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… Vessel for Launch,January 30

Suspected armed militants attacked facilities at the Norfin Offshore Shipyard in the boundary shoreline of Ikot Ukpong in Oruk Anam, Akwa Ibom State.

According to report, the militants arrived the yard at about 5am on Monday scaring away security officers and other workers at the site with sporadic gun shots after which they unleashed explosives into the multimillion naira dredging facility of the company.

While addressing newsmen at the ship yard, Chairman, Norfin Offshore shipyard Ltd, Engr. Iniekong Charles Udonwa grieved over the damage done to facilities as he suspected militant group from Ogoni part of Rivers State.

According to Udonwa, “they came into the shipyard and shot sporadically as staff on duty fled for their lives leaving bullet marks on parts of the building.

“They said we can start any business of the government of Akwa Ibom does not settle them.

“The kept telling our staff to tell the government of Akwa Ibom to reach out to them since the are in charge of both Rivers and Akwa Ibom state. Where do they expect me to get N20m naira for them after destroying our machine worth N60 million.”

He disclosed that the incident has discouraged him greatly as it has affected expansion activities, causing him to strongly consider taking the investment elsewhere.

The Chairman said it was borne out of his desire to contribute to the development of the State by providing employment opportunities for her teeming youths.

At the last count he said, over 100 staff were working at the Ship yard with 4 of those from neighbouring Rivers State.

Engr. Udonwa appealed for a prompt intervention from the State government to forestall a recurrence of the ugly incident.

At site were some policemen led by the area Divisional Police Officer, Kelechi Amadi, who declined to comment on the matter, but when contacted, the State Police Spokesperson Odiko Macdon assured that he will comment on the matter once he is briefed.

Meanwhile, the 9meter MV Swift Security vessel earlier scheduled for launch this weekend, will now be launched on January 30,2021.

The management said the decision to postpone the date of the launch is regrettable and apologized for the inconveniences.



Stakeholders in the Environmental sector have adjudged the bill to ‘Establish Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency and Other Matters Connected Therewith,’ as timely which will help to reposition the 21 years old Environmental Law.

This was the position of stakeholders during the public hearing organised by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly through its Committee on Environment today.

Declaring the event opened, the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey said the processes to fine-tune the bill will further boost the image of the state as the cleanest in the national sphere when finally passed into law.

The Speaker who was represented by the Eket state lawmaker and Deputy Chief Whip of the House, Rt. Hon. David Lawrence, however hoped for informed inputs to have a comprehensive law at the end of the day to properly manage the environment of the state to be more friendly and greener.

According to the Chairman of the House Committee on Environment, Rt. Hon. Asuquo Archibong, “It is desirable, obligatory and non-negotiable. The excuse that the economy is in a bad state is absolutely unacceptable for refusing to keep to waste management global standards.

“We can no longer allow such excuses to becloud the objective of this bill. If we manage our waste properly, we will succeed to have a clean and friendly environment devoid of pollution, disease but safer for mankind.”

The Chairman who was represented by his Deputy and also the lead sponsor of the Bill, Rt. Hon. Mark Esset, said, the Bill which seeks to address key environmental issues in the state will in future harness positive impact on the citizenry.

In his contribution, the Commissioner for Environment, Sir Charles Udoh commended the cordial relationship between the Ministry and its relevant agencies in managing waste in the state which has accorded Akwa Ibom the cleanest in the nation for three consecutive years including last 2020.

He however intimated the audience of the executive laws underway for Environment and Petroleum respectively; which will further strengthen and improve laws in these sectors for the development of the state.

The Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency (AKSEPWMA), Prince Ikim in his address stressed the focus of the agency which is to ensure Akwa Ibom State has a safer and greener environment by ensuring there is a sustain enlightenment programme on waste disposal by residents and programmes fashion to promote a cleaner state.

“The present review of the agency’s law 2000 which is coming twenty -one years after it came to existence needs to stand the test of time in view of the industrialization of the state government through His Excellency’s sustained completion Agenda mantra and the coming on stream of the Ibaka Deep Seaport Project, Liberty Free Zone, etc.

“This therefore underscores the need to sustain and apply the pollutants pay principal (PPP) as applicable and enforceable in all international major environment conventions, protocols and entreaties to which Nigeria has fully subscribed to and by extension Akwa Ibom State.”

However, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Oku Essien Udom (SAN) represented by Mrs Ime Ekpo Esq said the bill should be put on hold to avoid duplicity as there are executive bills underway for environment and petroleum, respectively.

In reaction, the Speaker of the State Assembly and other stakeholders reminded the office of the State Attorney General of one of the core functions of the Legislature which is lawmaking and as an executive arm, executive laws can always be reviewed before passage by the State Assembly for synergy. Also, the House noted the need to strengthen the year 2000 extant law.

In his contribution, the Chairman of the Assembly Service Commission and former Legal Adviser of PDP, Barr. Godwill Umoh said the bill should not talk about pre or pro action court notice as it is not in tandem with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He also noted that designations of magistrates over Sanitation Courts in LGAs; description of the qualification of Chairman and members of the board should be clearly spelt-out.

Dr. Uwemedimo Okon of Nigerian Conservation Foundation said the Agency should not be directly involve in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) rather it should be handled by an independent EIA consultant to report to a designated desk in the Agency as is the best global practice.

In her memorandum, Mrs Comfort Etuk of Environmental Society appreciated the sponsors of the bill for the timely work to repeal the obsolete law which does not meet up with the time. She however observed that powers should be separated from the Chairman to head only the Board while a member of the Board heads the Technical Committee.

Other stakeholders who gave their inputs towards the bill included; the Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO); Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ); Prof James Asuquo; Mr. Mfon Gabriel of Policy Alert and Dr. Ime Ukpe.

Other members present were; Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh – Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo; Hon. Mfon Idung – Etim Ekpo/Ika; Hon (Chief) Effiong Johnson – Mbo; Rt. Hon. Nse Essien, Dpty Chief Whip – Onna;
Hon. Kufreabasi Edidem – Itu; Hon. Udeme Otong – Abak and Hon. Charity Ido – Ukanafun.

It could be recalled that recently the bill passed through 1st and 2nd reading on the floor of the House and committed to the Committee on Environment for indepth legislative work.

©Enwono-Abasi Elisha.



The Chancellor of Conference of Online Publishers in Akwa Ibom (COOPA), Mr. Ifreke Nseowo has charged members of the group to demonstrate professionalism in their media engagements.

He gave the charge during the annual get-together of the group, yesterday, Friday – Jan 8, 2021 in Uyo.

At the gathering, Mr. Nseowo appreciated members for their unflinching loyalty, unity and commitment to the ideals of the organization.

He also lauded the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey for his constant support for the group’s projects and activities.

Speaking on prospects for the Year 2021, the Chancellor hinted that plans were on gear for the conduct of workshops, seminars and conferences for members, including the upcoming virtual Social Media Week.

He recalled that the intellectual trip embarked upon by COOPA in February 2020 was instrumental to the strides recorded by the group the same year and encouraged members to brace up for more of such adventures.

Intimating the group of the political timing nationally and in the state, Nseowo advised the body to follow trends and activities that would shape 2023.

“We should brace up for the task ahead”, he stressed.

Lending his voice to the reality of the coronavirus pandemic, the Chancellor emphasized that COVID-19 is not fake.

“As such, we should try to observe the safety precautions as we go about our activities and encourage same in our doings”, Nseowo said.

At the meeting, the CEO, Pipminds, Mr. Emem Alban offered insight into the need for online publishers to leverage on financial news.

The forex trader and block chain expert harped on the huge benefits of having readers patronize their sites daily to make financial decisions and its accompanying positive yield on their blogs.

He promised a sustained relationship with COOPA.



The Member representing Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District and Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream of the Red Chamber of the National Assembly, Sen. Bassey Albert says he contacted the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic in July 2020 but was healed after 14 days.

He recounted the experience today during the testimony session of the first Sunday, 2021 Service at Full Life Christian Church.

According to his testimony, the Senator said the 14 days journey of the affliction began on 14th of July, 2020 and ended on 28th July, 2020.

You can also watch the testimony via this link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr3bz7PE7Pk&t=4s

He went further to disclosed that only his wife was in the know of the situation which God through His mercies preserved his life and completely healed him within 14 days.

Also, thanking God for his family, Bassey Albert said he was grateful to God for grace and help to him and family throughout 2020 and totally trusting His continuous help in future days of 2021 and beyond.

© Enwono-Abasi Elisha.



The Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Aniekan Bassey has commended the member representing Abak State Constituency and Chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon Udeme Otong for his effective representation which has witnessed a give-back to his people through an empowerment programme.

The Speaker gave the commendation today at the inauguration of Abak State Constituency/Skill Acquisition Centre and Empowerment Programme of the Lawmaker at Annang People’s Primary School, Utu Abak in Abak Local Government Area.

He noted with satisfaction that the Lawmaker has proven his representation by not only sponsoring Bills and Motions, but has also followed the footsteps of his predecessor, Rt. Hon Friday Iwok by giving back to his people.

He further described Hon. Otong as a meek, humble and stabilizing factor in the House of Assembly who has worked assiduously to curb the effect of Covid-19 spread in the Assembly through the provision of preventive materials to members and staff.

Also, he said that the Legislators are happy with Hon. Otong’s effective representation hence the presence of the Lawmakers in the event.

In his speech the Chairman on the occasion and Chairman of Abak Local Government Area, Pastor Ekerete Inyang, commended the Abak Lawmaker for his visionary leadership and representation.

He described him as a man of conscience and a selfless leader who has come to tell his people ‘thank you’ for giving him the mandate to represent them in the 7th Assembly.

Also speaking, the member representing Abak, Etim Ekpo, Ika in the House of Representatives, Hon Aniekan Umana commended the Abak Lawmaker for deeming it fit to give back to the people which is what good representation is all about.

He charged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the items given to them.

He specifically commended the Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey for maintaining a calm and peaceful disposition in the 7th Assembly and for supporting Gov Udom Emmanuel’s administration to succeed.

Earlier in his address, the member representing Abak State Constituency, Hon. Udeme Ottong commended Gov Udom Emmanuel for the award of contract on the ongoing construction of Ikot Oku Ikono Junction Flyover which on completion will stimulate rapid socio-economic activities in Abak LGA and beyond.

He decribed the empowerment as an avenue of teaching the people how to make wealth.

The Lawmaker disclosed that he has sponsored three Bills and co-sponsored eleven motions as well as embarked on oversight functions; and general support to his Constituency since his assumption of office as a Lawmaker in the 7th Assembly.

Empowerment items today included; 5 mini Buses, 5 Tricycles, 28 Motorcycles, 5 Refrigerators, 200 Bags of rice, Cash gift of #7.3Million and a Constituency Office well equipped with ICT and Fashion Design Machines.

The Governor was represented at the occasion by the Special Adviser of Rural Development and Cooperative, Mrs Ekemini Umoh.



The Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey has commended the Ukanafun representative in the 7th Assembly, Hon. Charity Ido for the three-day medical outreach packaged for her constituents from 21st through 23rd December, 2020.

The Speaker said this during the three-day Free Medical Outreach and Empowerment program for Ukanafun constituents ending today at Primary Health Care Centre, Ikot Akpa Nkuk, Ukanafun LGA.

According to the Speaker, “Last year I came to Ukanafun LGA when Hon. Charity Ido met with her constituents to present her progress report in the state legislature and empowered them. I am back this year as she reach out to her people to meet their health needs and also empower them.

“This is due to her great team spirit in the State Assembly and support to the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel.

“I commend you for the great feat and love for your people. I encourage Ukanafun people to consider sending their representatives on second term for greater impact and effective representation.”

In her remarks, Hon. Charity Ido appreciated the Governor of the State and his cabinet members, the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, PDP family and stakeholders in Ukanafun for the support to bring life-changing programs and projects to her people.

She promised more life-changing programs and purposeful representation in the future.

The Chairman of Forum of former legislature and the former representative of the area in state legislature, Hon. Saturday Akpan, commended the member for the feat and said Ukanafun people did not make a mistake with her choice.

He encouraged her to continue with her good works in a bid to write her name in gold as well as in the hearts of Ukanafun people.

Highpoint of the event was the presentation of starter packs and generating sets to indigenes who were trained on barbing and laundry skills.

Also, wrappers were given to 130 women in the area; while 40 youth and 39 women were financially empowered.

Bursary was paid to 51 students of Ukanafun extraction across various tertiary institutions in the country.

Meanwhile, it was disclosed that about 50 surgeries (after due diagnoses) were performed on patients with diverse health challenges since the commencement of the outreach on Monday.

Present on the occasion were; former member of the State Assembly representing the area, Hon. Aniekan Akpan, elders, women, youth and other stakeholders of the area.



Talent Tent, a training platform for children, provided by E-Reach Foundation in collaboration with Hope for Costal Women and Empowerment Initiative, trained 50 children on various skills in its maiden edition, Thursday.

This was contained in the speech of the Team Lead of E-Reach Foundation, Ms Enwono-Abasi Elisha during her opening remark on the occasion.

According to her, “the focus of the platform is to close the gap of paucity of skills among our youth in secondary Schools even in the Universities which give rise to the recurring decimal of crime in the society.

Recently, different bodies have raised the concern of upgrading school curriculum to be skill-based as the increasing rate of job hunting by graduates becomes embarrassing not just to the individual but to the government.

The founder of Hope for Coastal Women and Empowerment Initiative Ms Emem Okon, a co-host of Talent Tent in her remark, said the vision fall along the line of solving the crying need of unemployment in the society.

In his speech, the Guest of Honour, Mr. Emmanuel Owuala who is the SA to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Talent Hunt, charged the students to avail themselves of the opportunity and gain a skill which can serve as a start-up point to their journey of being self-reliant and a solution to a need in the society.

He used his life story as a link to the the uniqueness of each child and how they can turn odds to become advantages and stepping stones to their greatness.

In his turn, the SA on Entertainment Industry, Mr. David Sergeant (Utang Akwa Ibom) charged the students to discover their inherent talents and develop it because it will become their meal tickets in future. He concluded his speech using his life story, the journey and how he intentionally discovered his Broadcast, Master of Ceremony talents.

An actor and Nollywood Film Director, Mr. Moses Eskor said the opportunity will help the children to choose their best talent as every individual has more than a talent.

He however thanked the organisers of the event for putting up the program for the benefit of Akwa Ibom Children.

Ms Aniebiet Francis, Nollywood Actress and CEO of Orange Film Boot Camp, said the students should pursue their passion and not be distracted by peer influence. She further narrated her life’s story and told the children to withdraw from courses they have no inclination for, rather choose courses they will excel in.

In her goodwill, CEO of Utytrends, Mrs Utibe-Akwa said the upcoming generation are luckier as there are entrepreneurs and other public-spirited individuals willing to train them on skills.

She said as an undergraduate, she would have made much money if she had a skill while in school. She encouraged the students to avail themselves of the opportunity by learning skills which in future can sustain them through higher institution and even after.

Utytrends CEO notified the students of a recent news report of a first-class student begging for job online and urged them to focus on self development than gaining University degree to seek for white-collar jobs which often times do not come immediately.

Talent Bank Nigeria CEO, Mr. Nelson NseAbasi said the program will go a long way in helping to sharpen inherent talents in the youth as it has been the focus of Talent Bank to help manage talents.

The facilitators who took the children on different areas of discussion and training include;
Mr. Francis Onuk, Founder RootHub (ICT); Enobong Effiong Ndem, CEO of Portable Ventures and Director ‘De Amala Lougue,’ Uyo (Catering); Imaobong Ben, CEO-AIMA Food/Organic Food Entrepreneur (Organic Food Production); Covenant Nsa, Tech-Writer (Internet writing) and NseAbasi Akpan, Cosmetologist (Liquid soup, Perfume and scouring powder production).

Speaking with Mrs Lizzy Udo, a teacher of Comprehensive Secondary School, Four Towns, who accompanied the students to the event in her judgement said the event was “a very rewarding and unforgettable one.”

In the same vein, a student participant, Kufre Uwakmfon Sunday, SS3 female, said the event was a memorable one as she learnt a lot and will use the baking skill during the holidays and to better her life in the future.

The partners of Talent Tent promised to unfold more packages in future editions of the program.

The maiden edition featured over 40 students of Comprehensive Secondary School Four Towns cutting across the 31 LGAs of the State gaining various skills.


© Talent Tent Media.



The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has constituted an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the 2019 Audit/Accounts report of Akwa Ibom State Government.

Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey who made the announcement at Plenary on Tuesday, named the House Leader, Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian Akpan and Deputy House Leader, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Aniefiok Denis, as Chairman and Secretary of the Committee, respectively.

The Speaker also announced the Chairman, Appropriation and Finance Committee, Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh and the Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, Hon. (Dr.) Charity Ido, as members of the Ad-hoc Committee.

”The Committee is mandated to summon, where necessary, all relevant parties, agencies and persons, connecting and having anything to do with the said report”, the Speaker noted.

The Speaker directed the committee to conduct an in-depth investigation and report back to the House within one month.

“The committee is expected to conduct an in-depth, thorough, unbiased, dispassionate and conclusive investigation without leaving any stone unturned and report back to the House within one month”, he said.



The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has passed a revised 2021 budget outlay of N456.251b made up of N164.515b as Recurrent Expenditure, N241.451b for Capital Expenditure and N50,285b allocated for Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges.

This formed part of the proceedings as the House resumed its plenary after a work recess of two months today.

Presenting the report, the Chairman, Finance and Appropriation Committee, Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh said in pursuant to Sec 14 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the relevant provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2004, his committee adopted participatory approach in its legislative budgetary process where MDAs, Non-Governmental Organisations and other relevant publics were invited to attend a Public Hearing on the budget on November 3, 2020.

According to the Committee’s report, the 2021 budget tagged, ‘ Budget of Economic Reconstruction,’ which is focused on the Completion Agenda and its augmentation of N20.599b from the initial provision of N435.652b gives a reviewed outlay of N456.251B for 2021 fiscal year.

The Committee also said the Recurrent Expenditure was reviewed upward by N6.112b from the initial N158.403b and Capital Expenditure by N14.487 from the initial N226.964b giving a rise to N20.599b (4.7%).

In its recommendations, the Committee said as a way of enhancing “Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Projects MDAs should, as much as practicable, award contracts to non-limited liability companies, since taxes on this category of companies are payable to the State Board of Internal Revenue as against limited liability companies that pay taxes to the Federal Inland Revenue Service.”

After due legislative scrutiny in the Committee of Supply chaired by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, the House passed the 2021 Budget into law and urged the Clerk of the House, Mrs. Mandu Umoren to communicate same to Governor Udom Emmanuel.

However, the commencement date of the 2021 Appropriation law is Jan 1,2021.

Meanwhile, the Speaker in his remarks, commended members for being dutiful and diligent to their legislative work throughout the recess period as they were always intermittently available when duty calls.

He wished his colleagues a smooth legislative year as they commenced activities for another legislative session.



Enwono-Abasi Elisha

The Management of Pipminds International has disclosed readiness to launch its new product this Friday in Uyo.

The CEO of Pipminds, Mr. Alband Emem disclosed this recently during a chat with the media in his Uyo Office.

He however expressed optimism in forex trading which has come to stay and said he is happy for pursuing the dream 10years ago, despite distraction and discouragement from close allies.

Also, Mr. Emem said he is elated with the knowledge that people fly into the state with Pipminds in their minds. He added that the organization is becoming a household name which is helping individuals and other organisations to achieve success in forex trading.

However, Pipminds CEO went memory lane to shade light on his dark days in the journey to greatness he is attaining in the sector; and said, the impression of scammers in 2007 made many not to believe the existence and ingenuity of the business.

This propelled him into gaining the knowledge in the area by enrolling into Forex Academy in 2010 in PortHarcourt, paying $196 monthly.

“I researched into the area and I was taught how to trade. The persistent and consistent approach I gave to it and with the support of my family, I weathered the storm.

“I am convinced that soon Akwa Ibom State will be ready in due course as this is the only industry that people will be making money despite their ages and days including Saturday and Sunday.

“Today, we have about 40 employees on our payroll and people are making a living on the platform.”

He enjoined Akwa Ibom people to catch the light and see the future by coming into the business and make legitimate money.

On the undisclosed new product to be launched by Pipminds this Friday, the Head of Partnership Pipminds, Mr. Collins Ogunedo said it will be a surprise to be disclosed at the event to their partners.

He also urged prospective partners to avail themselves of the opportunity to be part of the up and coming event so they can take a chance on making money 24hrs a day and seven (7) days a week.