that from March 23rd, 2021, the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, PASSAN, Akwa Ibom State Chapter joined the Nationwide strike embarked by this arm of Government. This kept the gates of the State Assemblies under lock and keys. This stalled convocation of plenary sessions of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly from March 23rd, 2020 (which was already announced as date for next plenary) till the moment of birthing this article. That is approximately three months of legislative hiatus.

ON THE STAGE

• Uruan with Rt. Hon Aniekan Bassey

This two-time Lawmaker for Uruan State Constituency, aside interpreting the role for Uruan people and voicing their demands on the floor of the house, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey also holds the Gavel being the Speaker of the Seventh Assembly.

Lawmaking Role:

As the Speaker of the Seventh Assembly, the roles are enormous to ensure he leads the House on deliberations considering bills, motions, reports, etc, so to activate and strengthen Government’s policies for the good of the masses to match its sobriquet, ‘The People’s Assembly.’

More discreetly than expected, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey according to many, has manifested candour and zest in legislative matters. As the Chairman, Committee on Parliamentary Matters, he has anchored matters of the House strengthening the backbones of respective House Committees of the House in his time.

The House so far under his watch has considered about 52 bills, 42 motions and 18 laws, out of which five have been assented to by the executive arm. But restricting to the last one year, about 22 bills and 23 motions have been considered by the House. More than six of these have been passed.

He has never missed plenary sessions or being represented by his Deputy in the past one year.
ATTENDANCE: 100%.

Oversight Role:

As the Chairman House Committee on Parliamentary Matters, bills, motions and other matters before the house follow due legislative process with strict respect to House procedures. Life has been injected to other house committees and organs which allow smooth running of the Legislature.

Representation Role:

No gain saying that the Speaker’s representation cut across all the 31 LGAs of the state.

The Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey Youth Entrepreneurship Support Scheme (RHAB-YESS) has encouraged the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Akwa Ibom State.

So far, through the program, 53 businesses covering the 31 Local Government Areas of the state have been sponsored. Support has been given to over 28 artisans in various skills and over 340 Special Support to sons and daughters of Akwa Ibom State have been achieved by this Uruan representative.

Many say he is a silent worker. Recently a well furnished bungalow was donated to a widow which was kept behind the media scene. Elders, Women, youth of Uruan and beyond, have a feel of the good gesture of this Lawmaker via his representative function.

PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: VOP.

 

• with Hon. Asuquo Nana on Stage
He is a first time Legislator in the State Parliament. Many call him ‘Albino’ due to his very fair complexion. Let’s journey to his Legislative activities in the last one year.
Lawmaking Role:
This Ikono representative is not a regular speaker on the floor. If you are a consistent watcher at the public gallery, you will catch him give contributions on few occasions on matters which affect the people of the state.
He has not sponsored any private  member bill in the last one year but he is a co-sponsor of several.
He raised a motion on a matter of urgent public importance over collapse bridges in Ikono State Constituency.
The bridges included Nkwot Ikot Nseyen Nung Ukim bridge and Iton Ikot Ito – Iton Mmong Bridge.
He called on Government urgent intervention as about 16 villages make use of the bridges on daily basis.
He was always on seat in the last legislative year except on few occasions when he was absent.
ATTENDANCE 85%.
Oversight Role:
He has been active last year in committee activities.
As Chairman House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Nana collaborated with Ministry of Agriculture in the state to achieve food security through various programs.
In March 2021, on a representative capacity, he flagged off the ‘My Entrepreneurship Goals Programme (MEPG) Community Farm in Ituk Mbang, Uruan LGA.
The Committee went on the spot Assessment of St. Gabriel’s Coconut Factory in Mkpat Enin LGA. During that visit, he encouraged Akwa Ibom people to invest in Agriculture and take advantage of available opportunities like the AKEES vegetable farming.
He is a member of other committees of the House and has participated in other oversight duties.
Representative Role:
Not notable is his constituency briefing in the last one year. But his constituents say he keeps close tap with them through the various links he formed to feed him with happenings in the area for swift response.
Recently, he moved in response to the the deadly attack on Ikono Divisional Police at Ibiaku Ntok Okpo Headquarters condemning the attack. He urged indigenes to be security conscious and called on the security agency to beef up security in the area.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: OP.
• Abak with Hon. Udeme Otong on Stage
He is a first timer but strife to make Abak people well represented on the floor of the 7th Assembly.
Lawmaking Role:
This Abak representative is not a sleeping Lawmaker. Many see him perform above average in terms of involvement in legislative work. You will see him speak many times either in support of a bill or motion. He moves several motions and sponsor bills in the last one year.
Among is the ‘Bill for a Law to Establish the Akwa Ibom State Health Insurance Agency and for other matters connected therewith. This went through second reading February this year.
Also, a ‘Bill for a Law to Establish the Akwa Ibom State Anti-Stigma and Discrimination of person living with HIV/AIDs and for other matters connected thereto.’ This also went through second reading last year.
He moved the following motions; ‘Relevant Government Agencies should carry out immediate intervention on the Ikono-Uyo, Ukpom-Abak Road by Pepsi, Idoro Road to make it motorable for road commuters’; and ‘Upgrade of Infrastructures at Government Model Girls Secondary School, Ikot Ekang, Abak LGA.’
Aside these, he co-sponsored several bills and support people-oriented motions in the House.
He endeavoured to attend plenaries through last legislative year.
ATTENDANCE: 85%
Oversight Role:
He is the Chairman Committee on Health.
The Lawmaker in the last one year participated in several committee activities.
Early this year, he organised a Public Hearing on one of the bills he Sponsored. That is; ‘A Bill for a Law to Establish Akwa Ibom State College of Nursing and Midwifery.’
Representative Role:
Before 2020 elapsed, he organised a constituency briefing at Annang People’s Primary School, Utu Abak. He reached out to his people through cash and material gifts including; 5 mini buses; 5 Refrigerators, 200 bags of rice etc.
He keeps in touch with his people on regular basis through different platforms.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: OP.
• Oruk Anam with Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian Akpan on the stage
This three-term member breaks record in Akwa Ibom Legislative history, superseding former member for Ibeno/Esit Eket state constituency, Rt. Hon. Okpolupm Etteh who by sheer grace completed the first tenure of Late Hon. Okochio and did two term in addition.
Lawmaking Role:
He is called the ‘stabilizer’ due to the maturity he exudes in legislative business.
As the Leader both in the sixth and seventh Assembly, Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian has championed not just Executive bills but private member bills and cosponsored several.
In the last one year, this longest serving parliamentarian in the state Assembly ensured 2021 Appropriation bill, several letters from the Executive for appointments of Nominees into Executive Council, Boards/Commissions were duly received by the House. All these were given legislative attention which oiled the wheels of governance in the state.
His voice is not strange on the floor of the hallowed chamber except to first-timers in the public gallery.
Severally, he has provided informed legislative direction on complex matters before the house. The results always proved his legislative acumen. Hence, his colleagues gave him the name ‘stabilizer,’ right from 6th Assembly. A case was when the House handled the suspension of two Local Government Chairmen.
His presence in the sessions of the House as a leader becomes sacrosanct. Only on few occasions he has been absent in plenary due to other official responsibilities which took him out of the state.
ATTENDANCE: 80%.
Oversight Role:
Not much have been heard of the Committee on Lands, Housing and Urban Renewal oversight duties. Aside the internal interface of the committee with its members, the committee has not engaged in regular official outing.
He chaired the Adhoc Committee set up by the House to investigate the discrepancies in the 2019 audited account of the Akwa Ibom State Government. This committee set out to work within time frame. After indepth interface with affected MDAs, the Committee came up with a report which informed the ratification of the account by the House.
Representative Role:
It could not be ascertained his reach to his people within this one year. Many of his constituents say he is a quiet giver.
One will quickly suffice that this may have earned him the goodwill which manifested through his election to the Assembly for the third time.
Recently, a feather was added to his cap by the traditional stool of the  area conferring on him “Obong Uforo.”
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: OP.
• Esit Eket/Ibeno with Rt. Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh
A second timer in the 7th Assembly and he is not a neophyte. Not a ‘yes or nay’ member because he is watched few times took stand on matters even with a minority opposing view.
Lawmaking Role:
Within last legislative year, no notable bill or motion sponsored or moved by him. He has co-sponsored several bills and supported lofty motions by other members. A case was when he threw weight behind Akwa Ibom State Lottery board bill.
He attends plenary but not on a regular basis.
ATTENDANCE 70%
Oversight Role:
As the Chairman, Committee on Rural Development and Public Utilities, he embarked on oversight duties to inspect work at Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company. He was accompanied by other members of the Committee.
Also, the Committee visited Tropicana Mall, Uyo to see the level of ongoing work at site before its official inauguration.
Many committee activities he has supported. He joined the Committee on Special Project Monitoring/Implementation and Aviation Development on oversight recently.
Representative Role:
Nothing has been heard of his constituency briefing last one year. But without cameras, he has met with his constituents on different capacities.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: OP.
• Mbo with Hon. Effiong Johnson on Stage
He replaced the former elected Member of the area, Hon. Okon Asukwo Frank of the PDP through Court of Appeal ruling of November 2019.
As an APC member, the journey many opined will be difficult for him as a ‘lone-voice,’ was the reverse. His PDP colleagues in the Legislature engaged in legislative business without Party divide. They  conferred on him ‘The Paramount Ruler’ of the 7th Assembly.
Lawmaking Role:
The Member has not sponsored any private member bill within the year but he is a co-sponsor of other private member bills.
He does not speak often yet he is not a silent member in the House. He gives support to other people- oriented motions moved by other members.
Amongst the motions moved by him in the year include; ‘Boundary crisis in Mbo and other lingering Boundary crises in Ibiono Ibom, Ibesikpo and Ini LGAs respectively.’
He also raised matter of urgent public importance over wanton destruction of lives in Okopedi, Amammong in Okobo LGA; and Uko Apan Enwang and Uko Nteghe of Uda in Mbo LGA.
He is regular on sitting days.
ATTENDANCE 85%
Oversight Role:
He is the Chairman, Committee on Boundary and Conflict Resolution. As Chairman, the Committee wades into boundary crises in the state.
Recently, his committee intervened in the boundary crises between warring communities of Okobo and Mbo. The parties were invited to appear before the Committee and its members for an enduring solution to the conflict.
The Lawmaker also in the year has participated in other oversight duties of other committees.
Representative Role:
Nothing has been heard of his constituency briefing within the last legislative year. Notably is his accessibility to his people.
Recently, he went in to calm the embers of war between the Naval Base and the community because of the alleged incessant killing by Naval officers in the area. He had interface with the Naval Base Commander, respective families and the Village Head of the area.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: OP
• Okobo with Rt. Hon. Felicia Bassey on the Stage
Her voice stands out on the floor of 7th Assembly as the Deputy Speaker. Representing not just Okobo people but the female folk. Rt. Hon. Felicia Bassey strikes a balance in the composition of the 7th Assembly and the then 6th Assembly.
Lawmaking Role:
This Okobo representative is not a ‘yes’ or ‘nay’ member of the Parliament. She voices the stand of her people, women, children and the less-privileged in the state. This is evident in the ‘Bill for a law to protect the physically challenged persons against discrimination and other purposes connected therewith.’ Also, ‘A Bill for a law to provide for the compulsory medical treatment and care for child victim of sexual violence and for related matters,’ which passed through second reading and at committee level.
She has co-sponsored several bills and supported people-oriented motions on the floor of the House.
On very few occasion within the year has she been absence on the floor of the House to represent her people. Mostly, it is when higher demands of the office takes her out.
ATTENDANCE: 80%.
Oversight Role:
Through the Committee of Women Affairs, Social Welfare and Cooperatives, the Okobo representative has been able to lend her voice against abuse of women and children. Recent, is when she walked with other women across the state to say No to Rape and other forms of abuses against females. This was on the occasion of the protest against the cruelsome murder of Late Miss Iniubong Umoren.
The Committee has interfaced with Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare and other relevant agencies to tackle several decay in the social wellbeing of the state.
The February 10, Public hearing on the ‘Bill for a law to provide for the compulsory medical treatment and care for child victim of sexual violence and for related matters,’ provided a galvanizing point where actors in this sector gave inputs to boosting the content of the bill to fight against the menace in the state.
Representation Role:
Aside her previous records, the Deputy Speaker within this period has intervened in the community clash between Amamong and Okopedi villages of Okobo LGA which lives and properties were lost. The return of calm in the area is as a result of that step.
Last year December, the member  reached out to her people including women, children, youth, elders and socio-cultural groups. She doled out food items, cash-gift, wrappers and other items to Okobo indigenes.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: OP.
• Essien Udim with Hon. (Barr) Esse Umoh on Stage
After long election battle for Essien Udim House of Assembly seat, he arrived later as the voice for Essien Udim people on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party.
Lawmaking Role:
In the last one year, this member has given Essien Udim people a  place on the floor of the 7th Assembly. He is not an ‘Everyday’ speaker on the floor.
Resuming duties on February 11, 2020 and the outbreak of the pandemic in March, 2020, may have reduced his legislative performance below expectation within the year under review.
No new private member bill he has sponsored within the year but he co-sponsors other bills. Also, no motion traceable to him within the year but support other people- oriented motions.
There are bills sponsored by him earlier before the year which are in various stages of consideration. Among them include: “Establishment of Akwa Ibom State Consumers Protection Agency Bill 2020” and the “The Motion for Urgent Need to Resuscitate Ikpe Annang General Hospital, Essien Udim Local Govenrment Area.”
His presence at plenaries is notable though he misses dew sessions.
ATTENDANCE: 70%.
Oversight Role:
He is the Chairman House Committee on Economic Planning and Development.
The Committee has in the year interface with relevant agencies. Recently, was when he represented the Committee at the flag-off of Ibom 3000 project by Ministry of Trade and Investment.
He joined several House Committees which he is a member on oversight duties.
Representative Role:
Within the year, the member has reached out to his constituents by purchasing Nursing forms for all  Essien Udim indigenes interested to build a career in Nursing.
Commenced skill acquisition  programme for 50 indigenes every year in various vocations. He paid a visit to displaced Essien Udim people at IDP camp in Ikot Ekpene.
They say he is a silent achiever because not notable is an organised constituency briefing within the year.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: OP.
•Urue Offong/Oruko with Rt. Hon. Asuquo Archibong on Stage
Member for Urue Offong/Oruko is an second term representative of the area in the state legislature.
But watchers from public gallery wonder if the people of Urue Offong/Oruko have a voice at all defending them on the floor of the  7th Assembly.
Atleast, it could be said he was better in his first term by speaking once or twice and giving response of ‘yes’ or ‘No’ to matters considered. He is virtually missing in the second term and many pray it should never be on health grounds.
Lawmaking Role:
There is no way his absence will not affect the expected Lawmaking role of this member.
He is rarely around on the floor of the House to push for matters concerning his people. When around (on very scarce occasion), no one hears or sees him stand up to speak on matters in the interest of his people.
For the last one year, he has not sponsored a bill or moved a motion. He is a co-sponsor of few bills in the House.
ATTEDANCE 40%.
Oversight Role:
On representative capacity, his Committee on Environment organised a Public hearing on a Bill: ‘Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency.’ This was subsequently passed by the House.
He has on few occasion joined  Committees which he is a member on oversight duties including Committee on Works and Transport.
Representative Role:
It could not be ascertained of the member’s reach to his people in the last one year except for the April, 2020 donation of relief materials to his constituents to alleviate the effect Covid-19 which took a toll on them.
On record is the intervention move he made recently for a cease-fire between the two warring communities of Umume and Ukuko in Urue Offong/Oruko LGA.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: PP.
• Ibiono Ibom with Hon. Godwin Ekpo on Stage
As a first timer in the state Assembly, Hon. Ekpo has given the people of Ibiono Ibom a voice and a place in house activities.
• Lawmaking Role:
He is an active member on the floor of the 7th Assembly.
He sponsored the following bills: “A Bill for a law to provide free tuition and examination fees for public primary and secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state.” This bill was passed into law.
Also, “A bill for a law to establish Akwa Ibom State Resident Registration Agency and for other matters connected therewith,” is attributed to him last legislative year.
However, on its desk is the ‘Akwa Ibom State College of Education Law 2020 for indepth study.
He moved the motion requesting  the state government for the ‘Reactivation of of Covid-19 monitoring team.’ Hon. Ekpo has supported other motions and he is a co-sponsor of several bills in the House.
Also, motions for the ‘Need to address incessant Hoarding and hike in price of Petroleum Products by Akwa Ibom Petroleum marketers,’ and that of the ‘Tension in Ikpanya clan of Ibiono Ibom LGA over wanton killings and destruction by neighboring Ugbo village of Arochukwu community in Abia State,’ are attributed to him.
His attendance is notably commended in the public gallery.
ATTENDANCE: 90%.
Oversight Role:
As Chairman Committee on Education, a lot of interfaces of the committee within the year with relevant Ministries, Boards and stakeholders in the education sector have been achieved.
It was at the wake of the motion of proliferation of illegal tertiary institutions raised by Nsit Atai lawmaker that the committee summoned the then Commissioner for Education to verify the fact.
The Ibiono Ibom lawmaker is a member of other Committees of the House and has been up to duty in those committees.
Representative Role:
Many give the impression he is a silent giver and has been rendering positive gesture towards his constituents in the last one year. But nothing has been heard of any constituency brief organised by the lawmaker to his constituents in the last one year.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: VOP.
• Uyo with Hon. Anietie Eka on Stage
He is referred to as the ‘Landlord’ of the Legislature being the representative of the state capital city.
Lawmaking Role:
He is not a passive member of the Parliament. He is placed a little above an average-speaker by watchers at the public gallery.
This Lawmaker has throughout the last one year added to the legislative content of the 7th Assembly.
He sponsored the ‘Bill for a law to provide for the preservation and promotion of the use of Akwa Ibom local dialects in Akwa Ibom State and for connected purposes.’
He moved the motion for the ‘Urgent need to rid the premises of former Uyo main market of miscreants and other Dangerous Human Elements using the neglected structure as a hideout spot to commit crimes like armed robbery, rape and such nefarious activities by juvenile delinquents and subsequently utilize the space for a profitable enterprise.’
A case was made by him before the Governor for the inclusion of Ikono clan of Uyo LGA in the Uyo Capital Development Act during the commissioning of the permanent office of Uyo Capital City Development Authority.
He attended plenary sessions but missed few.
ATTENDANCE: 65%
Oversight Role:
Not much has been heard of his Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission in the last one year. But internal meetings with committee members have been held.
He attended other oversight duties of other committees being a member of those committees.
Representative Role:
He has empowered his constituents with Jamb, Neco forms. Also, school fees and scholarships are part of his educational reach to his people. The Edet Etaha market project in Mbak Etoi, Uyo LGA is on course as he is set to deliver it to his people in the nearest future.
During last year festive period, he gave out gift, food, and material items to his constituents.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: LP.
• Nsit Ibom with Hon. O. S Udoh on the Stage
He is a first time Legislator on the floor of the 7th Assembly who contributed to the end of ‘My leader’ singing boys in the present Assembly.
He did not take it kindly with one of the boys who approached him at the corridors one of the days with the ‘Halleluia’ song as he headed towards his office. When he thundered “Will you stop that nonsense,” was when everyone’s head around turned to witness the end of the ‘Halleluia’ song before it rose in tempo.
Lawmaking Role:
Regular followers of Assembly plenaries know Nsit Ibom Lawmaker scarcely stand to speak for his people even while he is around in plenaries. He is alive to respond to the ‘yes’ or ‘nay’ chorus of all members on bills or motions.
Within the last one year, he moved a motion expressing ‘Concern over the state of bridges in Nsit Ibom State Constituency in Akwa Ibom State: A call for immediate action.’
He has not within the year sponsored any private member bill but co-sponsored other bills in the House and support people-oriented motions.
The Nsit Ibom seat was not occupied everytime on plenary days.
ATTENDANCE: 65%.
Oversight Role:
The Nsit Ibom State Lawmaker, Hon. Ifiok O. S. Udoh is the Chairman, Inter-Governmental Committee, Political and Special Matters. He has Rt. Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh as his Deputy Chairman.
Out of the 26 Standing Committees of the House, Hon. Udoh is a Deputy Chairman in one other committee and member in ten other Committees.
Nothing special has been heard of the Inter-Governmental Committee Oversight duties within the last one year. But he is active in other committees which he is a member.
Representative Role:
No constituency briefing organised within the period. Some of his constituents say he has been touching lives quietly.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: LP.
• ONNA with Rt. Hon. (Otuekong) Nse Essien on Stage
The second coming of this ONNA representative gave the Deputy Chief Whip’s seat of the House to ONNA people.
As the Chairman, House Committee on Security, Youth and Sports, no space has been given to ‘Halleluia-Boys.’ They seem to go extinct as none is seen around the corridors which before now were often congested with youth signing “You are a Leader…”
Legislative Role:
This member is not a regular speaker on the floor of the House. But when he stands up to speak or throw a caution-look at any of his colleague, know there is a heated matter of concern.
A watcher of the House plenaries will attest to the ‘Commando’ air around this Lawmaker.
He sponsored a ‘Bill for a Law to make Provisions for the collection of Revenue from Transportation of Goods by Road to, in or from Akwa Ibom State and for single haulage fees payable at the point of loading and discharge of Goods in the state and for other matters connected therewith.’
He raised a motion for the Passage of 2020 Local Government Councils’ Budget by the Legislative Councils throughout the 31 LGAs. This was a concern taking in cognizant that the 2nd quarter of 2020 was elapsing without LG Councils passing their budgets.
He is a member of other committees and co-sponsored other bills.
Watchers many times see the Deputy Leader’s seat empty during plenary.
ATTENDANCE: 70%.
Oversight Role:
Not much have been heard of the Security, Youth and Sports committee official outings. But the committee was able to manifest commitment during the Covid-19 lockdown period.
The Committee controlled the population at the public gallery during the time and even in the post Covid-19 era. The environment has been decongested with no loitering by visitors. Numerous visitors per sitting day was an alarming situation within the premise which raised concern.
In the area of youth and sport, he has been able to organise inter-team contests amongst football groups in the state. This has helped groomed talents and given them platforms to excel.
Representative Role:
The member has been able to use his football passion and club (FC One Rocket) and the Carabana Football Academy to empower youth by grooming and fixing talents in positions to excel.
He also sponsor several indigent youth through their academic pursuit in higher institutions.
Not much have been heard of his empowerment program last year.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: OP.
• Mkpat Enin with Hon. Victor Ekwere on Stage
Many see him as a Lawmaker of his class. He moves with such gait that strikes a Lawmaker who knows his onions. Let’s look at his strides in the last one year.
Lawmaking Role:
He is an active Lawmaker in the 7th Assembly and proves to know legislative business when he stands to speak. Though he is not an everyday speaker on the floor but several occasions throws him up to speak as the Chairman House Committee on Judiciary, Justice, Human Rights and Public Petition.
He has sponsored a private member bill and moved three motions. The bill is the ‘Amendment of Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission Law 2007.’
Through his legislative role, he openly queried the then Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyangeyen over the poor quality of roads delivered by construction companies in the state.
His presence noticeable from the public gallery. Only on very few occasions that he has not been on his seat.
ATTENDANCE: 80%.
Oversight Role:
As a Chairman House Committee on Judiciary, Justice, Human Rights and Public Petition, several petitions and clearance of nominees for appointment by the state government are handled by his Committee.
In the last one year, the Committee handled such during the nomination of persons into Boards and Commission; and the nomination of Commissioners/SAs into the Executive Council.
It is with its report that the Assembly is given direction on its legislative fuctions.
He is a member of other committees and has been active in those committees’ oversight duties.
Representative Role:
In the last one year, he has renovated a 2 No. Four Classroom blocks and about 600 desks are to be distributed to schools in his constituency.
In December, 2020, he gave out 13 motorcycles to women to help in their rural businesses and other gifts to mark the Yuletide. On his list are indigenes where he pays their school fees.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: OP.
• Itu with Hon. Kufreabasi Edidem on Stage
Many say he understands the language of the street and they love him like that with ‘low-hanging’ fruits for all to pick from.
Lawmaking Role:
Within the year, he sponsored: ‘A bill for a Law to establish Akwa Ibom State Tourism, Arts and Culture Endowment Fund (AKSTACEF) and for other allied purposes.’
The bill went through first and second reading and a Public hearing conducted for the two bills by his committee.
The member also moved a motion calling for ‘Introduction of Marine Patrols in Riverine Communities of Oku Iboku, Itu Clan, Mbiaso, Uruan and its environs.’
He was not only present but averagely active on plenary days except on few days which he was not on seat.
ATTENDANCE 85%.
Oversight Role:
As the Chairman, Committee on Industry, Commerce and Tourism, the member led his committee on oversight duties to Ibom Hotels and Golf Resort to interface with the management.
He also organised a Public Hearing on the ‘Bill for a Law to Provide for Preservation and Restoration of Historical Properties and Cultural Heritage Sites in Akwa Ibom State and for connected purposes’; and ‘A bill for a Law to establish Akwa Ibom State Tourism, Arts and Culture Endowment Fund (AKSTACEF) and for other allied purposes.’
He is an active member of other committees which he is a member.
Representative Role:
In the last legislative year, the member donated a two-bedroom bungalow to 73 aged widow, Madam Akon Edet of Ikot Obio Atai-Itu LGA on Christmas day.
He renovated a eight classroom block and a Principal office at Community Secondary Commercial School, Ibiaku Itam, Itu LGA with solar-powered borehole as his constituency project to Itu people.
Also, about 70 indigenes of Itu received cash support for their businesses as he feted many too recently at his Osongama residence.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: OP.
• Ukanfun with Hon. Dr. (Mrs) Charity Ido
She is one of the active voices on the floor of the 7th Assembly which gives not just Ukanafun people a place but women of the state. Being a first timer not withstanding, this female Lawmaker has been competing favourably with her male counterparts in legislative business.
Lawmaking Role:
During the year, the Lawmaker sponsored the ‘Bill for a Law to Establish the Akwa Ibom State Road Traffic Authority and for other matters connected therewith’. The status of this bill is that it is in its second reading.
‘A bill for a Law to Establish Akwa Ibom State Mortgage creation, foreclosure and Enforcement of Mortgages in Real Property and for other Matters Connected therewith,’ is also attributed to her within the year.
Also, several reports from her Committee were presented before the House which directed the House to ratify audited accounts of the 31 LGAs and the Covid-19 Budget Execution of the Akwa Ibom State Government.
She has been present and active in House deliberations during the last year.
ATTENDANCE: 90%
Oversight Role:
With her Committee on Public Account, she has been having interfaces with MDAs in the state concerning their accounts.
Her Committee on Public Accounts  met severally to scrutinize financial accounts of the state government, MDAs and 31 LGAs which reports were tendered before the House to guide its resolutions.
As a member of other Committees of the House, she has been an active participant in those Committees.
Representative Role:
Within the year, she organised a three-day medical outreach to her people between 21st-23rd of Dec, 2020. This came along with an empowerment program where 51 students, 169 women, 40 youth were beneficiaries of various gitf packages.
Also, in the Constituency outreach program, about 50 indigenes of Ukanafun benefited from the free medical surgeries.
Her constituents claims she touches lives individually without pomp and pageantry.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: VOP.
•Etim Ekpo/Ika with Hon. (Elder) Mfon Idung
The member is a first time Legislator on the floor of the 6th Assembly and many see him as level-headed gentleman.
• Lawmaking Role:
In the last one year, the member has been active in pushing for people-oriented laws, motions brought to the floor of the House.
He sponsored ‘A Bill for a Law to Establish Akwa Ibom State Waterfront Infrastructure Development.”
He is vocal and his attendance was commendable from public gallery in the last legislative year.
ATTENDANCE: 85%.
Oversight Role:
He is the Chairman House Committee on Petroleum Matters. Though this Committee has not engaged in noticeable oversight duties, findings revealed he has been engaging in internal meetings with members of the Committee and Oil Companies to adhere to the tenets of Local Content Law.
As active member of other Committees of the House, the Etim Ekpo/Ika Lawmaker has been up and doing in those committees.
Representative Role:
The Lawmaker reached out to over 900 of his constituents during his constituency briefing in March, 2021. This covered youth, women and elders of the area.
He gave out 5 mini buses; 24 motorcycles; 22 Sewing machines; 3 Keke Courier trucks; 5 Generators; 800 wrappers; Clippers and Pressing irons.
A constituency office was inaugurated during the event.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: OP.
• Nsit Atai with Rt. Hon. Mark Esset on the Stage.
This is the first Lawmaker to break the second term jinx in the area. He is very vocal and active on the floor of the 7th Assembly.
Lawmaking Role:
This member for the last one year has been engaging in pushing people-oriented laws and motions.
Attributed to him is the ‘Bill for a Law to amend the Law establishing the Akwa Ibom State Local Government Service Commission Law and for other matters connected therewith.’ This was passed into Law after due legislative amendment procedure.
Also, he sponsored ‘A bill to Establish AKS  Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency,’ which was recently passed into Law.
Motion he has raised in the last one year is the ‘Proliferation of illegal Tertiary Institutions in Akwa Ibom State: A call for immediate action to save innocent youth and parents from self-centered proprietors.’
He is a member of several committees and has co-sponsored several bills.
Last year, it is observed he made up attendance of the House on every session except on one occasion he was found absent on seat.
ATTENDANCE 95%.
Oversight Role:
Last one year had ripple effect of the oversight duties of the 31 LGAs of the state in 2019.
As the Chairman, Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Rt. Hon. Mark Esset was busy with his committee members intervening in councils where there were red-flags so there could be peace amongst council officers and effective Local Government administration.
This gave birth to welfare improvement in specific areas where officers complained of poor work motivation and improved staff attitude to work. Most of the Councils whose work conditions were appalling had braced up with the demand for such to be improved by the committee.
Representative Role:
The Lawmaker in the last one year continued to reach out to his people through human capacity development schemes, provision of business empowerment fund and educational advancement grants.
Recent was the grading of 12.8km rural roads and feting his constituents during last year yuletide.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: VOP.
•Eket with Rt. Hon. David Lawrence on Stage.
He is stable in nature and his white-bearded hair portrays a picture of a wise-man.
Lawmaking Role:
In the last one year, the member has been active in contributions to House proceedings by encouraging people-oriented bills and motions to see the light of the day. He is a second-comer in the present Assembly.
He moved a motion to ‘Reposition the State Fire Service with functional utility vehicles, adequate trucks and fire fighting equipment.’
He has been present and active on plenary days though absent on seat on few days.
ATTENDANCE: 75%
Oversight Role:
His Committee on Works and Transport is one of the active ones in the 7th Assembly.
It has engaged Construction companies handling road projects in the state by ensuring quality work are delivered on time to the people of the state.
This was evident in its routine inspections to road project sites across the state which included; ‘Anua-Mbak- Eshiet Road, Eket-Etinan Road dualisation etc.
Through this function recently, the Committee of Works and Transport summoned VKS construction Company to appear before the Committee over delay and poor project delivery as its concerns road projects.
Representative Role:
The member is said to have touched lives previously but within the year, no constituency briefing has been organised by him to his constituents.
However, he has been commended for attracting China Market project to the area.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: OP.
• Ini with Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong on stage
This is a second-term lawmaker for Ini State Constituency. God served the 6th Assembly from losing one of her members. He escaped Reigner’s Church mishap of 2016 to fulfil his mandate of representing his people. He is the Chief Whip in the 7th Assembly.
Lawmaking Role:
This Lawmaker is not a silent member. In the last one year, he sponsored a Bill for a Law to Establish Akwa Ibom State Economic Advisory Council and for other Matters Connected therewith.
He had raised several motions on the urgent needs of his people. Inclusive are; the request for the immediate take over of Methodist College Edem Edim Ibakesi by Akwa Ibom State Government. This is due to the closure of the institution which met the educational needs of four communities in the area. The need to resuscitate the institution by the state government take-over becomes imminent in his plea.
Also, his request by way of motion to ‘Checkmate the upsurge in street begging and hawking by underage children within Uyo metropolis,’ gave him not a passive voice.
He is a member of many committees and a co-sponsor of several bills.
On very few occasions he has been absent from plenary sessions. ATTENDANCE: 90%
Oversight Role:
As the Chairman, Committee on Science and Technology, the lawmaker spearheaded the building of a functional website for the Assembly. He carried out familiarization visit to Root hub, an ICT firm in Uyo for collaboration.
He joined several other committees which he is a member on oversight duties. Example is when committee on Works and Transport embarked on oversight duties on road projects in the state.
Representation Role:
He has empowered his constituents to be self-reliant. This include sponsoring of over 20 indigenes on Telecommunications business,  secured employment for youth both in state and private firms, car gifts to constituents, drilling of solar a powered borehole, clearing of medical bills of incapacitated constituents, etc.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: VOP.
•Nsit Ubium with Hon. (Barr) Otobong
This is the youngest lawmaker in the 7th Assembly. There is a rumour going round that he has a mentor in Ibiono Ibom Legislator, Hon. Godwin Ekpo.
Lawmaking Role:
Within the year, he sponsored a ‘Bill for a Law to Provide for Preservation and Restoration of Historical Properties and Cultural Heritage Sites in Akwa Ibom State and for connected purposes.’
Also, a ‘Bill for a law to provide for the Establishment of the office of the public defender, its functions and other connected matters,’ is attributed to him within the year.
Motion moved by the member include: ‘motion for a thorough investigation into the gruesome murder of a 23 years old Engineering student of University of Uyo, Late Gabriel Bassey Edward; ‘The Gradual pace of infrastructural deterioration at 65 year old centre of Academic Excellence, Salvation Army Secondary School, Akai Ubium: A passionate call for Government’s Reclamation’; ‘Opposition of Bail plea bargaining proposal for Gender Based Violence,’ a Co-mover with Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Denis.
He was regular and active in the last legislative year.
ATTENDANCE: 90%
Oversight Role:
He is the Chairman, Committee on Rules, Business, Ethics and Privileges.
This committee is concern with the scheduling of bills for consideration; the offer of the modus-operandi and adherence is a buried responsibilities of this committee.
All the bills considered by the 7th Assembly get through this committee as it determines dates for it hearing on the floor of the House through right legislative process.
The Lawmaker is an active member of several other committees of the House.
Representative Role:
In the last one year, the member has reached out to his constituents by way of Agricultural training to 100 youth to be gainfully engaged. Also, there was an organised sensitization program by the Member on Covid-19 pandemic to his constituents throughout the LGA.
He also donated water projects in Ikot Ekpene Udo, Ikot Akpanabia and Nung Obong-Ubium, all in Nsit Ubium LGA.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: VOP.
• Oron/Udunguko with Rt. Hon. Effiong Bassey on Stage
This is a second term member in the State Legislature. It is true experience is the best teacher as this member over the years has garnered it. Today, he becomes one of the voices in the Parliament pushing for the interest of his people.
As a former Deputy Speaker, it is notable that Rt. Hon. Effiong Bassey’s oratory skill has improved compared to his first term.
Even when he has risen to an average speaker, this Lawmaker may not speak at the spate expected by watchers at the public gallery.
Lawmaking Role:
This member has not sponsored any bill in the last one year but he is a co-sponsor of several others.
Within the year, he moved a motion of urgent public importance, raising concern over the ‘Proliferation of illegal Motor-Parks in Uyo Metropolis, capital of Akwa Ibom State: A call for urgent action.’
He endeavoured to be present in House plenary last year but on few occasion found absent on seat.
ATTENDANCE 80%.
Oversight Role:
As the Chairman, Committee on House Services, he ensures the technical components and other maintenance services within the Assembly works for the smooth runnings of the House.
This he has handled without doubt as there is improvement in the are of power and water-supply within the complex. This is owed to the present leadership which placed priority to these needs for a conducive working condition.
Representative Role:
The lawmaker has been reaching  out to his community ut in the last one year during the intense Covid-19 lockdown, he reached out more than twice to his constituents.
The last was in February 2021 when he reached out to 400 of his constituents during the post Covid-19 to give succor to the adverse economic reality.
He is the first Lawmaker according to his constituents to host a constituency briefing in the area.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: OP.
•Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo with Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh on Stage
This is one of the active elements which makes the 7th Assembly’s solution thick.
Lawmaking Role:
In the last one year, this Lawmaker has been able to sponsor three bills, moved three motions and a co-sponsor of several other bills in the last on year.
The following bills are attributed to him: ‘A Bill for a Law to Establish the Akwa Ibom State Fiscal Responsibility Board for prudent management of the State’s Resources and ensure Greater Accountability and Transparency in Fiscal Operations and other matters connected therewith’; ‘Akwa Ibom State Lottery Board bill.’ These two bills have been passed into Law.
Also he sponsored, a bill for a Law to provide for the Management of funds of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and Related Matters.
The motions moved by the Lawmaker include: ‘A call for the Development of Tourist sites in Ikot Abasi into tourist centres’; ‘Oil spillage in three communities of Iko, Nta, Obianga, Eastern Obolo LGA’; and the ‘Vote of Confidence on the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey.’
In the last one year, he has not been only present in plenaries but active through the House sessions.
ATTENDANCE: 95%.
Oversight Role:
This Lawmaker mans a very sensitive committee of the House, the Committee of Appropriation and Finance.
Within the year, the Committee has been up and doing in its functions of ensuring the 2021 Appropriation Bill scaled through legislative process and passed on time for smooth financial running of organs of Government.
Its engagements with MDAs for budget scrutiny and streamlining was intensive within the period.
This led to on-site visit to major project sites of government in the state.
He is an active member of other Committees of the House.
Representative Role:
Though not particular occasion has been heard of his constituency briefing within the year, the member is said to have embarked on quiet human empowerments.
Constituents say he has been taking over medical bills, school fees, business start-ups, family support of most of his constituents.
Recently, it strayed into media space when he donated vehicles, motorcycles to few of his constituents.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: VOP.
•Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara with Rt. Hon. Idongesit Ntekpere on Stage
He is often sighted trotting into his office with such steps (Princely guy-man steps according to public description) alone without being accompanied by any security aide or personal aide. Visitors might mistake him for a visitor too.
Lawmaking Role:
This one year, he did not sponsor any bill in particular but cosponsored others.
He moved a motion on the ‘Need for the Establishment of Customary Courts of Appeal in Akwa Ibom State.’
He has been seen, not in a regular occasion during plenary sessions last year. This Legislator is adjudged from the public gallery as a passive lawmaker on the floor of the House.
ATTENDANCE: 60%.
Oversight Role:
His Committee on Labour and Productivity has not performed any outstanding activity in the last one year. But it has engaged in internal and joint engagements with other Committees of the House.
Recently was when his committee joined forces with that of Special Project, Monitoring and Implementation; Petroleum Matters; Boundary and Resolution to verify facts on the level of Social Responsibility and tax compliance of oil servicing companies operating in the state. The interface was with the Ministry of Finance, Office of the Accountant General  and the State Internal Revenue Service.
Representative Role:
Nothing has been heard of its empowerment program in the last Legislative year. But some of his constituents say he has touched lives quietly on individual basis.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: LP.
• Etinan with Rt. Hon. (Barr) Aniefiok Denis on Stage
A second-timer and the Deputy Leader of the House. A legal practitioner of repute who many times helps to interpret the laws enacted by the House.
Lawmaking Role:
He is active on the floor of the House and many times seen helping members decode contents of the law and even points out defects for proper address.
In the last one year, he sponsored a ‘Bill for a Law to make Provisions for the Administration of Criminal Justice and for other Related Matters.’
Also, as he his counterpart Otobong Bob of Nsit Ubium anchored the motion which led to the house resolution that bargaining proposals be rejected in Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases. That the Judiciary should treat GBV cases as firt-line priority.
Another is the motion where he called on the House to direct Ministries of Health, Information and Strategy; and Ethical and Attitudinal Re-orientation Commission to immediately embark on sensitization Campaign to enlighten people on the Covid-19 Vaccines. This followed the House resolution for Akwa Ibom people to as a matter of importance embrace Covid-19 vaccination. He is a co-sponsor of several bills and member of many committees.
Rarely absent at plenaries. Attendance: 90%.
Oversight Role:
As the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Barr. Aniefiok Denis has tried to bridge the information gap between the House and the public.
The many after-sessions-chats, interface with relevant media agencies and commissions, etc.
The Committee’s speedy role to scrutinize the ‘Bill for a Law to Establish and Regulate Akwa Ibom State Official Symbols and for Matters Connected therewith’ which passed through 1st, 2nd, Public Hearing and 3rd Reading within five days.
Representative Role:
Many of his constituents say he is a quiet achiever and most of his kind gesture are kept away from public’s view.
Most of his representation deeds are into educational advancements. One of such is the sponsorship offered to law students in school and empowerment of youth in skill acquisition programs.
Example is enlisting one Master Mighty Joseph Pius of Ikot Akpanya to Technical Schools’ Scholarship; and the enrollment of youth into the Frankrose Foundation Skill Acquisition and Empowerment Program.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: VOP.
• Ibesikpo Asutan with Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko on Stage
A comic reliever. Watchers see this second timer for Ibesikpo Asutan people as a Lawmaker whose presentation style differs from others. His oratory very veracious and forthright.
With the introductory remark ‘In my Honour,’ Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko exudes candour anytime he stands to speak as the former Speaker in the early days of the 6th Assembly.
Lawmaking Role:
In the last one year, he sponsored a ‘Bill for a Law to repeal and Re-enact with major changes the Akwa Ibom state Education Trust Fund Law and for other matter connected thereto’; ‘Akwa Ibom State Statistics Bill 2021’
Aside being an active voice on the floor of the state Assembly, this Lawmaker has made agitations for the gain of his people. Example is the approval of Mbikpong Ikot Edim-Ikot Akpaedu Road construction in Ibesikpo Asutan LGA by the state government.
He is a member of several committees and a co-sponsor of private member bills in House.
He is always present to represent his people in the hallowed chamber.  ATTENDANCE 90%.
Oversight Role:
He led his committee on Special Projects, Monitoring, Implementation and Aviation Development on a tour to select project sites of the state government. These include; Dakkada Towers, International Worship centre and International Terminal of Victor Attah International Airport to ascertain level of work.
As member of other committees, he participated actively in oversight duties of the relevant committees.
Representative Role:
The member has been up and doing in the reach to his people.
Recently, he donated 2 no. of 4 classroom blocks in Lutheran Primary School, Ikot Okubo Ibesikpo and Primary School Afaha Ikot Osom; 600 desks to schools in the area as part of his 2020 constituency projects.
Also, he donated gift items to his constituents during Christmas period while playing host to them last year.
PUBLIC ASSESSMENT: VOP.
© Compiled by Enwono-Abasi Elisha.

 

GOV UDOM NEEDS PRAYERS

2023 Guber: Iniobong Essien speaks

…appeals to Akwa Ibom people to pray for Governor Emmanuel

As the debate on who occupies the Hilltop Mansion in 2023 continues to gain momentum, the Chairman of Ibom Airport Development Company Limited, Dr. Iniobong Essien, has opened up on the aspirations for the governorship race.

Dr. Essien, who is a former Commissioner for Science and Technology in Akwa Ibom State, in an interaction with the Conference of Online Publishers in Akwa Ibom State (COOPA) on Friday, hinted that although he has not informed any group or individual of any aspiration, he would not decline if God reveals him to Governor Udom Emmanuel as his potential Successor.

This follows insinuation across the State that he (Iniobong Essien) will run for the 2023 Governorship election.

“So far, he (Gov. Emmanuel) has not named anybody (as a successor). So if the Governor were to hear my name from God and then says, ‘this is the person that God wants, then I’ll certainly get back to my people, think about it and of course, give it a trial.

“It will be a call to service. I was called to be an Elder in the Apostolic Church, not because I chose to be. At some point, I was hesitant but when I looked at it from the point of service, I went on to take that up. I enjoy service. To me, a call to service at that level is a call that one will certainly pray about and possibly give a trial. People have come to me to say why don’t you do this, but I have never spoken with anybody to date, I have not. If there is anybody who says that I have said that I want to contest for Governorship of Akwa Ibom State, I’d like the person to come out and say it publicly”, he said.

He noted that Governor Emmanuel needed divine guidance in his choice of a successor, saying rather than pressurize the Governor, Akwa Ibom people should also seek God’s face on who takes over the baton of leadership in 2023.

“If you’re talking about the succession plan, Governor Udom Emmanuel has spoken severally that, he is waiting on God and the stakeholders. So we will patiently wait for His Excellency. I’m sure he’s talking with the stakeholders and they are giving their inputs.

“God is not a God of confusion. I want to appeal that we allow Governor Udom Emmanuel to hear from God. I would also advise us (Akwa Ibom people) to pray to God to guide him so that he hears very clearly (from God)”, he said.

Dr. Essien carpeted widespread insinuations that the Governor was making moves to frustrate the ambitions of some Governorship Aspirants in the state, but made a case for Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency in the forthcoming election.

“Governor Udom Emmanuel has never given any instruction that there is anyone that needs to be politically ‘demystified’. What I desire is that based on the zoning that we have, Itu/Ibiono should be given a shot. It is left to the stakeholders in conjunction with the Governor to take a decision on what it should be”, he added.

The erstwhile Commissioner also spoke on ongoing works at the Maintenance, Repairs, and Overhaul (MRO), second Runaway, and Terminal Building at the Ibom International Airport.

“Close to 70 percent of work has been done at the MRO of Ibom International Airport. An official operator is in the pipeline and that will be unfolded very soon. The MRO is almost ready for use.”

“The terminal building, from my interactions with the engineers, should be ready by the middle of next year. Same thing with the second Runway. Asphalting has started. I’ll put the level of completion at 60 to 70 percent.”

He expressed optimism that the current administration would complete ongoing projects in the state before 2023, exception of the Ibom Deep Seaport which he noted cannot be completed under Governor Emmanuel’s tenure.

“I can tell you that with the way he is going, Governor Udom Emmanuel will land well. He will land well in terms of completing his projects and in his succession plan. There is no way Governor Udom Emmanuel can complete the Ibom Deep Seaport in his administration. But what he has done so far, especially, getting the approval from the Federal Government, is commendable.”

PR Unit
Conference of Online Publishers in Akwa Ibom (COOPA)
05062021

STAKEHOLDERS GIVE REASONS WHY SEAPORT SHOULD BE IN IBENO

STAKEHOLDERS GIVE REASONS WHY SEAPORT SHOULD BE IN IBENO

Major Stakeholders in Ibeno LGA including the Paramount Ruler of the area, HRM Owong (Dr.) Effiong B. Archianga (JP) have given reasons why it is pertinent for the Ibom Deep Seaport project to be relocated from Mbo LGA to Ibeno LGA.

This is contained in a Press Release by Ibeno Clan Council.

Read below:

IBENO CLAN COUNCIL

1.The Honourable Minister,
Federal Ministry of Transportation, Abuja.

2. His Excellency, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel,
The Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State

3. The Chairperson,
Akwa Ibom State Technical Committee On
Ibom Deep Seaport and Industrial City,

Dear Sirs,

RE: LOCATION OF IBOM DEEP SEAPORT IN IBENO: OFFICIAL REACTION OF THE PEOPLE OF IBENO

The people of lbeno have largely kept a dignified silence over the unnecessary uproar raised by some persons of Oro extraction of Akwa Ibom State concerning the decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to site Ibom Deep Seaport in Ibeno. It was our sincere hope that such uproar and furore would soon give way to reason, especially as the State Government has on several occasions offered explanations why the said Deep Seaport should be located in lbeno.

Sadly, instead of accepting the explanations given by the Government, Oro nation has continued to deploy every available platform in their bid to paint not only the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Government of Akwa Ibom State in bad light, but also castigate Ibeno, calling our people names and generally throwing all cautions to the wind in their vaunted attempt to force the government to site the project at Oro nation.

Suffice us therefore to react to these childish, unfounded, spurious and puerile claims before the general public is misled into thinking that there exists any single sense in those claims

First of all, the people of lbeno wish to thank the Honourable Minister of Transportation and the Governor of Akwa Ibom State for making sure that the right thing is done in the overall interest of the people of Akwa Ibom State by siting the Deep Seaport where it would be economically feasible and viable, and also for their sense of maturity so far in the handling of this matter. We wish to reassure you that the choice of Ibeno for the Deep Seaport project is not misplaced. Ibeno Local Government Area is blessed with natural resources and plays host to several oil producing companies which makes it the highest income generating Local Government Area in the State. The Local Government Area also lies at a strategic position, bordering directly with the Atlantic Ocean, with immediate access to the sea depth which is a natural requirement for siting of a world class port.

Aware of the huge potential which nature has endowed our people, we are always committed to providing a comfortable, amiable and conducive environment which are a requisite to attract and encourage diverse business interests to our domain. Our resolve to remain the most peaceful oil producing area in the Niger Delta Region is unshakable.

It is in the light of the foregoing that we wish to make the following facts clear and available to the general public:

1. That Ibeno is one of the largest Local Govemment Areas in Akwa Ibom State, far larger than Mbo Local Government Area in terms of landmass, and also has the longest sea band or ocean floor in West Africa, a total of 120 kilometres in all. The attempt by some persons of Oro Extraction to describe Ibeno as a small Local Government Area therefore smacks of ignorance at best and sheer display of folly at worst. We also view it as a calculated attempt by the Oro Nation to hoodwink the general public and cast bad publicity over a project that has the capacity to place Akwa Ibom State at the World Map.

2. That the choice of Ibeno for the purpose of locating the Deep Seaport was borne out of expert studies and purely scientific considerations among which include proximity to the Deep Sea Trade Route, nearness to the natural draught for the project which stands at 17.5 metres natural depth, minimal environmental and social impacts, low research and technical solutions, minimal need for soil improvement, accessibility. The soil analysis conducted by expert firms, including Transaction Advisers, FELAC Concept and Marine and Transport Business Solutions MBTS, of Netherlands, all showed that the port project would not be commercially viable if sited at Ibaka due to its long distance from the sea. Instead, after a rigorous and painstaking scientific process, MTBS had recommended Ibeno as the most suitable location for the project to the Federal Executive Council for approval.

3. That the total project area required for location of the Deep Seaport spans across five villages in Ibeno viz: Okposo I, Okposo II, Okomita, Itioesek and Itak Idim Nne Ekpe. In contrast to the disingenuous claims by the Oro Nation that pipelines criss-cross the area and would involve huge cost to relocate, we state categorically that ExxonMobil has two (2) pipelines connecting from Qua Iboe Terminal to its loading bay at IDOHO platform, and that is very far away from the proposed location of the Deep Seaport. There is absolutely no pipeline to relocate and there is no other oil company operating near the proposed Deep Seaport area.

4. That there are only two flare torches in the hinterland of Ibeno, which of course, is far from the Deep Seaport location and cannot affect the project. If gas flaring were to be the criteria for siting of such project, then a place like Onne in Rivers State would not have hosted a massive Port given the numerous flare torches docking the entire area and environs.

5. That the Federal Government has designated the area approved for the Deep Seaport project in Ibeno as a Licence Free Trade Zone. The magnitude of that proposal and the benefits thereof places Ibeno at the foreground of the developmental strides that Akwa Ibom State hopes to make in the foreseeable future. In recent time, there has been an upscale in interests to increase the Energy Infrastructure in Ibeno. Siting the Deep Seaport in Ibeno therefore becomes far more beneficial for all concerned as a natural hub for import and export of Petroleum and other Allied Products. Surely, there exists nowhere else better than the choice of Ibeno for the Deep Seaport project.

6. That the Deep Seaport is only a part of an entire Industrial City. While the Deep Seaport covers about 2,500 hectares of land, much of the Industrial City covering about 14,000 hectares of land would be located around Mbo Local Government Area forming an entire Industrial Complex. There is no need for the unnecessary contention and selfish clamouring by the Oro Nation over a project whose choice of location was devoid of sentiments.

7. That as we have already stated, Ibeno is stupendously blessed by nature. As Nigeria and Akwa Ibom State rise to the challenge of maximizing and appropriating the full potentials of the rich oil and gas resources which our nation is blessed with, it is no one’s doing and certainly, no one can stop the fact, that Ibeno becomes the destination of preference owing to its rich resources and natural positioning. It is on this note that we therefore encourage all citizens of Akwa Ibom State to join hands to build the necessary infrastructure that will bring prosperity and well-being to all our people.

8 That we advise the Oro Nation to sheath their sword and act on the side of caution, not forgetting that we share the same ancestry and ought to treat each other with respect. That fact has informed our attitude and conduct all along. We will continue to conduct ourselves in the best manner and to ensure that our Community remains a peaceful, peace loving, friendly, hospitable and accommodating to attract all manners of investment into our land, even as we believe that this will be in the overall interest of Akwa Ibom State in particular, and Nigeria as a whole.

9. Once again, we wish to use this medium to thank the Honourable Minister for Transportation, H.E Rotimi Amaechi and the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, H. Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel for choosing Ibeno for a project of this magnitude We continue to assure the Government of our unalloyed support for the growth an development of our dear State and country Nigeria.

Signed for themselves and on behalf of the entire good people of Ibeno:

HRM OWONG (DR.) EFFIONG B. ARCHIANGA (JP),
FCE, FCAI, FCIPDM, ALIMA, ALAMA, FIOGR.
Akwaha Owong Ibeno,
Udammung 1 of Ibeno-Land,
Life Chairman, MPNU Host Communities of Nigeria,
Paramount Ruler, Ibeno Local Government Area,
Former Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Traditional Rulers’ Council,
Fmr. National President Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing
Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCON) & Grand Patron of Ngba Ndiak Obolo Worldwide.

OBONGANWAN ETA IBOK
President – Mpoho Mbong Atip Ibeno &
Vice President, Ibeno Women Forum

HON. (ELD.) IKOEDEM H. EKONG
President General Mpoho Ndito Ibeno (ENI)

MR. KINGSLEY A. ASUQUO
President,
Ibeno Youth President Forum

CHIEF OKON UDOFIA OKON-(UNA-I)
Ibeno Clan Council Secretary II

MR. HARRY E. MOSES
President General, Ulok Utok People’s Assembly

BARR. DIAMOND AKPANIKA
Legal Adviser,
Ngba Ndiak Obolo Worldwide.

AKSG TO COMPLETE IBOM TROPICANA HOTEL

A’IBOM GOVT READY TO COMPLETE IBOM TROPICANA HOTEL – EPHRAIM INYANG REVEALS

…says Udom has no plans to bring puppet as his successor

After several years of abandonment, plans are underway for the completion of the five star Ibom Tropicana Hotel, a section of the Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre.

Although commissioned by former Governor Godswill Akpabio on May 22, 2015, the Tropicana Entertainment Centre, a modern class leisure and business resort situated in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has most sections still under construction, except the cinema and shopping mall which are fully completed and functional.

The shopping mall was recently revamped and commissioned by the state government, leaving the Theme Park, Convention Centre and other sections to rodents and reptiles.

But in a recent chat with the Conference of Online Publishers Akwa Ibom State (COOPA), Chief of Staff to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen disclosed that the state government was cementing deals with a private investor who is expected to take over, complete and manage the hotel, a 14-storey building with over 200 rooms.

“Look at the Tropicana, a lot of money was sunk in. If it were a different government, perhaps today, it would have been abandoned. The mall is today working.

“Today, I have the authority of the Governor to discuss with investors to take over the hotel part of the Tropicana. I am giving you information that is not at your disposal. I am chairing a committee engaging a private investor who has the resources to take on the hotel and complete it”, he said.

Speaking further, Inyangeyen also debunked insinuations on the change of the name and location of the Ibom Deep Seaport project.

“The Deep Seaport is coming to Akwa Ibom State. There is no relocation. The Ibom Deep Seaport is coming to Akwa Ibom State. The people that the government is preparing the future for, must also be ready for that future. The youth must be ready for the future that is secured by the efforts of the government through their willingness and Commitment”, he insisted.

When quizzed on the ownership of Ibom Air, the Governor’s CoS maintained that the airline is fully owned by the state government, but however explained that it is managed by a private investor.

“Every business that Akwa Ibom State Government has, there is a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Ibom Air is owned by Akwa Ibom State Government but government can’t run it under the civil service but private structure. It is one hundred percent owned by Akwa Ibom State Government… I can give you the guarantee that Government owns Ibom Air”, Inyangeyen said.

He reiterated Governor Udom Emmanuel’s resolve to complete all ongoing projects across the state, including those inherited from previous administrations.

“Everything that Governor Godswill Akpabio started, Governor Udom Emmanuel is tidying them up. He is equally laying the foundation for industrialization. Look at Tropicana, if it were another government, the project would have been abandoned. We’re engaging with private investors that would take over the hotel section and ensure it is completed and functional”, he said.

About the Governor’s succession plan, he said; “I think the Governor should be believed and given time. The Governor has no plans to bring in a puppet. Power belongs to God. If it is God that will speak to the Governor, when the Governor brings out a candidate, trust me, people will queue behind. God can never be late; Let’s give the Governor benefit of the doubt.”

Inyangeyen who did not divulge if he has interest in contesting for an elective position in 2023 however said his political ambition is hinged on the will of God.

“If it is the will of God that I contest election in 2023, I will contest. If it is the will of God, He will put it in the minds of my people. It is God’s plans that will work in Akwa Ibom State. Men will plan, but God will overrule”, he said.

PR Unit
Conference of Online Publishers in Akwa Ibom (COOPA)
31-05-2021

INSIDE STORY OF ORON SEAFOOD MARKET: HOW IGBO-TRADERS CONTROL PRICE OF CRAYFISH, FISH

INSIDE STORY OF ORON SEAFOOD MARKET WHERE IGBO TRADERS CONTROL PRICES OF CRAYFISH

By Enwono-Abasi Elisha

It was a sunny afternoon on Sunday, 23rd May at the Oron beach and seafood market, thousands of traders were bargaining, buying and selling. Wheelbarrow pushers, motorcyclists, bus loaders and drivers were competing for space and attention.

The air within the market was hot, polluted and choky, a nightmare of some sort in the afternoon for anyone who is asthmatic. The market was filled to the shore of the river. For once, the crowd in the market would make a visitor ask if Akwa Ibom was no longer a Christian-dominated State. Thousands of traders were in the market that early afternoon while many Churches were still in session.

Site of a wheelbarrow-Loader struggling through the crowdy market path with bags of crayfish and fish. (Picture captured by Enwono-Abasi Elisha.)

There was an ongoing rehabilitation of the major road leading to the beach and fish market handled by the Akwa Ibom State Government. The road was constructed in 1912 as a trunk-A road to ease access to the upland from the beach where dozens of ferries from Cross River State used to berth.

Cars can no longer access the beach market through the road due to the ongoing rehabilitation work. Many cars that must get to the market using alternative sub-ways. There is a chaotic vehicular traffic around the market because cars are parked indiscriminately in any available space, on the road, open fields and private residences.

Buyers in their thousands were manoeuvring their ways down to the beach market on foot, weaving through the thick human and vehicular traffic.

Bags of of crayfish on display at one of the shades in Oron seafood market. (Picture by Enwono-Abasi Elisha.)

Oron beach and seafood market is said to be the largest fishing beach in West Africa. It extends to Atabong, Enwang, Ebuhu, Asinufot and Ibaka beach which are all landing terminals for fishing ferries in Akwa Ibom State. The Oron seafood market receives the largest number of ferries and traders on seafood.

Many traders from the State complained that the prices of seafood especially crayfish and fish were unnecessarily expensive because the dominant large-scale buyers who are mainly Igbos were controlling market forces against small-scale buyers.

A crayfish seller at the market, an indigene of Akwa Ibom said they enjoy the price pegs when it is high and as a business woman she would sell to the highest bidder.

“This is business. The prices of crayfish and fishes are not determined by us but by the Igbos. As it is, a bag of crayfish now goes for N75,000.00 which is almost twice the price as of two years ago due to the rise in the prices of things in the market.”

“The price peg favours the Igbos to the detriment of our people because our people who are small-scale buyers cannot compete with them in terms of purchase power. So, sometimes our people cannot buy, and the sellers sell most of the product to the Igbos. Without doubt, fish and crayfish are in surplus in Aba than in Akwa Ibom State.”

This assertion was the consensus opinion of all the indigenous traders and buyers this reporter spoke with randomly.

However, the youth leader of Idua Assang community, Mr. Godwin Effiong, said management of the market is in the control of indigenes but the prices of commodities are determined by buying forces.

He said, “it is still a rumour as at this time about who controls the market. Nobody has hijacked the market as speculated. The market is managed and controlled by indigenes of Oro nation not only by Idua Assang community.”

“But the challenge is that, he who has the resources controls the market-force. Therefore, the picture painted that the Igbos have hijacked the market is because they have the money.”

A male trader, Mr. Eyo Antigha, an indigene of Oron said Akwa Ibom traders lost control at the market when the market authority agreed to change the market day from Mondays to Sundays as was advanced by the Igbo traders.

“Now, the market is not supposed to be on Sunday, it was originally on Monday. But because the Igbos said they sell their own wares on Monday, market managers had to change the market day to Sundays for them.”

• TALES OF AKWA IBOM TRADERS AT ORON BEACH MARKET

Indigenous traders from Akwa Ibom state who said low capital occasioned by lack of access to credit facilities has forced many indigenes out of the business thereby creating opportunities for non -indigenes to takeover the business, lamented that for many years now the federal government has not given them support anymore, none has come from the state either.

Hear one of them, “formerly, the federal government used to give fishing nets and other fishing tools, but for a long time, no such thing has happened.

“Right now, nobody is paddling canoe again. Everybody is using outboard engine. A 25 Horse Powers outboard engine cost about N750,000. Now, look at this environment, who do you think can raise that amount just to buy the engine, talk-less about the boat itself and other fishing equipment in the face of recurring attacks by pirates?”

Seafood Traders at their shades selling (Captured by Enwono-Abasi Elisha)

They said it is mostly the Igbos who come in and buy outboard engines for the indigenous fishermen who in return work for the Igbos. They added that market prices of fish and crayfish can be brought down if the indigenous fishermen and others on the value-chain have access to grants to run the business for themselves.

• PIRATES ATTACKS

Pirate attacks on the sea is have crippled many indigenous seafood traders and have forced many to quit the business.

Many people have left the business after several attacks and vandalization of their boats and fishing equipment. For fear of losing their lives and properties; and lack of capital base to continue in the business, many indigenes have left the fishing business for non-indigenes. It was gathered that most of the few indigenes who are still in fishing business take the risk not on their investments but they are running the business for Igbo investors, just to eke a living.

“You will be surprised that we lose between N10 million and N50 million to pirates every week,” Mr. Godwin Effiong said.

“If a speedboat is worth N2 million and you put about 200 Horse Powers outboard engine worth N2 million with other equipment which cost approximately N1 million, so you are going out to the sea with a N5 million worth of equipment. When you are attacked you lose all that. We record several attacks by pirates in a week. We lose boats, goods and lives. We lose N10 million to N50 million in a week”, the youth president explained.

• FAILED ATTEMPTS AT GETTING HELP

Leaders of Assang community said they have made several contacts with the CBN, NGOs and government agencies for financial aid, but none has come.

“Nobody is supporting us. Even when CBN is giving out money for development of agricultural businesses and others, nobody talks about drawing their attention to us in the aquatic business in this part of the country.

“There were attempts by the former executives of this community to access funds to boost the purchasing power of our people. The former regime of leadership in this community visited Bank of Industry and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in the state. Also, persons in the NDDC were visited for assistance, till now, there is no positive response.”

Idua Assang community has not had electricity for eight years now. The community said their source of electricity broke down in February 2012 and they have not been able to preserve their seafood because there is no light.

• APPEAL BY SEAFOOD TRADERS AND IDUA ASSANG COMMUNITY

Indigenous traders on seafood at the Oron beach market have appealed to government to give them financial aid. They said access to grants and loans would help boost aquatic business, break monopoly created by non-indigenes, crash market prices of seafood products and its negative impact on the state and nation’s economy.

“As soon as we have needed funding there will be healthy competition, our people will fully be in the business. There will be no special group controlling the prices and the product will be accessible and affordable to ready buyers.

“There will be no monopoly and second – place buying. Everyone will have access to the product from the sellers directly as they land.”

The traders also called on the governments to beef up security on the sea to stem the activities of pirates, loss of lives and fishing equipment.