…Ikot Obio Eka-Ikot Ibom Road for construction in his honour

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, and his Anambra State counterpart, Professor Charles Soludo have felicitated Nigeria’s top economist, Professor Akpan Ekpo, on his 70th birthday, retirement and convocation of the maiden valedictory lecture of the University of Uyo.

The lecture held at the Professor Akpan Hogan Ekpo Centre for Public Policy, University of Uyo in the 1000-seater university auditorium had its theme as “Nigeria: the Economics of Potentials and the Potentials in Economics.”

Governor Umo Eno, in his message of felicitation, described Prof. Ekpo’s 70 years as deserving of celebration, while commending his dedication to academic excellence and sanitizing the University of Uyo community of corruption, cultism and other vices.

Governor Eno also lauded the meritorious service of the ace economist at various institutions across Nigeria and the world describing him as an honourable Akwa Ibom ambassador and a great asset to the nation and the global community.

Furthermore, the Akwa Ibom State Chief Executive commended University of Uyo’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Nyaudo Ndaeyo, for initiating the Valedictory Lecture to give such renowned academia like Akpan Ekpo a deserving honour on his exit from the institution.

He therefore directed the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Works, Professor Eno Ibanga, to put modalities in place to commence the construction of internal roads leading to the campus auditorium and the Ikot Obio Eka-Ikot Ibok road that connects Professor Akpan Ekpo’s Southern Iman Ward II community to Mbioto, Etinan Local Government Area.

“For the University of Uyo, the Road I came in through is not looking very good. I can’t come to this University and not do something. So sir, the Commissioner of Works will come and see you.

“Yes, it is a federal university, but this University is in Uyo, and majority of students and staff working here are from Akwa Ibom State. So whatever we do here is for the benefit of our people.”

” Since I came into office, you have sent me a few suggestions and papers. You looked at our blueprint and you took time to dissect it. You have been participating. I am surprised that the road to your village was not done and you didn’t send me a note on that one. These are selfless people.

“Don’t worry, the Honourable Commissioner of Works is here. He is a Prof and former Vice Chancellor. His team will come and look at that road. People who have served our state in one capacity or the other should be honoured properly. We need to rever them.”

The Anambra State Governor, Professor Charles Soludo, on his part, congratulated Professor Ekpo on his triple celebration and described his 70 years on earth, especially their thirty-six years of friendship, as impactful.

Recalling the various encounters in serving with Prof. Ekpo on various platforms including the African Economic Consortium in Nairobi, Kenya, African Institute for Applied Economics in Enugu State, Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria and West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, Governor Soludo affirmed the celebrator as an asset to Nigeria and the world at large.

In his earlier remarks to declare the lecture open, the Chairman on the occasion, Managing Director of Vika Farms Limited, Uyo and former lecturer at the UNIUYO’s Department of Economics, Dr. Asikpo Essien Ibok, described the event as a worthy celebration of an academic icon with track record of excellence which, he recalled, earned him the scholarship of the Dean’s Honour Roll in his undergraduate days, adding that his ascendancy to the pinnacle of excellence was connected to his contributions to knowledge and rational decision-making prowess in administration.

One-time Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Umanah Okon Umanah, who co-chaired the occasion, corroborated the accolades of the Chairman, asserting that the likes of Prof. Ekpo come one per season , but expressed optimism that his legacies with outlive his generation.