By Tom Moses
MR Etido Inyang is the Akwa-Ibom State Commissioner for Special Duties. In this interview, he assesses the present administration saying the future is bright for the state. Excerpts:
Not much is heard again of the coveted Ibaka Deep Seaport Project, what is heard now is Ibom Deep Seaport, what informed the change in that nomenclature?
It is not a matter of changing name. You will agree with me that most of the properties of the Akwa-Ibom State government are not named after a particular community.
We had a problem with the airport and today; it is called Ibom International Airport. We have the Tropicana; it is Ibom Tropicana and Entertainment Centre, Ibom e’Library and so on. It is a case of being in line with every Akwa-Ibom investment.
If we are having a steel company today, it is going to be named either Akwa-Ibom Integrated Steel Company or Ibom Integrated Steel Company and again, communities involved there are more than one whereas the place does not belong to only one community, there are many communities and may be two local government areas that are involved in the Ibom Industrial City. So, it is better to correct it now that we are on paper works than when we start it.
Having worked in the last administration and now in the Udom Emmanuel administration, what is your assessment of Governor Emmanuel?
It’s been fantastic working with His Excellency, Udom Emmanuel. One thing has really played out. Apart from Udom Emmanuel being naturally intelligent, he has been in government as SSG from 2013, so, most of the projects of the previous administration that are ongoing are known to him. So, the knowledge of running governance in Akwa-Ibom State is not new to him. He was equally the engine house within the period before fully taking over the mantle. So, most of the things taking place now are not taking him unawares.
Working with him is therefore of great value because he is somebody with great values. So, you have to know your onion to fit into Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration. Working with him as I said has been very fantastic and very rewarding. Within a very short period, I have learnt a lot from him. He is an astute manager of resources who does not waver within the period of nothing.
When you look at the finances that used to come in in the last administration and now that we have this sharp drop, then, you’ll know the kind of manager he is. In fact, if you are not a manager, one day, you may want to run out of office and say, what am I doing here? But this is a man that came with a plan.
Anybody that was in the last administration and saw the volumes of money that used to come in, would want to plan at that level and then, when the finances dropped, it took everybody unawares.
But he has adjusted completely and has gone back to the drawing board.
One thing that amazes me is that on May 29, 2015, he came up with a programme as if he had a vision of what was going to happen in his first four years or the beginning of his administration. If you look at his five-point agenda, he talks about job creation, wealth creation, poverty alleviation, viz, the three cardinal points driving the economy of this period and then, infrastructural sustainability and industrialisation and then, total inclusion.