As the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) celebrates its Diamond Jubilee, the Akwa Ibom State Chapter of the Institute, commissioned 20 years ago, is set to host its 2024 Annual General Meeting/Conference, a landmark event that will commemorate the 10th O.W. Udoh Memorial Lecture.   The 2024 AGM/Conference, themed “Driving Sustainable Perception Management Through Artificial Intelligence,” is scheduled to be held at Breakfort Hotel & Suites, Uyo, on Thursday, July 25, 2024, starting promptly at 12 noon.   Sharing details of the forthcoming event with newsmen, the Chairman of the AGM Planning Committee, Mr. Darlington Udobong, said, “The theme of the 2024 event aims to explore the evolving role of artificial intelligence in the field of public relations. The event promises to be a convergence of thought leaders, public relations practitioners, and AI enthusiasts, all keen to delve into how AI can be harnessed to shape and manage public perception sustainably.”   Speaking further on the highlights of the event, Mr. Udobong said, “Attendees can look forward to an insightful discourse through a panel of discussants who will dissect the theme and provide actionable insights on leveraging AI in perception management. Esteemed experts in the field are expected to share their knowledge and experiences.”   “Following the intellectual discussions, guests will have the opportunity to network and unwind at a cocktail reception. This segment will provide a relaxed atmosphere for meaningful interactions and connections. To round off the day, there will be an entertainment session featuring dance and more, ensuring a balanced mix of professional enrichment and leisure,” he hinted.   Mr. Udobong, who is also the Vice Chairman of the Chapter, explained that, “The AGM and Memorial Lecture are pivotal events on the NIPR calendar, serving as a platform for members to reflect on the past year’s activities, strategize for the future, and honor the legacy of its pioneer and forerunner, O.W. Udoh. The 10th edition of the Memorial Lecture is particularly significant as it underscores a decade of sustained commitment to professional excellence and innovation in public relations.”   He encouraged members and interested participants to register and sign up online, assuring that the event promises to be both enlightening and enjoyable.   “The Akwa Ibom State Chapter of NIPR looks forward to welcoming all attendees to a day of learning, networking, and celebration,” the AGM Planning Committee Chairman assured.    

Senate, House of Reps Pass Minimum Wage Bill

The Senate and House of Representatives have passed the new minimum wage bill.
The bill passed first (President Bola Tinubu’s request), second (debate on general principles), and third readings on Tuesday — all within an hour — in the upper and lower legislative chambers.
The legislation seeks to raise the country’s minimum wage from N30,000 to N70,000.
While leading a debate on the bill, Opeyemi Bamidele, majority leader of the senate, said N70,000 was agreed upon by all the parties after negotiations.
This is part of the federal government’s short-term measure to mitigate the situation in the country,” Bamidele said.
Tahir Monguno, chief whip, said there is a need to review the minimum wage to align with economic realities.
“The review of the minimum wage was after every five years. It is now every three years,” Monguno said. There is a need to review it and bring it in tandem with the realities of society.”
After that, the Senate dissolved into the “committee of the whole” to approve clauses of the bill.
Last week, Tinubu asked the national assembly to increase the 2024 appropriation Act by N6.2 trillion.
The President said N3.2 trillion is for infrastructure projects and N3 trillion for recurrent expenditure.
Defending the president’s request on Monday, Atiku Bagudu, minister of budget and economic planning, said the N3 trillion is intended to cover the new national minimum wage.


… Ikot Ekpene Stakeholders Applaud Gov Umo Eno’s Timely, Just Intervention By Ukpong Ukpong The heated political debacle between Amayam and Urban clans, over who should produce the next elected Chairman of Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area has been resolved with Amayam given the nod to produce the next elected chairman. This resolution came through an intervention by the governor, Pastor Umo Bassey Eno, who doubles as state leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Recall that soon after the announcement of the forthcoming local government elections, followed by PDP stakeholders meeting in Uyo, where the governor admonished that zoning be respected across all local government areas, the political temperature in the premiere local government area rose dangerously towards a boiling point as party faithful and supporters from both clans tussled over who should take the chairmanship ticket. It became a concern for peace and continuous stability in Ikot Ekpene such that stakeholders convened an emergency meeting, calling for calm as they await the governor’s intervention in the matter. Eventually, last week Governor Umo Eno presided over such a mediation meeting where issues were tabled and weighed. According to our source, who was present at the meeting, but chose to speak off record, ” when the facts were laid out, it did not take the governor time to identify the truth and arrive at a verdict. ” This decision was accepted by all stakeholders from both Urban and Amayam”, he revealed. Reacting to the outcome of the recent mediation meeting, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, a highly respected political leader in Ikot Ekpene said “The governor’s direction is proper. He has said what is supposed to be, that is the zoning should go to Amayam and everybody is aware of that. Also baring his mind on the governor’s intervention, the Honorary Special Assistant to the Governor on Legislative Affairs, Rt. Hon. Nsikak Ekong described it as timely and just. Ekong pointed out that “the governor is right. Ikot Ekpene’s chairmanship position is for the Amayam clan because we had a meeting and agreed that it should be two terms per clan. He continued that “Amayam had their first term (soon after the two terms agreement) under Hon. Sunny Ibuot and then completed under Hon. Gloria Useh. “Then, when it came to Urban there was no election so Hon. Unyime Etim (Urban) was made the transition chairman. Upon expiration of that transition, there was still no election hence Hon. David Umanah, another Urban man was appointed transition chairman. “After Umanah finished, the election was conducted, and yet another Urban person, Hon. Unyime Etim, emerged as elected chairman. He stayed for three years, contested, and won again for another three years. “After that, another Urban person, Sir John Clayton was appointed a transition chairman, making a total of nine consecutive years in power for the Urban clan”. “So, I failed to see the reason why they said power should remain in the Urban.” He said. Furtherpunching holes on similar reasons for attempting to hold onto power, the former federal lawmaker opined that “their reason is that Amayam are not many, with 4½ wards and Urban is 6½ wards. For Godsake, what is zoning all about? Is it not about making the people who are not many also taste leadership and governance? ” So, I don’t see any reason why power shouldn’t shift to Amayam”. He quipped. On the argument about commissionership residing in Amayam, he retorted, “How can somebody say that Commissioner is from Amayam? Do you want to zone commissionership for the governor? The governor should feel free to choose anyone he wants to be commissioner. It’s not a new thing in Ikot Ekpene that we have two commissioners from a place. “When I was in the House of Assembly, Mr. Don Etim was Commissioner and Engr. Etido Inyang was also commissioned, both from Urban. Similarly, when Mr. Udom Emmanuel came on board, Pastor Sunny Ibuot was Commissioner as well as Prof. Nse Essien, both from Amayam. “Those were very flimsy reasons made to rob Amayam people of their right to produce a chairman. So, for me, the governor is very correct. The position of chairmanship is for Amayam people for two terms.” The General Manager/Secretary, of Akwa Ibom State Bulk Purchase Agency, Hon. Unyime Etim, was reluctant to comment on the issue. According to him, “protocol demands that once the governor talks, no one talks again. My comment is once the governor talks nobody talks.” However, on his part, a political stalwart from Amayam, Group Captain M. Using (rtd.) stated that God has used the governor to answer Amayam’s prayer. “This has been our desire. I thank the governor for this because he wants an all-inclusive government. “I thank him (the governor) very much for listening to the voice of the Amayam people. It’s been our desire because the zoning principle has been there between two clans, Urban and Amayam. ” We had agreed that when one one clan takes chairmanship of the party (PDP) the other should take chairmanship of the council and vice versa, but for more than ten years or so the chairmanship of local government has resided in Urban. So, it’s right that Amayam takes her turn at chairmanship. We have credible and competent people to serve in that capacity”. Also expressing the mind of Amayam women on the governor’s intervention, a notable woman leader from the area, Obonganwan Lucy Udo said “We thank God that the truth has finally been told and our governor is a man of honor. He has shown capacity and proven that he is a man of God because men of God don’t lie. She recalled that the governor once said ‘If zoning does not favor you, don’t bother to contest, do not deprive those that zoning favour to contest. ” So, Governor Umo Eno wants peace in the whole state because some of these issues on zoning would bring problems in some areas but the governor’s intervention is averting that. So, we thank him and pledged our total support to him”. She enthused.


By Godwin Benson In journalism or communication studies, it is said that God was the first journalist in the world. History records in Genesis 1:3 that the first communication experiment was conducted by God when He said, “Let there be light.” The conclusion of that statement reads: “And there was light.” The light that sprang forth from that communicative action “illuminated the earth that was filled with darkness and void.” Rt. Hon Unyime Idem, the chairman of the House Committee on Public Procurement, has embraced this lighting phenomenon. For the past five years, he has been a source of light to many families, communities, and his federal constituency, Ukanafun/Oruk Anam. He has inspired many young men and women to aspire for greatness, and has clothed and fed many elderly persons across the length and breadth of the federal constituency. His empowerment vision has been massive, and he does not appear tired of spreading light. Through Idem, many primary school pupils and secondary school students in Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency have come to learn, know, and use Information and Communication Technology (ICT). More than 5,000 people have become employers of labor through the various skills programs he initiated, complete with the provision of equipment such as sewing machines, hairdressing machines and accessories, barbering clippers with generators, tables and mirrors, motorcycles, tricycles, and motorcars. To some, he gave business grants; to students, he granted scholarships and bursaries. More than 50 indigenes of the federal constituency are on the employment payroll of the federal government, courtesy of this focused, dependable, visionary, and sacrificial leader. It is the first time in the history of representation in Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency that many roads have been tarred, school blocks built, water projects constructed, and entrepreneurship, business, and agriculture enhanced. The people are happy and at home with him. Last week, yours truly took a trip to the village, and what I saw in each of the villages that lead to my community was akin to Aniekpeno Mkpanang’s popular radio program, “Something to Remember.” Idem has flooded the roads with solar panel street lights. At night, all the communities are illuminated. Activities that were once synonymous with darkness, including those of the men of the underworld, have become third-rated in the communities. I learned that no fewer than 200 communities are beneficiaries in the first phase of this lighting project. Schools, local council secretariats, health centers, and other government institutions are beneficiaries of this noble gesture. The constituents are very happy. A family head in Ikot Akpa Nkuk, Chief Udo Fred, said that in his over seven decades on earth, this is the first time a representative has been people-centric and made the welfare and growth of his constituents a great priority in his scheme of things. Fred noted that Idem has brought superlative and salvaging infrastructure and amenities, which were previously only seen on television or heard over the radio. “I can say without an iota of boastfulness that almost all the villages in the federal constituency have been touched directly by Idem, one way or the other,” the royal father said. A woman leader from Nkek in Ukanafun Local Government Area, Obonganwan Iniobong Okongko, described Idem’s representation as “unique, action-packed, incomparable, result-oriented, and visionary.” Okongko maintained that she thanks God every day for giving the constituency a selfless, patriotic, purposeful, and excellent representative who makes their welfare and well-being top on his agenda. For the past five years, she observed, “there’s no time that you hear that Unyime Idem is around without hearing that he came to hand over a completed project or to lay a foundation for another. Ukanafun/Oruk Anam is blessed this time. My prayer is that God should continue to protect, guide, and strengthen him to do more for us.” A youth leader from Oruk Anam Local Government Area, Mr. Idorenyin Udom, said the youth of the constituency are proud to identify with Idem as most of his projects and programs are youth-friendly. Udom said that apart from the numerous bills and motions Idem has sponsored in the National Assembly, he was thrilled with his commitment to providing Ukanafun/Oruk Anam youth with the tools to succeed. “When I saw the number of youth he (Idem) has facilitated employment for in the federal civil service, I doff my cap to him. He’s a man that thinks about the future. God bless him,” he stated. Indeed, the story of Idem’s representation is surrounded by the metaphor of light. The importance of light to people, even plants, is well-known. Light is life and has been brought to Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency. Unyime Idem’s style of leadership is legendary. In fact, he has illuminated the body, soul, and spirit of Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency. Even our ancestors are walking on newly tarred roads with fanfare, enjoying a gaudy ambience. Benson is a Uyo-based journalist.  


In separate meetings yesterday, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo hosted members of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) and Women in Energy, Oil and Gas at his NNPC Towers office in Abuja. A statement by Ekpo’s spokesman, Louis Ibah, quoted him as commending the women for braving the odds to venture into fields and disciplines hitherto considered exclusive to the male gender and for leaving indelible imprints in the Nigerian engineering, energy, oil, and gas sectors. The Minister, who promised to participate in upcoming seminars, workshops, and awareness campaigns of the women’s groups, implored them as professionals abreast with the benefits of using gas as a cleaner, safer, cheaper, and environmentally friendly fuel, to take up the task of enlightening other less informed women to embrace CNG and LPG as vehicular and cooking fuels. Ekpo said: “As professionals, you are in a better position to preach the gospel of natural gas to other women in our country. Tell them about the health, environmental, and economic benefits of gas and why they should transition from charcoal, firewood, and kerosene to LPG. If they spend N40,000 to fuel their car with petrol, it will take N10,000 to fuel the same car with CNG and still accomplish the same journey. So, gas is more economical than petrol. The challenge that we have is with the conversion kits, and we are working to ensure the availability of these kits at affordable costs in all nooks and crannies of the country.”

APC replaces Ndume with Tahir Monguno as Senate Chief Whip


The National Working Committee, NWC, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has written the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, to ask the Chief Whip, Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) to resign from the party and join either the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, or any of the opposition party. APC, in the letter, also removed Senator Ali Ndume as Chief Whip of the 10th Senate and replaced him with Senator Mohammed Tahir Monguno (APC, Borno North). In a letter from the APC signed by National Chairman, Alhaji Umar Ganduje and the National Secretary, Senator Suŕajueen Basiru, respectively, to Akpabio, the party said that Ndume’s complaints about President Bola Tinubu are unbecoming and his utterances are not favourable to the Federal Government. The request was put to voice votes by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, and loudly affirmed by all the APC Senators.  


  … Says Zoning Must Be Fair, Just, Acceptable A chairmanship aspirant in Ikot Ekpene, Hon. Iberedem Isonguyo Akpan, has pledged to work in tandem with stakeholders in the area to bring about growth and development in key economic sectors including agriculture, infrastructure, trade, security, and others. Speaking with our reporter through a mobile handset, the former Councillor of Nsiak, Ward 4, popularly known as Bebeto, maintained that after 73 years Ikot Ekpene should boast of core development hubs and move from being a mere experimental to an established model in local government administration. In his words, “I’ve prepared myself to lead and my track record as a Councillor proves that I’m a distinguished leader with a passion for excellence and a commitment to serving my people. ” With a rich political history and a plethora of achievements, I aspire to serve Ikot Ekpene people and lead us to where ought to be”. He stated. A sneak peep as his credentials reveals that Bebeto who was born on July 7, 1980, in Nsiak, Ikot Ekpene LGA, has risen through the ranks of leadership, leaving an indelible mark on every platform he has graced. As a graduate of the University of Uyo, where he bagged a degree in Library and Information Science, he equipped himself with relevant skills to excel in public service. During his tenure as elected Councilor representing Ikot Ekpene Urban Ward 4 (INEC) and Ward 5 (AKISIEC), between 2021 and 2023, he achieved among others the following, moving motions for the betterment of his constituents and Ikot Ekpene at large. He facilitated the grading of farm roads and rehabilitation of the Umuahia/Aba road intersection, moved the motion for the building of a health center in his ward, shared 95% of his salary with ward stakeholders and supporters, and offered financial grants to women and students. Other achievements include training six persons in skill acquisition, distributing customized exercise books and writing materials to pupils in all three primary schools in his Ward, sponsoring the Otoro Ubo Unity Football Cup competition, and sponsored his ward to participate in the 2022 Chairman’s Cup football competition and other sporting activities and building a family hall for his NTO INYANG EKPE FAMILY in Nsiak village as well as initiating, completing and donating a clean drinking borehole water to his community, tagged “Liberation Water” Hon. Iberedem Akpan, while speaking on the ongoing discourse about zoning in Ikot Ekpene, said there is no need for controversy because every enlightened stakeholder knows it is the turn of Ikot Ekpene Urban. According to him, zoning has been seen as fair, just, balanced, and accepted by all, pointing out that Pastor Sunny Ibuot, who was from Amayam, Ikot Ekpene Urban held the positions of State House of Assembly by Rt. Hon Nsikak Ekong, Chapter Chairman being Chief Sunny Ibanga, Commissioner being Mr. Don Etim, SSA to Governor being Engr. Etido Inyang hence Amayam appealed and sought a second term to balance the scale of power. “This was agreed on and effectively started two terms in office as part of zoning arrangements, which began with Pastor Sunny Ibuot (Amayam) and continued to the end with Mrs. Gloria Useh (Amayam). Ikot Ekpene Urban to its two terms and completed Hon. Unyime Etim (Ikot Ekpene Urban). “Ordinarily, the zoning should’ve gone to Amayam, but because Amayam now holds positions of Member of State House of Assembly, Commissioner, SSA to the governor and Chapter Chairman, there is equally need for equity, justice and balance of power in favor of Ikot Ekpene Urban”.


…COMMENDS UMO ENO’S BACK-TO-FARM INITIATIVE By UKPONG UKPONG A group of young professionals in Akwa Ibom State, under the aegis of Emerging Leaders Platform, EL, plans to put an end to the scarcity of staple foodstuffs majorly garri, maize, beans, vegetables, and others by partnering with government and other relevant private sector players. According to the group’s National Coordinator, Engr. Bobby Ekanem, who spoke with this reporter recently, the Emerging Leaders launched its farm project by acquiring, through the assistance of the Cross River Basin Development Authority, CRBDA, 20-hectare farmland in Ikot Ntung, Nsit Ubium Local Government Area. “Right there in Nsit Ubium, we’ve cultivated maize and cassava on 2 out of the 20-hectare land as a demonstration farm. ” These are staple foods needed in the State. Currently, we’ve harvested part of the cassava, processed it into garri, and bagged it. The good thing is that we’re not selling because it was a demonstration. “So, the idea is to send out to various persons of value in our society to make them realize the effectiveness and efficacy of supporting young people in our society to contribute towards development. So far so good, we’ve had a lot of applause. We just finished an interview on Excel FM and one thing we harp on is investing in the ongoing agriculture revolution especially involving the youths in every aspect of it.” He thanked the state governor, Pastor Umo Eno, for the success of the demonstration farm, saying “We thank His Excellency, Governor Umo Eno, who was heavily represented by his son, Rehoboth, who eventually became our Chairperson. “Our being able to get most of our partners like the CRBDA, TATA (International) Nigeria and others was because there was significant government involvement. The Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. (Mrs.) Offiong Offor, and her colleague, the Honourable Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong have been very instrumental to the success of our demonstration farm.” Baring his mind on the back-to-farm initiative of the government, he pointed out that “it is a very commendable and laudable initiative of the governor. It underscores the agricultural revolution of the ARISE agenda. What we would love to do, which is our responsibility as Emerging Leaders, is to add value to all these policies and initiatives of government.     Ekanem described the Emerging Leaders platform as “a belief system that tends to cluster youths from different disciplines and professions for the sole purpose of adding value to our society through the establishment of clusters which reflect various sectors of the economy from agriculture to education to legal to manufacturing to engineering and others”. “All our clusters are formed representing and imaging the real sectors of the economy for full participation and efficient contribution to growth.” He stated. Engr. Bobby, who doubles as a certified agribusiness consultant, disclosed further that “one sector we are playing in the agribusiness is the pre-upstream sector. “These sector categories are mostly training, seminars, and general farm education. This is important, as everyone is going back to the farm and even some states have declared a state of emergency on food insecurity thus trying to make citizens embrace food production and farming. ” With this in view, one strategic thing to do is to teach farmers new methods of farming. “One of our experiences in Ikot Ntung was the same when we now understood that we need to make a farming community and one way to start this is investing in the pre-upstream sector where farmers are well trained on new agricultural practices, well trained on how to take care of themselves, trained related social and health issues like gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS and all of these things. “This will give them a sense of belonging that they are part of the program. With this, there will be less need for campaigning to get people back to the farm because the farmers will now see themselves as valuable people. They’ll function more in that ecosystem”. He enthused. Looking forward to attracting development partners for the group, the National Coordinator, said “We have had talks with several prospective partners within the state, nationally, and even international bodies. ” The idea behind the demonstration farm was to have a NEEDS assessment. When starting such a project, you must begin at the demonstration level where you study the needs of the project. We’ve been able to use data mining and information we got out to know which aspects we need to put more effort into, where we got it wrong, and how to correct it. So, from our last production, we’ve been able to pinpoint where we need to do what. “When we’re going to board our partners, we even have the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who came to us through their Agroallied department. They were at the flagged off of the demonstration farm and were enthusiastic and ready to partner with Emerging Leaders”. We’re also appealing to every player in the agribusiness to partner with us because it is worth it and will solve issues of unemployment and youth restiveness while creating wealth. We’re making farming very attractive, easy to engage, and profitable.”


  By Senator Aniekan Bassey Senator Representing the Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District   As Akwa Ibom State celebrates one of its revered sons, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, the immediate past Governor of the state, at 58, it is an opportune moment for the people of the state to reflect on his tenure and the profound impact of his leadership on the state. Serving as Governor from 2015 to 2023, Mr. Emmanuel’s administration, the Dakkada Era, was marked by peace, security and a series of transformative initiatives and achievements that have significantly shaped the socio-economic landscape of the state.   It is heartwarming to recall that one of the most defining aspects of Mr. Emmanuel’s governance was his unwavering commitment to economic diversification and industrialization. Understanding the perils of over-reliance on oil revenues, he spearheaded initiatives to develop other sectors of the economy. The establishment of Ibom Airline (Ibom Air), the Kings Flour Mill, the St Gabriel Coconut Factory, the Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company and the Metering Solutions Manufacturing Services Limited were key milestones, positioning Akwa Ibom as an industrial hub. These initiatives not only generated employment for the people of the state but also boosted the state’s economic profile, attracting numerous investments and fostering a more resilient economic structure.   Flipping through the pages of his achievements in the area of infrastructure development, the Dakkada Era saw unprecedented growth. Udom Emmanuel’s strategic focus on road construction and rehabilitation improved connectivity across the state. The construction of the Dakkada Towers (21-Storey Building) and the International Worship Centre stand as monumental achievement, symbolizing the state’s ambitions for growth, modernization and solemnity. Again, the completion of the Ikot Ekpene-Uyo Road, Four-Point by Sheraton Hotel and the ongoing Ibom Deep Seaport project is set to revolutionize the state’s economic landscape by enhancing maritime trade and attracting global investors.   In the area of sports development and new cities, the transformation of Eket and Ikot Ekpene into vibrant new cities with remodeled stadia that have become national landmarks is a lasting legacy. These stadia serve as venues for the Nigeria Premier Leagues and various youth recreational activities, ensuring they remain prominent in national memories. Indeed, any discussion about national football tournaments in Nigeria must include notable mentions of the stadia in Ikot Ekpene, Uyo, and Eket townships. This significant achievement is thanks to Udom Emmanuel.   In the area of healthcare and education, Udom Emmanuel’s tenure also brought significant advancements. The upgrading of healthcare facilities and the subsequent push for the establishment of the Akwa Ibom State University Teaching Hospital marked substantial progress in the state’s healthcare sector. These efforts have improved access to quality medical services and created a foundation for training future medical professionals. The State University Teaching Hospital, when fully launched, will complement the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) and also assist all the General Hospitals across the state.   The Dakkada Era also made substantial investments in school infrastructure and ensured free and compulsory education at the basic level. These initiatives led to increased school enrollment and enhanced the quality of education, preparing a generation of well-educated citizens ready to contribute to the state’s development.   Recognizing the potential of agriculture in driving economic growth and food security, Udom Emmanuel launched various agricultural programmes and initiatives. The establishment of coconut plantation, cassava plantation and expansion of palm oil plantations underscored his commitment to harnessing the state’s agricultural potential. These projects have not only aimed at achieving food security but have also provided income-generating opportunities for farmers, contributing to poverty reduction.   As Akwa Ibom celebrates Udom Emmanuel at 58 and his legacy as Governor, which was one of vision, ambition, and tangible progress, his efforts in economic diversification, infrastructure development, healthcare, education, and agriculture laid a solid foundation for the Pastor Umo Eno’s administration and the future growth of Akwa Ibom. As the state looks ahead, it remains poised to build on the advancements made during the Udom Emmanuel-led administration, ensuring that the seeds of progress sown under his leadership continue to flourish.   Happy Birthday, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, and thank you for your service to Akwa Ibom State.    


The Supreme Court, today, has declared that it is unconstitutional for state governors to hold onto funds meant for Local Government (LG) administrations. In its lead judgment read by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the apex court observed that the refusal of state government on financial autonomy for local governments has gone on for over two decades. He said local governments have since stopped receiving the money meant for them from the state governors who act in their stead. Justice Agim noted that the 774 local government councils in the country should manage their funds themselves. He dismissed the preliminary objections of the defendants (state governors). In the suit filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi, the federal government sought an order preventing the governors from arbitrarily dissolving democratically elected councils. 1.orders states to ensure democratically elected LG systems. 2.grants financial autonomy to LGCs 3.orders funds accruing to LGCs to be paid directly to their coffers by the Federation Account.   … developing story