By Paul Sylvester
“Akwa Ibom is not a natural person, it is made up of people, so if we say are celebrating the birthday of Akwa Ibom, we are in fact saying that we are celebrating the birthday of the people of Akwa Ibom State.”
– Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
(At the event of Akwa Ibom State 32nd anniversary thanksgiving service – 22:09:2019)
As it is with the human composition of a given society, the activities of individuals in and of a place, cumulatively define the attributes of such place. Here, celebrating a place as in VP Osinbajo’s view, imply celebrating the people of the place.
In the spotlight of Akwa Ibom’s 32nd anniversary as a state; in the perspective of Akwa Ibom’s contemporary profile as a state with economically exceptional people and in view to celebrate industrial feats by indigenes, this piece sets out to celebrate the state by celebrating the brain behind a leading business brand in the state, as well as the brand.
Among other things, in celebrating the people of Akwa Ibom, it is only fair to celebrate an Uyo born entrepreneur, Mr Ime Uwah, through his business brand, Eni Group, a conglomerate of businesses, that has grown constantly through distinctive innovations and historic trends for almost a decade.
From Eni Farms, to Eni Stores, Eni Garden and Eni Food, Uwah’s enterprise ingenuity has in no small way, contributed to the private sector growth index in Akwa Ibom State, attracting external concerns to the state. This, manifest in various ways, has been seen in human capital development, labour market efficiency, employment growth and consumer need satisfaction.
For about three years now, Eni Farms alone has become more than just an agro investment, but a business research model and training center. This explains the purpose of visits to the farm by delegates from the National Defence College (NDC), National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) and other corporate bodies who at different occasions checked in to the mega farm for fact finding purposes. On this, Mr Ime Uwah earned a Medal of Honor from NDC, with special commendation from Brigadier General A. E. Attu of National Defence College. Again, as the farm constantly open its doors to students of agriculture for Industrial Attachment within and outside the state, Eni Farms render a solution to the pressing concern of hands-on knowledge of agro business and food production.
Worthy of specific note is the over 200 direct job creation and numerous indirect jobs available at the instance of Eni Group. The perspective here is viewed as an Akwa Ibom citizen contributing to reduction of the unemployment index in Akwa Ibom State. Seen too in the compliance with global standards of labour policies vis: employee welfare and job security, Uwah through his company has stamped a good signature in the desirable cost of living in this clime, more than enough reason to celebrate him.
Like the Christians’ holy book postulate that a good name is better than money, one can boldly hold that the name, Ime Uwah, is worth more than money; that the name is mark of hard work and efficiency and that the name means well for Akwa Ibom State, having attracted good records and visitors for productive purposes. The name, like Akwa Ibom, represents goodwill.
Referring back to VP Osinbajo’s idea of celebrating Akwa Ibom State at 32 and given the glaring ground to celebrate one of the state’s finest young economic leader, one cannot, but agree that with the likes of Ime Uwah, Akwa Ibom worth celebrating and in fact moving forward. In all, a toast to Akwa Ibom, a toast to Ime Uwah, is a toast to self.
Congratulations Akwa Ibom!