“Sustainable development requires human ingenuity and people are the most important resource” – Dan Shectman
At the twilight of 2017 deeming to the threshold of a new year, 2018, the people of Mkpat Enin Local Government Area elected for themselves a grassroot government Executive just as it were in the 31 Local Government Areas across Akwa Ibom state.
For Mkpat Enin people, the elections were not just a usual political ritual, it was a rare opportunity offered them to quench their thirst for progressive leadership, little wonder the people approached the polls as a matter of destiny, going for a candidate whose personal profile and campaign manifesto were unequivocally people oriented and development centered.
Beyond tagging his campaign slogan as PUTTING THE PEOPLE FIRST, Hon. Ekanem Brown, the Executive Chairman of Mkpat Enin LGA presented to the people a workable development blueprint that was undeniably peculiar to the economic and developmental peculiarity of the people he was seeking to govern, hence the people adopted him and his good deal.
Immediately he was sworn in on 7the December 2017 by Governor Udom Emmanuel, he assembled the secretariat workers and informed them that a new era has birthed proving it by providing the enabling environment for service.
Three boreholes were installed to supply water to the council secretariat and neighbouring communities, public power supply was reconnected to the council secretariat in addition to a 40KVA alternative power plant revitalized to serve all the offices within the council secretariat after over 6years of total black out.
This was a clear departure from the culture of powering only the Chairman’s office with a small generator as it were.
Despite economic challenges, the council boss has taken some of the boldest steps in the history of Local Government administration in Akwa Ibom state by engaging in massive industrialization and wealth creation through the introduction of irrigation/mechanized agricultural programme that is targeting the cultivation of a variety of cash crops on 2000 hectares of land. This project has kicked off with a 10 hectare demonstration farm which has already employed 15 indigenes, and at harvest will give the Local Government about 5million naira in just 45days.
Another astonishing feat of Hon. Brown which drew the attention of the state and Federal Government to Mkpat Enin is his decision to invest in a shoe factory project which was commissioned by Gov. Udom Emmanuel during his 100days in office celebration recently.
At the commissioning, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Emmanuel Ekuwem who represented the Governor viewed Hon. Brown’s achievements in the light of unusual application of administrative and managerial savvy in Local Government administration.
A shoe factory completed, reequipped and provided with a 165KVA generating plant and transmission line within just 100days in office was unveiled in an event attended by almost half of the members of the State Executive Council.
The factory is the most equipped shoe factory in the Niger Delta region with capacity to produce 1000 shoes of all types weekly.
This is to say that instead of squandering what remains after salary payments from the monthly allocation to his Local Government, he creatively reinvests the balance in ventures aimed at generating more revenue to the third tier government.
Not done yet, 10 rural roads have been graded; the primary health sector has also received a boost with the recent restoration of both public and alternative electric power supply and water to Mkpat Enin Urban health centre after years of abandonment, in addition to donating food, relieve materials and drugs to people with health challenges in Ibiaku ward 2.
Political inclusion is another area the council boss has scored excellently. This is the first time in recent history of the area that the Council Chairman, State Commissioner and House of Assembly Representative are working in sync devoid of factions, to the good of the people. This is due to the hosting of regular enlarged stakeholders meetings plus the openness and boundless political inclusiveness adopted by him to create a healthy political atmosphere for development.
Even the women of the area have regained their voices, as the Chairman, being a responsible family man, has his wife the first lady, Mrs. Ima-Abasi Ekanem Brown who is an astute management expert, by his side to pilot the affairs of the women. Little wonder that the women of the area, led by the first lady recently won multiple prizes at the International Women’s Day celebration at the state capital. A feat that has never been recorded in the history of Mkpat Enin LGA.
Of course, the youths are the primary beneficiaries of all the projects and initiatives of the administration. At least 50 youths have been gainfully engaged directly while more are indirect beneficiaries of the opportunities inherent in the programmes of the administration.
Futuristically, Hon. Brown intends to take advantage of the steady power supply expected in the area at the commissioning of Ekim power substation to create a micro industrial cluster that will provide support services and raw materials to the coconut refinery whilst taking advantage of their very fertile soil to create an emerging food and fruits basket for the state and beyond.
Also in the pipeline is a plan to build a fruit village, create a tourism calendar and launch Mkpat Enin LGA to the world.
In just 100days in office, Hon. Ekanem Brown has set Mkpat Enin LGA on the path of sustainable economic and political prosperity, and most importantly laid a long term development plan that could transform the area from a transit corridor to an urban destination in South-South Nigeria to the benefit of his people.
#AniediUkoenang is a Journalist and Public Affairs Commentator from Mkpat Enin
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