Sometimes in 2017 I accompanied Rt Hon Emmanuel Ekon the then House of Reps member representing Abak/ Etim Ekpo / Ika Federal Constituency and Chairman House Committee on Local Content and the Secretary of the Local Content board to Government Technical School Abak .
The visit was to brief the school authority of the plans to construct and fully equip an International standard Wood processing Mill with state – of – art – faculties. The whole of 2018 I didn’t hear anything about the project again especially since he had gone to APC. During the build up to the 2019 general elections where he won nomination to go back to the National Assembly under the APC platform, I called him to enquire about the project and he told me the project would be constructed and completed as proposed.
Last week I was informed that the building to house the Wood processing Mill was completed and the equipment were brought including a generating set to power it. I decided to do on the spot assessment of the project and to my greatest surprise the project is valued at over N1.2Billion is near completion as the only thing remaining is for the heavy equipments to be installed.
More so is the fact that the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board at the instance of Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon has agreed to expand the scope of that project with the construction of two standard Technical Skills Laboratory including a welding lab to be furnished with world-class equipments.
When i called Rt Hon. Ekon, he said his vision is that Government Technical College, Abak is upgraded not only to meet the educational needs of students but to be fully commercialised to ensure sustainability.
Its on record that on November 9, 2017, Halliburton announced partnership with Akwa Ibom state government to inaugurate and open Nigeria’s first oil and gas training center facilitated by Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon and fully equipped with oilfield operations tools.
The Akwa Ibom Oil and Gas Training and Research Center is established to provide courses in field development, drilling and completions engineering, well intervention solutions and digital technologies to local energy employees and students. While Halliburton Landmark provides the training curriculum, instructors, software, workstations and tools used in the classroom, the Akwa Ibom state government provides the facility infrastructure.
The Akwa Ibom Oil and Gas Training and Research Center estimated at over N2Billion is structured to support over 3000 students annually and provides more than 50 courses in oil and gas development.
• In 2017, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon attracted an Oil and Gas Industrial Park for Akwa Ibom State to be cited in Onna worth over N5Billion. The vision finally came to fruition in October, 2019 when the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva announced at the federal executive council that the oil and gas parks are to support the development and manufacture of oil and gas tools.
• Between 2016 and 2019 I was part of the media team that covered the passing out ceremonies of over 600 youths in FPSO skills sponsored by Rt Hon Emmanuel Ekon this according to him is to ensured our youths were well-equipped to handle jobs in the Oil and Gas industry.
• Through the leadership of Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon, Hyundai Heavy Industries now has a training centre domiciled in the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Science and Technology.
• The chairmanship of Hon. Ekon also birthed the setup of solar powered ICT Centres in Onna, Etim Ekpo, Abak and Essien Udim LGAs.
I respect you Rt Hon Emmanuel Ekon because some public servants would have negotiated to sell off those things since they didn’t return to the National Assembly again after the elections.
Leaders like you are rare Sir.