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Governor Udom Emmanuel is providing solution to global concerns

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...The Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company Example

By Samuel Ayara

 

A 2004 study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) puts the rate of injections given worldwide at 16 billion. Of the figure up to 50% are reportedly unsafe; as 5% HIV infections, 32% Hepatitis B virus infections, and 40% Hepatitis C virus infections are transmitted through unsafe injections. That study sadly listed Nigeria alongside Mozambique, Ethiopia and Uganda among the four high-risk nations.

Extending the disadvantaged net beyond infected patients, frontline health workers who provide care are equally at increased risk of infection due to the unsafe practice of using contaminated needles and syringes reuse, which sometimes go beyond economic constrains to availability, mainly due to patients high demand for injections in developing countries.

As part of its study recommendation, the World Health Organization partnering the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) proffered support for financing, procuring and distribution of injection equipment as part of its strategy in curbing injections related infections, since discouraging preferences for injectable drugs in Africa has almost lost its steam.

Years after the WHO intervention, global disposable syringe market in 2015 was valued at 6.4 billion US Dollars; a size expected to grow by 2023 to 9.3 billion US Dollars (Transparency Market Research). With the increasing demand for injectable drugs as development of self-injection devices and long acting formulations with high efficacy and lower adverse effects takes prominence in the management of diabetes, hypertension and growing need for immunizations, an investment in syringe production can be the game changer.

Against this backdrop, one would agree with no equivocation that the decision of Akwa Ibom State Governor Mr. Udom Emmanuel in attracting an internationally reputed concern in syringe production to the state to give verve to his industrialization agenda was both well informed and timely.

What many saw as a political strategy when he promised to push a government agenda that will promote industrialization during the campaigns has become an article of faith and a sterling example for the rest of the nation, especially with the listing of the state as Nigeria’s second most preferred investment destination by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Marketing the state as a favourable investment climate in Africa could have been considered an ego trip, but everyone including the World Bank Country Director, Rachid Benmessaoud could not have been wrong in agreeing so, when he communicated his organization’s readiness to partner the Akwa Ibom in some key areas of development during his September, 2017 visit to the state.

Favoured by available socio-economic indices, the Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company (JSM) seized the window Governor Udom Emmanuel threw open to the world and settled in to produce syringes with a view to sparing Africa the burden of low availability of this most sought after medical consumable, and broadening the states Foreign Direct Investment profile in several ways.

Commissioning the built, equipped and ready-to-work facility on September 23, 2017, a year after its foundation was laid, Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, lauded the foresight of the state chief executive in considering such an investment at a time the nation was grappling with an economic recession. He agreed that the coming on stream of the company, with a minimum daily syringe production capacity of 1 million, would help Nigeria trounce the capital flight that saw the country’s health sector depend completely on imports.

Addressing an important gap in the medical consumable sector, the 400 million yearly syringes start-up capacity poses an ambitious prospect of creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs that will strengthen the nation’s economy and advance the state’s acclaim on Africa’s socio-economic rung, to make true Governor Emmanuel’s resolve to create a first world economy in a third world nation.

It is therefore gratifying to mention that of the over 25 containers of medical equipments recently procured by the state government to equip medical facilities across the state, syringes are sure not a part of the items delivered. This is a departure from past practices where some multi nationals in pretentiously keeping with their corporate-social responsibilities came with miserly quantities of syringes as their contribution to healthcare in the state.

The optimism of expanding to a 1 billion annual production facility by JSM; despite exceeding South Africa’s current 95 million capacity shows that the state has positioned to challenge leading syringe companies in the world. This optimism would sure without fail put the Akwa Ibom on the global map of medical commerce, where our technology and concept would become a pilgrim of sort to climes seeking economic renaissance.

Made from locally obtained raw materials, the syringes are produced with technologically advanced machines, where the plastic injection machines are gotten from Austria, South Korea makes of the packaging, serigraphy and assembly machine, while other components of the company are procured from Turkey and Italy. The product, which is of the highest quality, presents a clear as glass outlook that addresses error of parallax.

The contribution of this investment to economic growth of the State is unarguably massive, but same in the nearest future would leave some economic proponents jaw-dropped and in awe at why they never saw the huge opportunity of an investment in Syringe production, because then, Akwa Ibom would have grown a capacity to feed all of Africa with medical syringes. This move away from attract foreign earnings would strengthen the State’s drive towards attracting medical tourism through the Ibom specialist Hospital.

Abreast with the power red flag that has for been the bane of business concerns in the country for decades, Governor Udom Emmanuel in a bid to ensure the syringe company thrives beyond political ego, has moved into ascertaining its viability and sustainability through the provision of dependable power from Ibom Power Company, to help the company achieve efficiency.

Most impressive is the over 90 percent local content compliance of the Company, which has seen indigenes of Akwa Ibom trained in turkey for real time experience and exposure to the workings of the company, thereby equipping them with the required expertise to run the plants and save the state revenue losses associated with capital flight.

It is not for nothing that Governor Udom Emmanuel in attracting these investments to fulfill his promise of making the state the center piece of Nigeria’s socio-economic endeavours, is taking on infrastructural consolidation and expansion that seeks to open up the entire state to access by existing and potential investors. Little wonder that the governor has committed more energy and focus to building infrastructures and utilities that bear economic value on the state.

Favourable economic policies, stable political climate and security have also played key roles in climes that were able to achieve industrialization. Keeping pace with the social contract of seeing to the peace and security as panacea for development, has found expression in Akwa Ibom’s quest to create an economically viable enclave where everyone has equal opportunity regardless of class and background.

Leading on all positives, in Akwa Ibom State, the rest of the world would agree springs the required commitment to not only grow the economy of Africa through industrialization, but ensure availability and promotion of safe medical practices to enhance longevity and grow a healthy black continent.

It is unarguable that Charles Spurgeon thought about Akwa Ibom State in Governor Udom Emmanuel’s era in his submission, “some temptations come to the industrious, but all temptations attack the idle.” The Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company made possible by the governor’s commitment to industrialization has shielded our people from the economic downturn; it has also insulated us from unhealthy medical practices.

True, the temptation of industrialization is worth braving and the gains innumerable.

Samuel Ayara writes from Ibong Otoro in Abak Local Government Area.

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FEATURES

Would posterity tick or asterisk your tenure? By Michael Bush

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In Nigeria and indeed all of the Third World, nothing carries more weight, paraphernalia and perks than a public office. That is the only reason people steal, kill or destroy to take the seat. It is an automatic ticket to sudden wealth and impunity. However, like a double-edged sword, public office in this part of the globe doesn’t only dispense carrots 24/7; it also carries a stick -a big stick!

Public office has and can deploy the power to rubbish memory. Many men and women who ran the show yesterday are today anonymous pedestrians in the power space. In spite of their stupendous wealth which itself was a trophy they helped themselves to while in office, most of these many live in abject poverty that isolation or loneliness at that height represents. The children’s children of one who abused public office know that posterity transmogrifies into karma.

Even with no books on the tenure, this natural stratagem ensures that future generations never allow someone from that lineage to smell power again. Consider how nearly impossible it is to name, of the truckloads of families that have ruled Nigeria in over a century, say one or two that should or can stage a comeback. Can anything be worse than that, to be locked out of the power loop forever just because your parent or family messed up earlier? This is one tragedy of power that mankind continues to ignore, to its chagrin.

Now is the perfect time to recalibrate the laissez faire that attends our in-office performance. People should stop toying with their name and that of their family as happens when they abuse the public trust embedded in every office. Holders should start knowing that just as their actions and inaction today would have an impact on tomorrow, future generations also reserve the right to hold their descendants accountable and responsible. We must go to every length to bequeath a worthy memory.

Public officers should carry out a no-holds-barred self evaluation, as regularly as possible. Those who at every turn tell themselves even the bitterest truth can upturn any tide. Mistakes can only be corrected when committers are smart-humble enough to come to terms with the fact that as human beings all the aces (especially when it comes to time) are not in their hands. Let’s see how the following three randomly-selected incumbents would be remembered, long after?

Starting with President Muhammadu Buhari’s, do you foresee this epitaph: here lies a tenure that changed Nigeria and Nigerians; that defended brand Nigeria at home and abroad; that left the country and her citizens better off? Through the middle, when posterity thumbs the performance of a Simon Lalong on the plateau, would it be up or down? And down south, after all the deafening cacophony what mental picture would Rivers people have of their fire-for-fire governor? Our answers can resolve the horrendous leadership challenge that has stunted the growth of our society!

As people angle to sell their souls to the devil to secure a fresh or second term or even anticipatory appointment next year, the masses need to cut a pre-emptive deal now by putting the what-would-your-tenure-be-remembered-for question. Aspirants who become candidates must tell us in black and white what they would do once they take office. We are tired of unpleasant surprises and the attendant post-tenure frustration of inability to measure performance because the holder promised nonsense or nothing. 2019 offers Nigeria a window that Nigerians must exploit, if we truly desire a better country.

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FEATURES

As Pioneer Newspaper celebrates Emmanuel Ekon

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A native of Iwukem village in Etim Ekpo local government area of Akwa Ibom State, a business guru, a pragmatic and an erudite legislator, Emmanuel Ekon is one fellow I feel, has been unfairly under-celebrated in Akwa Ibom State.

A consummate politician, a legislator par excellence, a philanthropist by calling, who has bagged variety of awards such as the Nelson Mandela Pan African Exemplary Leadership Award, is currently the member representing the people of Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency in the green chambers of the National Assembly and is the Chairman, House Committee on Local Content.

Permit me to mention that, Emmanuel Ekon’s pedigree can by no means be encapsulated within his rising political profile. He is, without an iota of a doubt, a go-getter of uncommon achievement in business, human capacity development, community service, youth empowerment and an outstanding philanthropist of his kind.

Emmanuel Ekon in his role as the Chairman House Committee on Local Content, has recorded enviable successes, having established that the local content law is strictly adhered to, by international oil companies and players in the oil and gas sector of the Nigeria economy.

As a young erudite and pragmatic legislator, he has similarly delivered sterling commitment to achieving results in a manner unambiguously establishing his status as a performer rather than a mere benchwarmer in the National Assembly.

As for his achievements as the Chairman House Committee on Local Content, they crucially signpost a paradigm shift in a representative governance and true democracy in a nation where scant attention is paid to real development of human capacity and effective service delivery by a National Assembly member. His contribution to Nigeria local content development  and the oil and gas sector of Nigeria economy at large sufficiently sets him apart as the best House of Representatives member we have ever had from Akwa Ibom State.

Emmanuel Ekon’s approach to human capacity development, youths empowerment, infrastructure development and legislative business obviously incorporates an astonishing zeal to produce results in defiance of the most profoundly contradicting odds, even to the extent of denying himself and family some pleasures for a service to constituents and the people of Akwa Ibom State at large.

The depth of patriotic stewardship Ekon has displayed in his sterling legislative business as the Chairman House committee on Local Content can easily be recommended as a template for rejuvenating sincere, committed, development oriented and purpose driven representatives governance as a tool for development in our unfortunately critically under developed nation.

This he has proven beyond all reasonable doubt that he is indeed a legislator of exceptional commitment, profound patriotism and uncommon resourcefulness. Indeed, his preparedness to regularly make personal sacrifices for the purpose of achieving results that end up benefiting all of us recommend him as a legislator in a class by himself. It is most admirable that these are rare qualities he has deployed to the benefit of the entire nation in the management of local content, a disposition that must be recommended to everyone desirous of making a mark in governance and service to the general public.

Always unassuming, never rushing to the front to be noticed and obviously too busy and focused, finding no time for self-aggrandizement, Emmanuel Ekon comes across as a man who is simply too purpose-driven to bother about hugging the limelight or blowing his own trumpet. What I would any day consider a tragedy with respect to our interface as a state with Emmanuel Ekon, is the fact that such a remarkably resourceful fellow who put smiles on the faces of Nigerian youths has clearly not been celebrated as much as he deserves nor accorded the quantum of honour he has undoubtedly earned. In fact, it is safely asserted that Ekon has most commendably effected a renaissance of leadership in Nigerian legislative business, an approach to legislative development that incontestably places him in the Hall of Fame of Nigerian legislators.

In the process, Ekon exemplified genuine leadership as service and personal sacrifice powered by a vision for the common good. He is a realist, simple but sophisticated in all facets of life, a strategist with wide experience and exposure and a compendium of knowledge on contemporary issues like human capacity development and youths empowerment.

Not withstanding a nation notorious for celebrating mediocres, while performers to whom honour is due are denied their entitlement to well-deserved glory, Ekon, since embracing politics and public life, has certain qualities nobody can ignore- courage and focus. But what is more visible in the last few years is that he has clearly been consistent in the pursuit of excellence while not allowing distraction, manufactured and sold to the public, by his traducers to distract from the goals he had set out for himself. For this reason, many elect to misunderstand him. For the same reason also, some credible organizations which go after substance and reward efforts to make positive impact on society, chose him to receive it a meritorious award.

According to the Management of Pioneer Newspaper, Ekon will today be officially conferred with an award of excellence.

It also stated that, “Ekon is being recognised for his great commitment and contribution to human capital development in Akwa Ibom State”. The letter also eulogised Ekon for “developing the capacities of young people, not only in his constituency but different parts of the state and ensuring that people have access to effective representation”. The above lines speak volumes about Ekon’s leadership in the constituency as well as his desire to ensure that no one is left behind in the quest to bequeath a better constituency.

The award is a further confirmation that despite a seeming nasty opposition, Ekon has remained focused in pushing to deliver the promises he made to his people.

Emmanuel Ekon is on a roll. He is moving on without looking back. He sure has learnt lessons on how to satisfy the desires of the people. The mandate they gave him pushes him to do more. And he will do more. I have no doubt that the Pioneer Newspaper award will open the floodgates of other such awards.

CONGRATULATIONS SIR ON THIS WELL DESERVED HONOUR!

Mr. Emmmanuel Ibok, International Coordinator of Emmanuel Ekon Support Group Writes

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FEATURES

Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem: A true Patriot of Oro Nation

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http://www.nigeriatoday.ng/2018/04/dr-emmanuel-ekuwem-a-true-patriot-of-oro-nation/

By Meflyn Anwana

There is no better time than now to celebrate a true patriot, a man whose public service credentials, intellectual prowess, stellar characteristics among others necessitated his appointment by governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state as the secretary to the state government.

Dr. Ekwuwem who was named “the most productive individual” and was conferred with the prestigious award – the National Productivity Order of Merit – NPOM by former president Olusegun Obasanjo in 2001 will be honored tomorrow by the people of Oro nation.

Tomorrow’s celebration by Oro nation is a testimony of how governor Udom Emmanuel has changed the storyline of politics in Akwa Ibom state forever, proving beyond doubts that the Oro nation is a big part of Akwa Ibom political landscape.

It is worthy of note that Ekwuwem as a technocrat  is nationally and internationally recognised as a foremost telecommunications genius and had served as a former president of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, president of Nigerian Internet Group, the immediate past board chairman of the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) and until his appointment, was the president of the Teledon Group.

As Oro Nation gets set to celebrate Dr. Ekwuwem and appreciate governor Udom Emmanuel for his magnanimity tomorrow, this will pass a strong message to young people that hard work, consistency, and commitment is vital to success.

Congratulation! Dr. Emmanuel Ekwuwem.
Of a truth Emmanuel is with us

 

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Simple ways to becoming a credible leader

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Simple ways to becoming a credible leader

By Dr Victor Udo

Credibility is vital for management at all levels.

According to Stephen Covey in a concept called “the speed of trust” A person builds trust, and when you fully trust someone, it enables you to work with them much more efficiently and productively than if you’re constantly worrying about them and assessing their abilities. In short, trust is a positive business difference maker.

Just as credibility is a key component of trust, it’s a vital element of effective leadership. When someone is viewed as highly credible, they’re seen as an asset, a valuable team player, someone you will be excited to work with.

“So how does one become fundamentally “credible”? While there are other suggestions, these are my top five based on personal experiences in the business, government and social sectors:”

RESULT ORIENTED

Management is nothing if not a results-oriented endeavor. Whatever your level – from line supervisor to CEO – you have to be able to deliver the results your organization needs to gain credibility. No results, no credibility.

BE TRANSPARENT

Plenty of employees are every bit as intelligent as their management and they spend a lot of time observing their management closely. Transparency matters, and there’s ample research supporting it. Want credibility? You’ve got to be straight with people or you’ll always be bucking the current, a trout swimming upstream.

TAKE TOUGH DECISIONS BOLDLY

 It’s easy to manage when things are going great. Not so simple when you face tough decisions. This is exactly what management is well compensated to do. 

BE CONSISTENT

Employees respond well to consistent behavior from their management. Unpredictability can be disturbing. In an uncertain world, people understandably like things they can depend on. If they can count on you, it means people believe what you say and you’re credible.

LEAD BY EXAMPLE

Again, this is basic but it’s often ignored and there’s no good alternative to it. If you don’t lead by example – if you “talk the walk but don’t walk the talk” – you’ll alienate more than motivate. Again, employees watch their management closely. If they conclude management is playing by its own set of rules, it kills credibility.

Always an invaluable leadership asset, credibility can do that for you.

About The Author

Dr. Victor Udo is the first ever Senior Special Assistant to the Akwa Ibom State Governor on Planning. He is helping the State to establish and execute a comprehensive sustainable development planning, implementation and evaluation process across various MDAs. Before joining the Akwa Ibom State Government, Dr. Udo was the manager, public policy research/development for Pepco Holdings, a fortune 500 USA company that is now part of Exelon Energy, the biggest utility company in the USA.  Under this role, he was involved in several local, state and federal government public policy issues including energy technology, social welfare and environmental regulations/legislations. Dr. Udo was appointed by the Governor of New Jersey to the Renewable Energy Taskforce where their recommendation made the State one of the leaders in renewable energy. He was subsequently appointed into the Planning Board in Delaware by the current USA Senator Chris Coons. As members of the Planning Board, they supervised the development of comprehensive plan and approval of infrastructural projects consistent with the plan, State and Federal laws.

 

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