By Aniekeme Finbarr
A good leader, wise men agree is as good as his team. That aphorism was crafted with Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State in mind. The Akwa Ibom Governor’s team has in the last six months worked round the clock to oil the wheels of good governance and superior performance. One of those whose stellar qualities cannot go unnoticed is Engr Etido Inyang, Commissioner for Special Duties, Akwa Ibom State. The gentleman has done an excellent job in interpreting the vision of the Governor. He has not only supervised but also ensured a robust implementation and delivery of the state’s turnkey projects through efficient management and innovative strategies for socio-economic benefit and transformation of the state with supporting structures and graceful interface into the mainstream economy of the state. To effectively supervise and ensure the successful implementation of mega projects in the State, the government of Mr Udom Emmanuel re-energized the Ministry of Special Duties, to oversee the operation of these projects. The testimonies in few months are massive progress recorded at the Akwa Ibom International Airport, the Ibom Specialist Hospital, and the Ibom Deep Seaport Project amongst others.
The superlative performance of Engr Inyang in the Special Duties Ministry has proven to be a strategic move by the governor. The Governor being a top notch professional was not oblivious of the gains of appointing a technocrat to man a ministry quite strategic and crucial. The turnkey projects of the administration required a manager with current global technical knowledge and expertise to see them to quality completion that meets international benchmark. It also needed a man with experience who would ensure a smooth transition from the last administration to the present one.
Take the Ibom International Airport; recently, Governor Udom Emmanuel said that the second runway at the Ibom International Airport will be ready for inauguration in the first week of July this year to serve as a perfect alternative in addressing emergencies. The runway is an asset capable of generating returns and enhancing the license of Cargo operations in the Airport. The second runway construction for Cargo Plane is executed by Gitto Construzioni Generali. The Governor has also acknowledged that the quality of service and sincerity of purpose of the construction firm has propelled the payment plan to meet the expectations and expressed appreciation at the progress of work.
Engr Etido Inyang has assured that the International Terminal which is also under construction would be designed to meet standard specifications and that the technical partners to handle the Maintenance, Repairs and Overhaul (MRO) Unit would soon be assigned. Governor Udom Emmanuel is working assiduously to make the state an investors’ haven by maximizing the abundant economic resources to create wealth and generate employment. With the kind assistance of competent hands like Engr Inyang, the job only gets easier
Engr Etido Inyang’s creativity is felt in whatever project he contributes to. The Ibom Specialist Hospital in Uyo is an eloquent testimony. The hospital is designed to world class taste with breath taking and unconventional touches to blend. It is boldly finished with composite panels, modern glazing and shading. The Hospital offers a serene and refreshing outlook, which is therapeutic for patients and comforting for visitors and staff. The main block of the hospital conversely features a central space with a cathedral roof, which separates two adjoining sections that boast of grand central voids, to permit natural lighting and air flow. These central voids and large open spaces can be perceived as overwhelming or it can be thought as reinforcing unity and wholesomeness. Aside from the passive heating/cooling and symbolism, these large spaces may also foster way-finding and uncover the complexities of such a busy environment.
The special duties commissioner was born on January 8, 1965. He is an accomplished civil engineer with vast experience and expertise and has made loads of valuable input in many spheres of life. Unarguably considered to be ahead of his age by performance and impact, Engr Etido Inyang has built a dynamic career, following his employment by Schlumberger Oilfield Services in October 1989, where his capacity and skills were reinforced though various in-service training, one of which was at the Directional Drilling Engineering School in Houston, Texas, USA. Such exposure, coupled with his determination and desire to enhance his professional skills, were fundamental to his outstanding and widely applauded service during the 18-year period he was engaged by Schlumberger, as evidenced in the diverse positions of responsibility entrusted to him.
To his credit were positions such as project manager, directional drilling engineer, field services manager, technical manager, location manager, quality, health, safety environment and risk manager, Nigerian content development manager as well as director.
As it is the case with goldfish that have no hiding place, Inyang’s brilliant performance shot him higher and distinguished him an asset that could not be spared in the drive to develop Akwa Ibom State, hence his voluntary resignation from the services of Schlumberger in 2007, following the invitation of the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, to join the service on the State Executive Council as Special Adviser, Bureau of Technical Matters. The appointment came with greater challenges, as his managerial skills were put to use in carrying out greater tasks, having to deal with different companies handling projects in a state where sluggish performance and project abandonment by contractors were hitherto tolerated. To his cap in the last administration were also added the following feathers: Member, Board of Ibom Airport Development Company Limited, and director, Ibom Power Company; head, technical team, Finance and General Purposes Committee; director, Universal Energy Resources Limited (a state-owned oil services firm); head, State Project Monitoring Committee, and state project manager, Ibom Industrial City Project.
Successful, qualitative and timely delivery of projects, which has distinguished Akwa Ibom as a destination of choice, has left none in doubt about Inyang’s ability to bring to bear his 18 years’ wealth of experience with Schlumberger to change the perception of contractors, justify the state’s investment on projects and restore the people’s confidence in government through timely and qualitative project delivery. He has raised the bar of superior performance in his present stint as Commissioner for Special Duties.
Apart from his professional and technical prowess, Inyang, an alumnus of Harvard Business School is also a great mixer. He is a manager of men and materials. He blends expertise with political dexterity. He does not belong to the class of public office holders who throw their weight around and are contemptuous towards those they consider as lesser beings, Etido is accessible, accommodating and understanding. He listens and addresses complaints in the best manner he could without injuring the sensibilities or bruising the ego of the complainants. Even though he may not have travelled the road of the less privileged, he makes efforts to share their concerns. He acknowledges that people are the greatest asset. His people speak loudly of his benevolent disposition, empowerment strides and warm camaraderie. He is carefully described by friends, colleagues, professional bodies, political parties and religious organisations as a role model, philanthropist and ambassador, keeping service above self, possessing uncommon managerial skills, competence, multi-tasking abilities and team-work capabilities, a dependable, diligent and thorough professional and a great shepherd. He possesses humility, compassion, and generosity, fear of God and strong sense of empathy.
As the Divine Mandate team soars on to greatness and a mission to put smiles on the faces of the good people of Akwa Ibom State, it is heart-warming to take a breather and praise the honest efforts of the team players who are bringing their dynamism to bear. Engr. Inyang is really striving hard to contribute his quota to ensure the industrialization dream of the Udom Emmanuel administration comes to fruition. Beyond what the public can see, he spends quality time sorting out volumes of paper work and collaboration with the key players to hasten the take-off of the various key projects of the administration. He has proven beyond doubt to be a special man for these special duties.