By Joseph ATHANASIUS
“A man leaves all kinds of footprints, when he walks through life. Some you can see, like the prints he has leaves across the society. Others are invisible, like his patriotic zeal to a worthy cause. A man does not think about it, but every where he passes, he leaves some kind of mark”.
The quotation well captured the role played by an accomplished administrator cum politician, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-eyen, in fashioning out a way that will lead Akwa Ibom to meeting the ever-increasing demand of state’s industrialization.
Be that as it were, it is often said that governance is the capacity to invest in the political will for the purpose of engendering positive change in the society.
An investment hoped to drive the society towards a desired destination, but in this context, it is Commissioner Ephraim Inyang-eyen’s pragmatic strategies towards the provision of the state-of-the-art transportation infrastructure, expected to give Akwa Ibom a place in the comity of advanced states of the world.
Little wonder therefore, Governor Udom Emmanuel, having understood the imperative of superior infrastructure, as the fulcrum of all round development, employed the service of an erudite administrator, whose intimidating tract record of accomplishment in the public office has help defined a path to sustainable advancement of Nigerian’s state, to assist in translating his (Udom’s) vision of industrialization into concrete reality Transportation infrastructure universally is reputed to be the first and the most essential development enabler, followed by power (electricity).
In view of this fact, one of the preoccupations of the present administration was to do first thing, first by way of putting the essential enabler in place. Quite interestingly, this policy drive on the part of government has become one of the potency in job creation in the state.
Prior to 2015, the delivery of infrastructure by the successive governments in the state did not meet the capacity of launching full fledged industrialization programme, as a good number of roads particularly, in the rural area of the state were in their deplorable condition, roads which supposed to serve as link for the evacuation of locally made goods to the urban centers in the event of industrialization buzz were not build-in into the mainstream of the state’s development master plan. So the ever-increasing demand for state’s industrialization could have been jeopardized but for the new strategy.
However, against this backdrop, the new approach was to efficiently invade the state with this essential enabler; connecting all the rural areas to the urban cities in the state through a new approach of funding as it is practiced the world over, the Public Private Partnership (PPP). To achieve this, a sound brain, required to help effect the new initiative optimally for the realization of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s vision was in demand hence, the appointment, and reappointment of the current Akwa Ibom state Commissioner for Works.
Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-eyen is a pragmatic leader with an impeccable tract record of accomplishment, his approach and ideological belief for excellence has not only helped in forging a legacy that will endure time, but has secured him a name as a ‘Supper Commissioner’. Ephraim Inyang-eyen’s belief in the success of Governor Udom Emmanuel supersedes personal consideration, and this is evident in the numbers of government awarded road contracts, both the completed and ongoing projects spreading all over the state. This perhaps, account for his zeal and passion for the success of Governor Udom Emmanuel-led government.
He has justified the basic of his stewardship for the people of Akwa Ibom, as he brought dynamism to bear in the discharge of his duty.
Ephraim Inyang-eyen took drastic steps to facilitate the provision of the state-of-the-art road network across the state, as he undertook routine inspection tour to these project sites, almost on daily basis to ascertain the level of work done by the construction firms handling these projects.
Wednesday, precisely this week, I was privileged to accompany a team of professional Engineers and some state based Journalists, led by the Commissioner himself on an inspection tour around the sites of the state government awarded contract projects to ascertain the level of development, and to find out what the challenges of these construction firms were, with a view to ensuring that, the construction firms handling the projects meet completion deadlines, and I was amazed by what I saw on ground.
Assessing the projects, the Commissioner urged these firms to double up efforts in meeting the deadline, as a good number of the projects are to be delivered on or before May 29.
At Uyo – Etinan dualized road, from Ekom Iman junction, there was quite an impression work going-on at the 19.5km dualized road. From my observation, it was however, impressive job, though the Commissioner frowned at the pace of job done on the Uyo – Etinan road, he however, expressed optimism that, the road, which is handled by one of the renowned construction giant in the world, with the availability of funds will meet the completion deadline. He inquired about some of the challenges faced by the construction firm, and the possible prospect of the job, and warned against erecting structures under the high tension, saying that condoning such practices will endanger the lives of Akwa Ibom residents, and read a riot act to every member of the public, who contravene the order.
The Honourable Commissioner has said that henceforth building structure under high tension is prohibited particularly, along all the newly constructed roads in the state. To me this is a sensitive policy drive by the Akwa Ibom state Ministry of Works, under the leadership of a well-read and down-to-earth administrator, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-eyen. By the new order, Ministry of Works is playing a leading role through policy direction and administrative support to Governor Udom Emmanuel-led government. By the virtue of mechanism already put in place by the present administration, according to the Commissioner, all hands must be on deck to actualize the aspiration of Akwa Ibom citizenry.
This personage, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-eyen is a core loyalist, a man whose conscience is sharp, living and working. He is a workaholic, who cherishes dignity in labour. At Awa Afaha road in Onna LGA, the Commissioner, with his team, that same Wednesday, trekked almost the entire 10.3km Awa Afaha road, doing some essential incidental things with the aim of fast-tracking the delivery of the road within scheduled time.
He was supervising the massive demolitions of the newly built illegal structures erected by the indigenes of the area, whose aim was to defraud the state government by insisting for compensation of those structures. And he left the construction site at about 8:12pm in the night.
This was a demonstration of a sheer commitment to the success of an administration and the advancement of a people.
Before he left that night, he has this to say; “let me assure you today that the government of Mr. Udom Emmanuel has the people of this community at hear,t that is why the government is doing everything possible to bring development to this area. The reason we are demolishing those illegal structures is to ensure that the road construction take-off in its fullest, and those entitle for compensation will be settled”, the Commissioner assured. He however, warned the people of the community to desist from building under high tension for whatever reason.
Earlier that Wednesday, at the enlarged political gathering of the Forum of Former Elected Local Government Council Chairmen, held in Eket, Ephraim Inyang-eyen sensitized the former council bosses on the imperative of modern politics, saluting their courage for coming out to put their heads together in strategizing a way forward for the political stability of the state, saying that no government the world over, ever absorbed its supporters at a stretch, adding that the process of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s empowerment is gradual, expressing optimism that in the course of Governor Udom Emmanuel-led government, every of its supporter will be duly rewarded, and promised to have a strategize session with them in no distance.