Mr. Akan Okon, rapid previous Commissioner for Financial Enhancement and Ibom Deep Seaport and governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom Point out in this interaction with Okon Bassey bares his thoughts on why he needs to thrive his previous manager Governor Udom Emmanuel in 2023
Are you content with your overall performance even though in the state executive council of the Akwa Ibom Point out Federal government?
Even though in business God serving to me, I discharged my responsibilities and the many assignments presented to me creditably. I joined Akwa Ibom State Govt in 2013 and my initially assignment was at the Ministry of Financial Growth. I put in six months there as Commissioner and at the close of six months I was moved to the Ministry of Finance wherever I served to the finish of that administration led by Governor Godswill Akpabio. When Governor Udom Emmanuel won the election in 2015 and was sworn in as Governor, I was reappointed into that business. That has produced me keep the report as the only particular person to serve two Governors as Finance Commissioner. I want to say that I served in that workplace with integrity. Why do I say so, in Nigeria, the least difficult way to have problems with EFCC is to be a Finance Commissioner. To the glory of God I served there and I still 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 afterwards, Ministry of Distinctive Obligations. My obligation and essential deliverable was the 21-storey building which I am sure all of us can see. One more project the Ministry delivered less than my supervision was the Governor’s lodge in Lagos. The lodge has considering that been done and place to use. The airport was beneath my supervision. Remaining in that Ministry gave me the opportunity to proper the anomaly that I discover at our airport. Right before now, when airline passengers transfer into the airport terminal setting up to test in or obtain boarding go, you will go by way of protection. When there is a need to use the ease you will have to go out of the stability checkpoint and then arrive back to be screened. In actuality in all those times of when there had been flight delays, there was no location for men and women waiting to purchase water, due to the fact the only spot drinking water was marketed was within the departure corridor which they didn’t have accessibility to. That necessitated the design of a new setting up connected to the existing terminal, where you have a restaurant, a gift store, pharmacy and ease for users of the community.
Today, if you are travelling, when waiting at the departure corridor, if you have to come out of the security place, it won’t be because you want to use the convenience. Now also, associates of the community can have accessibility to regardless of what factor they want at the airport.
From that Ministry I was moved to Unique Responsibilities and Aviation Growth, my responsibility was to make certain that we experienced Ibom Air traveling and I am pleased these days to the glory of God, Ibom Air is flying and within a extremely short time period of time it has turn into the airline of very first decision for tourists in Nigeria. The substantial expectations of professional support delivery made available by the airline has enhanced customers’ targeted traffic to our airport and has rendered the existing terminal developing insufficient that is what necessitated the move for the new everlasting intercontinental terminal building which is underneath development. When accomplished, the terminal will be 1 of the greatest in Africa.
From that Ministry I was moved to the Ministry of Financial Enhancement & Ibom Deep seaport. The essential deliverable there was to be certain that we obtain the acceptance for the growth of Ibom deep seaport, an approval that eluded us for over 20 decades as a Condition and by God’s grace on 16th December, 2020, we obtained that approval and I want to thank Governor Udom Emmanuel, the Chairperson of the Technological Committee on Ibom deep seaport, Mrs. Mfon Usoro, for their attempts and all the issues they did to guarantee that we acquired that approval.
The problem was if I am contented, in all that I have reported, God assisted me to provide on all those assignments and I am content I was ready to complete all the jobs and assignments specified to me and to that extent I am incredibly pleased I was ready to do what I did.
What critical needs have you discovered in the condition that you intend to meet up with as Governor of Akwa Ibom Condition?
To be successful in any vocation, you have to have to bear a ton of qualification and proficiency instruction. At 34 several years, Akwa Ibom Condition can not afford to be an experimental field where by persons come to study leadership in community provider. We require a person who has been around and understudied the numerous sectors of the State’s overall economy, and also understands the issues that our men and women are going through so that from day one particular, he will strike the ground jogging in embarking on people guidelines and programmes that will direct to an advancement in the common of dwelling of our individuals. I want to thank Governor Udom Emmanuel for enabling God to use him to teach me in community services. As you are mindful, I have traversed several Ministries, this was a coaching and additional advantage for me. A Ministry like Financial Improvement gave me an option to have in-depth knowledge on the workings of federal government. Whatsoever transpires in the judiciary, legislature or the govt will come to that Ministry. I have a superior knowledge and understanding of what is demanded to be done so that Akwa Ibom Point out can carry on to be on the route of development and growth.
I want to say that why I am contesting is that I have the knowledge, I have been skilled, I am organized for this leadership posture and you will agree with me that we require a person with knowledge. If you want to look at it, competence is vital in management, capability is also crucial in management, integrity is also important in management. Governor Udom Emmanuel has done perfectly, he has embarked on initiatives that are legacy projects and some of these assignments simply cannot be done in the lifestyle of this administration, his successor should be anyone who has whole understanding of these projects so that he can carry on with them and guarantee that they are concluded and place to use. If you notice, Governor Udom Emmanuel’s developmental concentrate is dependent on 3 gateways, land, water and air, and fortunately I am the a person who by the distinctive grace of God supervised all the three parts, so I am greater equipped to go on with what Governor Udom Emmanuel has performed so that Akwa Ibom can be what we all want it to be.
Beneath the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel a lot has been completed to produce work. I think we really should continue to generate work opportunities. We have a large amount of intelligent and enterprising young gentlemen and women of all ages and all what they need is an chance to serve, I will make the desired alternatives for them.
As a Condition, we have experienced our good share of challenges arising from inconsistency in insurance policies and tasks implementation and a disconnect concerning the previous and present. An common Akwa Ibom person requires a conducive natural environment to operate, I know this primarily based on what I have noticed. I believe that I have what it can take to present that setting.
We will generate business incubation facilities to prepare and empower youthful people who have sellable and buyable concepts – we will link them with company angels, by that I signify traders who have resources to devote in their corporations- that will support them grow and turn out to be sustainable. The Point out wants the right environment for our individuals and a large amount has been finished in phrases of security, we imagine that if it proceeds in this fashion, we will reach a large amount.
Your previous manager, Governor Emmanuel has anointed another person as his most well-liked successor. Ended up you stunned by the alternative?
I was not stunned. You can observe that considering that the Governor made the announcement, you have not listened to me make any comment. I went about my enterprise and likely to get the job done day to day and providing on all the assignments that I was given. At the acceptable time I had to depart. The motive for leaving was incredibly very clear which is to contest for the governorship in 2023
You are not the Governor’s most well-liked candidate, never you think you are swimming from the tide?
We are all seated listed here for the reason that God has designed it doable. God is main me, I really do not see myself swimming towards the tide. There is no man on earth that is led by God that swims versus the tide.
It seems that the Governor was intentional about the ministries he assigned you to head as his own friend. Why was he not intentional about deciding on you as his desired successor?
God regulations in the affairs of adult men, and God’s strategies are distinctive from that of gentlemen. One particular of you questioned if I have consulted the Governor? Sure, I have. I consulted the Governor on 23rd working day of September, 2021. That is a considerable working day mainly because it is the day of our Point out development.
What is your romantic relationship like with Governor Udom Emmanuel?
Governor Udom Emmanuel is my buddy. This is our 40th yr of friendship and almost nothing will stand on the way of our connection. I tendered my resignation on Monday 14th March, 2022, and past Friday we ended up alongside one another, that need to confirm to you that my aspiration can’t come concerning our romantic relationship. The Governor and I are fascinated in the development of the Point out, we are extremely passionate about it. I believe we have a very strong marriage and nothing at all can occur involving us.
What shortcomings have you recognized in the Udom Emmanuel’s administration that you would want to suitable?
There is no human remaining that is perfect. There is no fantastic government, but I believe that that the government led by Governor Udom Emmanuel has done very well, and like it is normally said, authorities is a continuum. A State is like a ebook with diverse chapters and if you take away five chapters from a e book with 10 chapters that ebook can never be comprehensive. Each successive administration since the creation of Akwa Ibom has contributed to the enhancement of the State. Each and every one will come to acquire around from where by the previous one stopped. I think that regardless of what has been the positive factors reached by this governing administration, it will be the responsibility of the up coming administration to enforce it for the superior of Akwa Ibom people and the regions you feel are not effectively completed, we will alongside one another make modifications due to the fact the Point out belongs to us we will make certain that we do all those modifications in a way that will be suitable to everyone.
Wanting at the high quality of other aspirants looking for the governorship placement, how do you intend to navigate your way to turn into the future Governor of the condition?
You will be just one of those people who will support me navigate the way. (Laughs). As my pal, you have a obligation to inform Akwa Ibom people today the attributes of who must be the following Governor and what is expected of a fantastic Governor. If you can explain to Akwa Ibom individuals the large amount you have regarded about my temperament, overall performance, ability and working experience, they will decide that Akan Okon is the ideal for them in 2023.
Do you have aid from the bash to contest this election?
If you want to see my supporters, you wait around for the day I will declare. You simply cannot do items the very same way and anticipate a various consequence. You could possibly be looking at very new faces in what we are likely to do, I can guarantee you that when we are by means 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 place in 2023?
I believe in the demand from customers for the governorship by Itu/Ibiono people today I also imagine that God is not an creator of confusion, and the explanation for zoning is to cut down in-battling. I consider that in Itu/ibiono federal constituency, we have qualified people today that can lead this Condition. I guidance that sentiment, but that should not completely be the yardstick – competence, encounter, potential will have to also be considered aside from zoning.
Are you portion of the emerging coalition who desires to prevent Governor Emmanuel’s chosen successor?
Existence is evolving, we just can’t say for positive that there is a coalition. We can’t preempt that it will continue in the same manner it utilized to be. Even so, let’s retain our fingers crossed. Every thing is in the hands of God.