October 22, 2014
2015 Guber: SUSTAINING SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE
- By Udom Emmanuel
My fellow citizens of Akwa Ibom State, I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have collectively bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our predecessors, and looking forward to a brighter tomorrow for our dear God-given land – Akwa Abasi Ibom State.
AKWA IBOM STATE IN RETROSPECT
The past eight (8) years has witnessed an unprecedented wave of infrastructural development in Akwa Ibom State, under the leadership of the uncommon transformer, His Excellency Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON.
The State has been transformed from the pedestrian destination that nobody ever considered visiting, to a must-see wonder of infrastructure development, a prized destination, an economic hub and recreational get-away.
The Uncommon Transformation Agenda was focused on five (5) broad areas of Social Infrastructure, Educational Infrastructure, Commerce and Tourism Infrastructure, Medical Infrastructure and Sporting Infrastructure.
Under Social Infrastructure there has been massive development of first class road network linking the various Local Government Headquarters to the State Capital, as well as inner-city roads that opened up new residential areas in the State Capital and Local Government Headquarters. An unprecedented network of 1400 world class roads and 32 bridges have been delivered in the past eight years. Urbanisation, water supply and rural electrification projects have delivered improved living conditions to the people of Akwa Ibom State.
The Government’s highly visionary, bold and ambitious free and compulsory education programme has been supported by the provision of educational infrastructure such as the E- Library, upgrade of facilities of the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic as well as the Akwa Ibom State University, building of new classroom blocks and equipping secondary schools. Scholarships have been awarded locally and internationally to deserving students. These investments in education have equipped our youths with the capacity to excel in an increasingly competitive world.
Akwa Ibom State currently parades some of the best commerce and tourism infrastructure in the country, and indeed West Africa – starting from our breath-taking golf course at the Five Star Ibom Meridien Hotel to the Tropicana Complex, the 4 Points Sheraton Hotel under construction in Ikot Ekpene, to the Ibom International Airport. Indeed, Akwa Ibom is really set to host the world.
The Ibaka Deep Sea Port when completed will turn Akwa Ibom into the hub of maritime activity in the Gulf of Guinea, and together with the airport, will offer unparalleled access and opportunities for investors coming to Akwa Ibom. The proposed Ibom Industrial City will be an investors’ paradise, offering the most investor-friendly business environment in West Africa. The Ultra-modern Ibom International Stadium and the Ikot Ekpene mini Stadium provide state-of-the-art sports infrastructure for sports development in the State.
The State has provided free medical care for all infants up to the age of five (5) and for all pregnant women. Adults above 65 years of age are also enjoying free medical services. To support this, the government has put in place medical infrastructure such as cottage hospitals in each local government to cater for the health needs of our people. The jewel in the crown is the Ibom Specialist Hospital which will be a centre of excellence for medical care and a big boost to medical tourism.
In the words of Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, “Akwa Ibom under Governor Akpabio has attained a quantum leap in infrastructure development”. The State has indeed become the infrastructural leader among Nigeria’s comity of States. These gains and momentum of development must be sustained and built upon. All the infrastructures that the State needs to take a leap into the league of highly industrialised States have been put in place.
Akwa Ibom is ready for the next stage of development. What will make the difference is leadership that can seize opportunities and build on this great foundation that has been laid.
What is required now is a proven manager of men and finances, who shares in the vision of His Excellency and has the courage to lead Akwa Ibom in its next quantum leap into industrialization, economic empowerment of its people, and wealth creation.
MY VISION AS GOVERNOR OF AKWA IBOM STATE
Today I come to you with a renewed vision for Akwa Ibom, a vision that is encapsulated in my burning passion to serve my people, to further transform Akwa Ibom State and uplift the living standards across the entire State.
This vision, I would prefer to summarise as follows:-
1. To leverage and build on the Uncommon Transformation of the present administration.
2. To transform the economy of Akwa Ibom State via industrialisation and sustainable public-private sector initiative, thereby opening up more opportunities for growth and improved living standards among our people.
3. To respect and uphold the tenets of democratic governance which our great party (PDP) unflinchingly stands for, as well as respect the party’s structure, decisions and hierarchy.
4. To ensure the security of lives and property of the people at all times, while adhering to the principle of the rule of law, thereby ensuring equity, justice and fairplay.
5. To promote unity and oneness across the State, with due respect for Traditional Institutions and the Elders of our society.
6. To continuously develop, mobilise, and empower our women and the youths via planned and well-articulated welfare programmes.
7. To give all Akwa Ibomites (both within Nigeria and the Diaspora) a proud sense of belonging-built on good governance, economic advancement and due respect for the Fundamental Human Rights of all.
8. To pursue the task of Rural development and integration with all vigour which would bring the benefits and dividends of our democratic governance to every nook and cranny in the state, and provide the basic amenities of life to all.
9. To ensure Accountability and Transparency in government by fighting and tackling corruption in all facets of our Administration.
10. To promote Trade, Commerce, and tourism between Akwa Ibom and the rest of Nigeria, and in fact the rest of the world.
11. To foster, develop, and maintain a good working relationship with both the Legislative and the Judiciary arms of Government in the State, as well as ensuring an effective local Government Administration for grassroot development, mobilisation and empowerment.
12. To attract more Federal presence to Akwa Ibom State, by continuously sustaining a harmonious and very cordial relationship with the government at the centre.
MY DECLARATION TO SERVE AKWA IBOM AS ITS NEXT GOVERNOR (2015)
Fellow Akwa Ibomites, I humbly present myself, by the Grace of God, as that humble servant, dedicated to service, and committed to lifting Akwa Ibom into the comity of highly industrialised States. I am passionate about an all-round development and continuous transformation of the State; I am passionate about wealth creation for our people, I am passionate about industrialisation and economic development, and above all, I am passionate about the well-being of our people on a sustainable basis. I hereby present myself to be that force of change that will galvanise all Akwa Ibomites, irrespective of ethnic, stock, religion, or political affiliation, and create a springboard on which our people will ride to unprecedented levels of economic well-being and development.
I humbly present my credentials as testimonial of my capacity and preparedness for this assignment for which I solicit your endorsement.
I am a Chartered Accountant by training, and banker by profession. I have over 25 years experience in Nigeria’s financial services sector, creating and managing wealth. As a young Ibibio man without a godfather, I rose through the ranks in one of Nigeria’s leading and most dynamic financial institutions, where I served with loyalty, dedication and integrity. I exited Zenith Bank as Executive Director, Corporate Finance and Advisory Services with an unblemished record. During my career at the bank, I handled at various times portfolios relating to research, strategy, financial controls, and managed relationships in the telecoms, conglomerates, multilateral organisations and private banking.
I also had responsibility for the bank’s foreign subsidiaries – sitting on the boards of Zenith Bank UK, Zenith Bank Gambia and Zenith Bank Sierra Leone. Within the Zenith Group, I also served on the boards of Zenith Trustees, Zenith Registrars, Zenith Securities, as well as Zenith Pensions and Custodians.
I was a Director of the African Finance Corporation (AFC) and the Nigerian Interbank Settlement Scheme (NIBBS).
I have also had the benefit and privilege of training and exposure in some of the world’s best institutions for managerial and leadership training.
I studied Accountancy at the University of Lagos and graduated top of my class. I am an alumnus of the following business schools:
INSEAD France, Columbia Business School, USA, Wharton Business School, USA, London Business School, UK and Harvard Business School, USA.
I am a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Fellow of the Institute of Financial Management, and Associate, Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.
I am a totally detribalized Nigerian with friends and associates that cut across the various ethnic groups in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria.
I am widely travelled with a network of friends in many of the world’s major financial capitals.
I am a family man, devoted to my wife and children and committed to serving my community.
I am a servant of the most high God, in whom I have unshakeable faith, and whose Grace has seen me through uncountable circumstances in my life. I am a motivator to many, a challenger of the seemingly insurmountable; with a track record of performance on every assignment I have been given.
At every opportunity I have been privileged to serve, it has been with utmost diligence, humility, integrity and a passion for excellence. My unblemished career scorecard in the banking sector is a testimony to my integrity and professionalism.
This is indeed a historic moment for Akwa Ibom. It will mark the transition from a most distinguished administration, which has set an impeccable record in governance in Nigeria, to another epoch-making era. The succeeding administration must consolidate the gains of the past, sustain the legacies that have been built at great cost and sweat, and build on this strong foundation that has been laid.
It is time to move Akwa Ibom to a higher level, to raise the bar of economic development and industrialisation to a higher pedigree.
It is time to put a capable man on the saddle of development. It is time to put a round peg in that round hole, a time to turn our dreams to reality.
I humbly offer myself as that bridge between our dreams and our reality. I offer myself as the right choice for the continuous transformation and economic development of our people. I offer myself as the right choice in this God-ordained mandate to take Akwa Ibom to the Promised Land. I offer myself as the right choice to further transform our dear State into a State of our dreams – good enough to bequeath to our children, and in fact the future generation.
I once again call on you all to please empower me today with your mandate, and I promise you that, together, we will demonstrate to the world that – with God, all things are possible.
This, I believe we can, and together it will be done.
I trust that you will make the right choice by choosing Udom Emmanuel as your next Governor of Akwa Ibom State, come 2015, because UDOM IS RIGHT.
God bless Akwa Ibom State.
God bless Nigeria.
Being text of a Speech marking the declaration by Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel to contest as Governor of Akwa Ibom State in the 2015 General Elections.