Mr. Akan Okon, rapid earlier Commissioner for Economic Enhancement and Ibom Deep Seaport and governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom State in this conversation with Okon Bassey bares his brain on why he would like to realize success his previous manager Governor Udom Emmanuel in 2023
Are you contented with your effectiveness when in the condition executive council of the Akwa Ibom Point out Governing administration?
When in workplace God supporting me, I discharged my responsibilities and the various assignments supplied to me creditably. I joined Akwa Ibom State Federal government in 2013 and my initial assignment was at the Ministry of Economic Advancement. I expended 6 months there as Commissioner and at the conclude of six months I was moved to the Ministry of Finance exactly where I served to the conclusion of that administration led by Governor Godswill Akpabio. When Governor Udom Emmanuel gained the election in 2015 and was sworn in as Governor, I was reappointed into that business. That has built me preserve the history as the only individual to provide two Governors as Finance Commissioner. I want to say that I served in that office with integrity. Why do I say so, in Nigeria, the most straightforward way to have difficulties with EFCC is to be a Finance Commissioner. To the glory of God I served there and I left in December, 2016. EFCC has under no circumstances invited me and they will by no means invite me.
From that place of work I was sent to the Ministry of Housing & Urban Renewal, and later, Ministry of Distinctive Duties. My responsibility and vital deliverable was the 21-storey creating which I am absolutely sure all of us can see. An additional challenge the Ministry sent under my supervision was the Governor’s lodge in Lagos. The lodge has since been completed and put to use. The airport was beneath my supervision. Getting in that Ministry gave me the chance to suitable the anomaly that I notice at our airport. Right before now, when airline passengers shift into the airport terminal developing to verify in or get hold of boarding move, you will go by way of safety. When there is a will need to use the benefit you will have to go out of the protection checkpoint and then occur back to be screened. In simple fact in individuals times of when there ended up flight delays, there was no spot for persons ready to obtain water, for the reason that the only position drinking water was bought was within the departure hall which they didn’t have entry to. That necessitated the building of a new making connected to the current terminal, the place you have a cafe, a reward shop, pharmacy and advantage for members of the public.
Nowadays, if you are travelling, when waiting around at the departure hall, if you have to appear out of the security area, it won’t be because you want to use the ease. Now also, associates of the general public can have entry to whichever factor they have to have at the airport.
From that Ministry I was moved to Particular Responsibilities and Aviation Progress, my responsibility was to guarantee that we experienced Ibom Air traveling and I am delighted currently to the glory of God, Ibom Air is traveling and in a very small period of time it has come to be the airline of initially decision for travelers in Nigeria. The high expectations of professional service delivery supplied by the airline has greater customers’ targeted visitors to our airport and has rendered the existing terminal constructing insufficient that is what necessitated the shift for the new lasting worldwide terminal building which is below design. When finished, the terminal will be a person of the greatest in Africa.
From that Ministry I was moved to the Ministry of Economic Progress & Ibom Deep seaport. The critical deliverable there was to be certain that we acquire the approval for the improvement of Ibom deep seaport, an acceptance that eluded us for over 20 years as a Condition and by God’s grace on 16th December, 2020, we attained that approval and I want to thank Governor Udom Emmanuel, the Chairperson of the Specialized Committee on Ibom deep seaport, Mrs. Mfon Usoro, for their initiatives and all the issues they did to make sure that we acquired that acceptance.
The question was if I am happy, in all that I have said, God served me to supply on these assignments and I am delighted I was ready to accomplish all the jobs and assignments presented to me and to that extent I am very content I was in a position to do what I did.
What crucial desires have you recognized in the state that you intend to fulfill as Governor of Akwa Ibom Point out?
To be successful in any vocation, you require to go through a ton of qualification and proficiency training. At 34 yrs, Akwa Ibom State can’t manage to be an experimental discipline wherever folks arrive to understand management in community company. We will need an individual who has been close to and understudied the several sectors of the State’s financial state, and also understands the issues that our people are dealing with so that from day one particular, he will hit the floor functioning in embarking on those procedures and programmes that will lead to an advancement in the regular of living of our individuals. I want to thank Governor Udom Emmanuel for making it possible for God to use him to coach me in community services. As you are aware, I have traversed numerous Ministries, this was a schooling and included advantage for me. A Ministry like Financial Enhancement gave me an option to have in-depth knowledge on the workings of government. No matter what transpires in the judiciary, legislature or the govt comes to that Ministry. I have a very good awareness and comprehending of what is required to be accomplished so that Akwa Ibom Condition can keep on to be on the route of development and progress.
I want to say that why I am contesting is that I have the knowledge, I have been educated, I am organized for this leadership place and you will agree with me that we will need someone with knowledge. If you want to glance at it, competence is critical in management, capability is also significant in leadership, integrity is also significant in leadership. Governor Udom Emmanuel has accomplished effectively, he has embarked on jobs that are legacy jobs and some of these initiatives simply cannot be concluded in the everyday living of this administration, his successor will have to be anyone who has complete comprehension of these jobs so that he can go on with them and guarantee that they are accomplished and put to use. If you observe, Governor Udom Emmanuel’s developmental emphasis is primarily based on 3 gateways, land, h2o and air, and fortunately I am the one particular who by the exclusive grace of God supervised all the 3 spots, so I am superior equipped to continue with what Governor Udom Emmanuel has done so that Akwa Ibom can be what we all want it to be.
Less than the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel a large amount has been accomplished to generate positions. I believe that we should really carry on to make work. We have a good deal of clever and enterprising youthful guys and females and all what they will need is an prospect to provide, I will produce the required chances for them.
As a Condition, we have experienced our honest share of problems arising from inconsistency in policies and projects implementation and a disconnect between the previous and present. An regular Akwa Ibom man or woman needs a conducive atmosphere to function, I know this dependent on what I have noticed. I feel I have what it will take to present that setting.
We will develop organization incubation centers to train and empower younger individuals who have sellable and buyable thoughts – we will link them with business angels, by that I signify investors who have funds to invest in their organizations- that will assist them expand and become sustainable. The State requirements the appropriate ecosystem for our people and a great deal has been completed in phrases of security, we believe that if it continues in this style, we will obtain a whole lot.
Your previous manager, Governor Emmanuel has anointed another person as his chosen successor. Had been you shocked by the selection?
I was not stunned. You can observe that since the Governor manufactured the announcement, you have not heard me make any comment. I went about my enterprise and going to do the job each day and delivering on all the assignments that I was offered. At the appropriate time I had to leave. The motive for leaving was really very clear which is to contest for the governorship in 2023
You are not the Governor’s desired prospect, don’t you imagine you are swimming versus the tide?
We are all seated here since God has produced it probable. God is major me, I really do not see myself swimming versus the tide. There is no gentleman on earth that is led by God that swims towards the tide.
It seems that the Governor was intentional about the ministries he assigned you to head as his personalized pal. Why was he not intentional about deciding upon you as his desired successor?
God policies in the affairs of adult men, and God’s methods are distinct from that of guys. One of you requested if I have consulted the Governor? Yes, I have. I consulted the Governor on 23rd working day of September, 2021. That is a significant working day because it is the day of our Condition generation.
What is your partnership like with Governor Udom Emmanuel?
Governor Udom Emmanuel is my buddy. This is our 40th calendar year of friendship and practically nothing will stand on the way of our partnership. I tendered my resignation on Monday 14th March, 2022, and final Friday we were being together, that need to verify to you that my aspiration are not able to appear among our relationship. The Governor and I are interested in the improvement of the Point out, we are pretty passionate about it. I consider we have a very robust relationship and absolutely nothing can appear amongst us.
What shortcomings have you determined in the Udom Emmanuel’s administration that you would want to correct?
There is no human becoming that is best. There is no great federal government, but I consider that the govt led by Governor Udom Emmanuel has accomplished properly, and like it is usually claimed, government is a continuum. A Condition is like a guide with distinctive chapters and if you eliminate five chapters from a book with 10 chapters that book can under no circumstances be comprehensive. Every successive administration given that the generation of Akwa Ibom has contributed to the progress of the Condition. Every one particular arrives to consider around from where by the preceding one particular stopped. I feel that what ever has been the beneficial factors obtained by this governing administration, it will be the obligation of the subsequent administration to enforce it for the good of Akwa Ibom men and women and the areas you believe that are not correctly carried out, we will jointly make modifications because the Condition belongs to us we will be certain that we do individuals modifications in a way that will be acceptable to everyone.
Wanting at the excellent of other aspirants looking for the governorship place, how do you intend to navigate your way to develop into the future Governor of the state?
You will be 1 of those people who will aid me navigate the way. (Laughs). As my pal, you have a obligation to notify Akwa Ibom people today the traits of who must be the upcoming Governor and what is expected of a very good Governor. If you can convey to Akwa Ibom persons the great deal you have identified about my personality, effectiveness, capacity and knowledge, they will decide that Akan Okon is the best for them in 2023.
Do you have assistance from the bash to contest this election?
If you want to see my supporters, you hold out for the working day I will declare. You can not do points the identical way and expect a distinctive final result. You could be viewing quite new faces in what we are going to do, I can guarantee you that when we are by way of you will know that a single with God is a majority.
What is your get on the agitation by Itu/Ibiono federal constituency that the seat of governor be zoned to the area in 2023?
I feel in the desire for the governorship by Itu/Ibiono folks I also believe that God is not an creator of confusion, and the cause for zoning is to lower in-combating. I feel that in Itu/ibiono federal constituency, we have qualified people that can guide this Point out. I assistance that sentiment, but that shouldn’t totally be the yardstick – competence, experience, potential need to also be thought of aside from zoning.
Are you aspect of the rising coalition who wishes to cease Governor Emmanuel’s most popular successor?
Lifetime is evolving, we can not say for certain that there is a coalition. We can not preempt that it will proceed in the identical vogue it used to be. Even so, let us maintain our fingers crossed. All the things is in the hands of God.