Mr. Akan Okon, speedy past Commissioner for Economic Progress and Ibom Deep Seaport and governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom Point out in this interaction with Okon Bassey bares his brain on why he wishes to do well his former manager Governor Udom Emmanuel in 2023
Are you content with your efficiency though in the point out government council of the Akwa Ibom Point out Authorities?
While in business office God assisting me, I discharged my responsibilities and the many assignments given to me creditably. I joined Akwa Ibom Point out Federal government in 2013 and my to start with assignment was at the Ministry of Economic Growth. I spent six months there as Commissioner and at the end of 6 months I was moved to the Ministry of Finance exactly where 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 made me retain the document as the only human being to serve two Governors as Finance Commissioner. I want to say that I served in that business office with integrity. Why do I say so, in Nigeria, the simplest way to have problems with EFCC is to be a Finance Commissioner. To the glory of God I served there and I left in December, 2016. EFCC has never ever invited me and they will by no means invite me.
From that business office I was despatched to the Ministry of Housing & City Renewal, and afterwards, Ministry of Specific Duties. My obligation and crucial deliverable was the 21-storey building which I am certain all of us can see. A further job the Ministry shipped less than my supervision was the Governor’s lodge in Lagos. The lodge has considering that been concluded and put to use. The airport was less than my supervision. Being in that Ministry gave me the chance to proper the anomaly that I see at our airport. Just before now, when airline passengers go into the airport terminal creating to look at in or obtain boarding move, you will move through security. When there is a need to have to use the benefit you will have to go out of the security checkpoint and then come back again to be screened. In actuality in individuals times of when there had been flight delays, there was no spot for people ready to purchase drinking water, since the only location water was sold was inside the departure corridor which they did not have entry to. That necessitated the design of a new creating attached to the current terminal, where you have a restaurant, a present store, pharmacy and ease for users of the community.
Currently, if you are travelling, even though waiting around at the departure hall, if you have to come out of the protection area, it won’t be mainly because you want to use the convenience. Now also, customers of the public can have access to no matter what issue they will need at the airport.
From that Ministry I was moved to Exclusive Duties and Aviation Improvement, my accountability was to make certain that we experienced Ibom Air flying and I am content today to the glory of God, Ibom Air is flying and within a really quick time period of time it has come to be the airline of initially alternative for travelers in Nigeria. The large benchmarks of skilled support supply supplied by the airline has elevated customers’ traffic to our airport and has rendered the current terminal creating inadequate that is what necessitated the move for the new long lasting global terminal developing which is underneath design. When accomplished, the terminal will be 1 of the best in Africa.
From that Ministry I was moved to the Ministry of Economic Progress & Ibom Deep seaport. The vital deliverable there was to make sure that we get hold of the approval for the progress of Ibom deep seaport, an acceptance that eluded us for above 20 many years as a State and by God’s grace on 16th December, 2020, we received that acceptance and I want to thank Governor Udom Emmanuel, the Chairperson of the Specialized Committee on Ibom deep seaport, Mrs. Mfon Usoro, for their endeavours and all the items they did to make sure that we attained that acceptance.
The question was if I am content, in all that I have reported, God assisted me to deliver on people assignments and I am happy I was able to execute all the responsibilities and assignments supplied to me and to that extent I am incredibly pleased I was equipped to do what I did.
What critical requirements have you discovered in the point out that you intend to meet up with as Governor of Akwa Ibom Point out?
To be thriving in any vocation, you want to go through a whole lot of qualification and proficiency education. At 34 decades, Akwa Ibom State are unable to manage to be an experimental discipline wherever people come to study leadership in community assistance. We require an individual who has been all around and understudied the numerous sectors of the State’s economy, and also understands the troubles that our people today are facing so that from working day one, he will hit the ground managing in embarking on those people procedures and programmes that will lead to an advancement in the standard of residing of our folks. I want to thank Governor Udom Emmanuel for letting God to use him to teach me in general public company. As you are informed, I have traversed a lot of Ministries, this was a education and additional gain for me. A Ministry like Economic Progress gave me an option to have in-depth knowledge on the workings of government. Whatsoever occurs in the judiciary, legislature or the executive arrives to that Ministry. I have a excellent awareness and knowing of what is expected to be completed so that Akwa Ibom State can carry on to be on the path of advancement and development.
I want to say that why I am contesting is that I have the knowledge, I have been properly trained, I am geared up for this leadership position and you will agree with me that we will need somebody with experience. If you want to glance at it, competence is important in management, potential is also significant in management, integrity is also vital in management. Governor Udom Emmanuel has carried out very well, he has embarked on tasks that are legacy initiatives and some of these assignments simply cannot be concluded in the existence of this administration, his successor will have to be somebody who has total being familiar with of these jobs so that he can keep on with them and make certain that they are done and set to use. If you notice, Governor Udom Emmanuel’s developmental focus is centered on a few gateways, land, water and air, and thankfully I am the a person who by the distinctive grace of God supervised all the a few areas, so I am superior outfitted to keep on with what Governor Udom Emmanuel has completed so that Akwa Ibom can be what we all want it to be.
Below the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel a large amount has been performed to make positions. I believe we need to keep on to create work opportunities. We have a whole lot of smart and enterprising young males and girls and all what they will need is an opportunity to serve, I will create the necessary opportunities for them.
As a Condition, we have experienced our honest share of troubles arising from inconsistency in guidelines and tasks implementation and a disconnect concerning the previous and current. An ordinary Akwa Ibom person calls for a conducive setting to functionality, I know this primarily based on what I have noticed. I consider I have what it usually takes to provide that surroundings.
We will develop organization incubation facilities to prepare and empower young men and women who have sellable and buyable ideas – we will url them with business angels, by that I imply investors who have funds to commit in their enterprises- that will support them develop and turn into sustainable. The State requires the right natural environment for our people today and a large amount has been done in conditions of security, we believe that if it proceeds in this style, we will attain a whole lot.
Your former boss, Governor Emmanuel has anointed a person as his favored successor. Had been you shocked by the selection?
I was not shocked. You can observe that given that the Governor made the announcement, you have not heard me make any comment. I went about my business and going to perform daily and delivering on all the assignments that I was supplied. At the correct time I had to depart. The explanation for leaving was incredibly clear which is to contest for the governorship in 2023
You are not the Governor’s favored prospect, don’t you consider you are swimming in opposition to the tide?
We are all seated listed here for the reason that God has produced it doable. God is primary me, I don’t see myself swimming in opposition to the tide. There is no guy on earth that is led by God that swims in opposition to the tide.
It appears that the Governor was intentional about the ministries he assigned you to head as his particular close friend. Why was he not intentional about deciding upon you as his preferred successor?
God policies in the affairs of adult males, and God’s strategies are diverse from that of adult men. Just one of you questioned if I have consulted the Governor? Certainly, I have. I consulted the Governor on 23rd working day of September, 2021. That is a important day simply because it is the date of our State creation.
What is your marriage like with Governor Udom Emmanuel?
Governor Udom Emmanuel is my close friend. This is our 40th calendar year of friendship and nothing will stand on the way of our relationship. I tendered my resignation on Monday 14th March, 2022, and past Friday we were with each other, that really should ensure to you that my aspiration simply cannot occur amongst our marriage. The Governor and I are interested in the advancement of the State, we are quite passionate about it. I believe we have a pretty sturdy marriage and nothing at all can occur concerning us.
What shortcomings have you recognized in the Udom Emmanuel’s administration that you would want to proper?
There is no human remaining that is perfect. There is no fantastic federal government, but I imagine that the federal government led by Governor Udom Emmanuel has accomplished very well, and like it is constantly stated, govt is a continuum. A Condition is like a e-book with different chapters and if you remove five chapters from a reserve with ten chapters that reserve can never be complete. Each successive administration given that the generation of Akwa Ibom has contributed to the enhancement of the Condition. Each and every a single will come to get over from in which the former one particular stopped. I imagine that whatsoever has been the positive items obtained by this government, it will be the obligation of the up coming administration to enforce it for the excellent of Akwa Ibom persons and the spots you feel are not correctly performed, we will jointly make modifications because the Point out belongs to us we will make sure that we do individuals modifications in a way that will be suitable to every person.
Seeking at the top quality of other aspirants trying to get the governorship situation, how do you intend to navigate your way to come to be the next Governor of the point out?
You will be a single of these who will help me navigate the way. (Laughs). As my mate, you have a duty to notify Akwa Ibom individuals the attributes of who ought to be the future Governor and what is predicted of a great Governor. If you can explain to Akwa Ibom people the large amount you have regarded about my character, effectiveness, potential and knowledge, they will determine that Akan Okon is the best for them in 2023.
Do you have guidance from the party to contest this election?
If you want to see my supporters, you hold out for the day I will declare. You are not able to do factors the very same way and assume a distinct end result. You might be looking at fairly new faces in what we are going to do, I can assure you that when we are via you will know that a person with God is a majority.
What is your take on the agitation by Itu/Ibiono federal constituency that the seat of governor be zoned to the area in 2023?
I believe in the demand from customers for the governorship by Itu/Ibiono men and women I also feel that God is not an writer of confusion, and the rationale for zoning is to lower in-combating. I believe that in Itu/ibiono federal constituency, we have qualified men and women that can guide this Condition. I aid that sentiment, but that should not solely be the yardstick – competence, expertise, ability should also be regarded apart from zoning.
Are you part of the emerging coalition who would like to stop Governor Emmanuel’s desired successor?
Existence is evolving, we can not say for confident that there is a coalition. We are unable to preempt that it will proceed in the similar trend it employed to be. On the other hand, let’s retain our fingers crossed. Almost everything is in the arms of God.