Akwa Ibom was created in September 23, 1987 by the government of former President Ibrahim Babangida, from the former Cross River State. It is located in latitudes 4°321 and 5°331 North, and longitudes 7°251 and 8°251 East. Covering about 8,412 square kilometer, with a teeming population of over four million vibrant people and a rich cultural heritage. Average population density is 350 inhabitants per square kilometer with 85 percent living in the rural areas. Growing number of educated citizenry and still counting (top two in the Niger Delta). At least seven major towns with a followership that is amenable to good reason: Uyo, Eket, Ikot Ekpene, Abak, Etinan, Ikot Abasi and Oron. Akwa Ibom is made up of the following groups : Ibibio, Annang, Oron, Ibeno, Mbo, Andoni.
The natural economic endowments of the state on land and sea includes our vibrant people blessed by a common language, the numerous springs and streams which flow into the Qua Iboe, Cross and Imo rivers all of which empty into the Atlantic Ocean. The climate is typically tropical with abundance of sunshine and heavy rainfalls between June and November. Land mass consisting of rich loamy soil commonly prevalent in most parts of the state is an asset that has till date supported peasant agriculture for the production of oil, coconuts and raffia palms, rubber, fruit trees like oranges, mangoes, avocado pears, pineapples, plantains and bananas. Farm products widely cultivated include yams, cassava, maize, melons and vegetables while the natural forests are rich in tropical timbers like mahogany and iroko. In reality, there are very few plants, trees and animals in the world which cannot thrive well in Akwa Ibom State. Apart from agricultural and forest products, Akwa Ibom State is richly blessed with minerals. In a survey by the Batelle Institute of Frankfurt, Germany, calcium carbonate (limestone) sodium chloride (salt) kaolin (clay), oil and gas abound in very large commercial quantities in the state. The State is reputed to have the longest coastline of abundant natural and aquatic resource in Nigeria, home to the Ibaka deep sea capabilities in this hemisphere and boasts of the only market in the sub continent that survives solely on a single product group, the Oron Sea Food market.
The state is currently under the able leadership of a young, enterprising Chief Executive, Chief Godswill Akpabio, who has recorded tremendous achievements, heavy investment in infrastructure, particularly road construction to open up the rural areas, new Airport construction with hanger and backward integration in mind (Aluminum and aeronautics), new stadium etc.
The State now needs to hire as CEO, a qualified and suitable candidate whose main task in office would be to consolidate on the achievements of the Chief Godswill Akpabio years.
Interested candidates must have the following qualities:
- Must be degree qualified.
- Strong believer in a private sector-led economy and must have very clear ideas about youth development, wealth and job creation, particularly the type that are not merely palliatives and or ‘’poverty alleviation’’, but the type that ‘’conquers poverty’’ and that is sustainable.
- Must be a deeply knowledgeable individual with actionable plans based on the state’s competitive advantage.
- Must be a strong believer in Cooperative Development, Rural and Community Development, as 85% of Akwa Ibom people live in the rural areas.
- Must have managed or been part of a team that has managed large corporations for profit.
- Must have contacts and some measure of influence within key local financial institutions such as the CBN etc, and the International Financial and development institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF. Closely following this would be a good knowledge of how the international financial system works, how FDIs are attracted and how FDIs are retained.
- Must be a person who knows how to use both local and global / international solutions to solve local problems. Ideas change the world for good, so, to lift our people out of poverty, we need a leader who though has a few ideas of his own, must also be prepared to seek the counsel and experience of experts and other knowledgeable people, both locally and internationally.
- Must be a person who is convinced that one cannot develop communities from the top down or from the outside in but rather that even when outside help is needed, it also requires communities to build from the inside out, and for their residents to invest themselves, ideas, assets and resources in the process.
- Above all, must be a person who understands the role of perception in image management and the role of deliberately communicating your own state’s views and positive sides from your own perspective as against allowing your own story to be told by outsiders who more often than not would rather portray you negatively.