Akwa Ibom @35: Development spike is phenomenal – Obonganwan Grace Ekong


By The Evangelist edition, October 5, 2022.

A former Secretary to the Government of Akwa Ibom State, Obonganwan Grace Ekong has lauded the massive developmental strides in Akwa Ibom State, describing it as phenomenal.

Obinganwan Grace Ekong made this known during an interview with the Editorial Team of Impact Magazine of Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Information & Strategy at her Ewet Housing Estate residence in Uyo on Friday on the heels of the 35th anniversary celebration of state creation.

The former SSG who seized the opportunity to bare her mind on the milestones recorded so far by the State since creation on 23rd September 1987 congratulated the State Government on the occasion of the 35th anniversary celebration noting that, the State had moved from infancy to adulthood, with many infrastructural projects and investment opportunities bearing testimony to this fact.

She reminisced that at creation in 1987, the state had little or no projects on ground, but today, the situation had improved tremendously and expressed appreciation to the dedicated and focused leadership which the state had been blessed with over the years.

Obonganwan Ekong enlisted projects such as the Idongesit Nkanga Secretariat Complex, built by the late Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga and remodelled by His Excellency Obong Victor Attah, Ibom Hall, the Women Development Centre etc, among the first series of government intervention in the area of infrastructure at creation. Moving on, the former SSG lauded the Victor Attah International Airport, Ibomair, ongoing Ibom Deep Seaport project, the beautiful Ring Roads, intervention in Public Schools, Primary and Secondary Healthcare Centres and a host of other projects in the state, as indicators of growth in the infrastructure sectors.

Noting that, the Ibom Deep Seaport project, when completed, would open-up the state for greater foreign/ direct investments, as well as offer employment opportunities to the teeming youths of the state the former SSG acknowledged that the state would not have attained the enviable height which she has reached today without focused leadership on the part of those who have been at the helm of affairs of the state since creation and urged the next crop of leaders across all levels in the state to strive to leverage on the developmental strides of successive administrations in order to take the state to higher heights.

She sued for unity of purpose amongst citizens of the state, stessing that very little could be achieved in an atmosphere of strife and called for constructive criticism where necessary but not blackmail and hate speech to destroy our society and leaders as leadership is not a mean task.

While calling on women in the state to imbibe the enterprising spirit of our progenitors the former SSG charged the women to be gainfully engaged in productive ventures as this would enable them to become independent, capable of earning a living that will make room for them to support their families and also reach out to others.

She said, women have been very strong supporters of the development of the State since creation and urged Akwa Ibom women to desist from the “dependency culture” that is eating deep into the fabric of our Society but lean on the hardworking spirit of our forebears who through trading and agriculture assisted so much in the education of their children in years past.

“My advice is that we should encourage the government and the government, in turn, should encourage the people. Let them reach out to the people and empower them. And when empowered, people should make for fruitful production. We should therefore try to kill this dependent culture that we are building.”, she said.

Obonganwan Grace Ekong who was the Secretary to the Government of Akwa Ibom State during the Governor Obong Victor Attah-led administration was the Director-General of the Centre for Women Development at the creation of Akwa Ibom State and was a leading force during the era of the “Nka Uforo Iban”.

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