-By Henshaw Nyong
Before the governorship election in 2015, one of the Udom Emmanuel’s campaign promises was to massively invest in the infrastructure through what he termed ‘‘infrastructural consolidation and expansion’’.
Wherever he visited, Mr Emmanuel spoke eloquently and passionately about his determination towards taking Akwa Ibom to greater heights as well as making the State a tourist and investment destination.
After his victory at the polls and subsequent swearing-in on May 29, 2015, infrastructural development and the construction of roads, bridges and drainages amongst others have been at the centre stage of the Udom Emmanuel administration.
This is especially so, as they are key drivers of industrialization and Investors and tourists are best attracted to destinations where adequate infrastructure and corresponding good network of roads and other related facilities are put in place.
To interpret the governor’s vision and blueprints with proven meticulousness in the areas of roads and other infrastructure, someone with proven integrity, a competent, hardworking, focused, vibrant and meticulous Akwa Ibomite, was needed to man the affairs at the Ministry of Works.
It was however, not surprising that Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-eyen, a man who is synonymous with integrity, hard work and honesty was nominated by the governor and was duly sworn-in on Monday, July 6, 2015, as Honourable Commissioner for Works, Akwa Ibom State.
A keen and unbiased observation of the official activities of the man who presided over activities in the State’s Ministry of Works between 6th July, 2015 and 15th October, 2016 has however, confirmed John Carmack’s postulation that “focused, commitment and hard work are the real key to success”.
In a short space of 15 months, I observed as an insider that, Mr Ephraim Inyang, had performed excellently in translating Governor Udom Emmanuel’s electioneering promises into concrete realties. Today, his tireless commitment to duty and massive achievements has not only made him a good asset but the love of everyone who loves development.
And I dare put it thus; if commitment, prudence, patriotism, sense of camaraderie, creative imagination and foresight are the standards by which government appointees are judged, Inyang-eyen has already established himself in the psyche of the masses. Or how else should Akwa Ibom people assess a man who roughly two years ago accepted to leave his lucrative job as a high ranking Customs official, to use charisma and knowledge in wooing cynics and admirers with quality service delivery in the Works Ministry?
The commitment and discipline exuded by Mr. Inyang-eyen rubbed on the Ministry. Under him, the state has become a huge project site. Not only that, the project sites scattered across the length and breadth of the state were meticulously supervised on daily basis to ensure timely completion. It won’t be hyperbolic to highlight here that he spent more time on project sites than his cozy office at the Ministry of Works.
Ephraim Inyang-eyen is a symbol of courage. How he managed to maintain a sense of direction and calmness in dealing with seemingly tough circumstances will remain a subject of research for psychologists. He had the issue of paucity of funds to grapple with, but he overcame by adopting a foolproof and sincere strategy which ended up benefiting all concerned. Noteworthy is that fact that under Ephraim Inyang-eyen, the tales of abandoned projects and owing of contractors were unheard.
Also, the friction between contractors and host communities were also eliminated. It is these finer realities of his capability which made him steer the affairs of the Ministry with gusto.
While critics may not wholly accept the fact that he is the messiah the Works Minsitry longed for, they will have no choice than to respect him for litany of rare accomplishments and his steady rise in the minds of Akwa Ibom people and in political circles. Love him or hate him, it is certainly not too early to label him as a shining star and rallying point in the midst of his contemporaries.
Akparawa Inyaneyen-eyen is not all about being dexterous in projects’ planning/execution or being soaring political eagle, but what really makes him thick is encapsulated in the fact that he exhibits a refined approach in every facet of his life. It appears Inyang-eyen fully understands that everything worth doing is worth doing well.
Any keen observer will notice that the Onna born perfectly understands the meaning and extent of friendship across board, a habit he has nurtured from time immemorial, and which he richly employs in a web of alliances in all facets of his life.
He came to the state exco in 2015 well prepared. He had a clear vision of leading an expansive Ministry which needs huge funds, but upon realizing that Akwa Ibom, nay Nigeria, is grappling with paucity of funds, Mr Ephraim Inyang-eyen injected prudence and commitment to convert scare finances into tangible projects which have bettered the lives of the populace.
All in all, Mr. Inyang-eyen’s outing in the Works Ministry can be summed up in the fact HE CAME, HE SAW AND LEFT WITH CLEANEST RECORD. His participation in the activities of the Deacon Udom Emmanuel administration is inscribed in superlatives. Needless to chronicle the seemingly unending successes during his stay in the Ministry of Works.
Name the tasks, and if they are within acceptable codes of conduct, Inyang-eyen will never shy away from it. It is an irrefutable fact that on all counts – planning, implementation, oversight, consistency and integrity – the immediate-past Works Commissioner presented an excellently scorecard. This understanding makes it imperative for anyone who emerges as Works Commissioner in the about-to-be constituted state exco to be someone capable of maintaining the pace set by Inyang-eyen or if possible, up the ante. This is necessary because the Akwa Ibom people deserve a Works Commissioner who has experience interwoven with educational sophistication and right disposition – all are attributes exemplified by Inyang-eyen.
They say, first impressions matter. Mr Inyang-eyen has created a first impression in the Works Ministry which cannot just be waved into the realm of nothingness; the impression will last for longish years. Therefore without sounding preemptive, His Excellency, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel will surely okay Ephraim Inyang-eyen’s return to the state exco. The consensus belief is that he has made #TheList.
Akparawa Ephraim Akparawa Inyangeyen, Akwa Ibom people have drank from the fountain of your goodness, and long may it continue!