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False Report About Gov Akpabio by Usoro I. Usoro


False report about Gov Akpabio

We have come across a news item entitled:“Gubernatorial Corruption: Wammako, Uduaghan and Akpabio being monitored for graft” in which Chief Godswill Akpabio was mentioned. Ordinarily, given the confusion of the reporter and the deceit inherent in the supposed “intelligence report”, we probably would not have bothered to react; except for the fact that falsehood often repeated could be misconstrued as truth.

The said story based on obviously dubious“intelligence report” started by naming the three states under investigation as Sokoto, Delta and Cross River (sic). Although the story was supposedly from “a reliable source who is familiar with the intelligence reports” – whatever that means – it is clear that given the confusion, it could not have been Governor Akpabio that was meant to be mentioned there. However, since the governor was inadvertently mentioned, may I state unequivocally that Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State is not under any known probe! Rather, he has been roundly commended for turning Akwa Ibom State around for the better in just seven months.

Let us tackle the allegations accordingly:

(1)     According to Sahara reporters, “The intelligence reports accuse him of contract inflation”. However, even an elementary school pupil can see that this allegation lacks bases. To accuse a governor of“contract inflation”, there must be a corresponding analysis of the said contract and the correct value stipulated – based on expert considerations like bill of quantities, etc.


Gov Akpabio  as a lawyer has unparallel regard for due process. Again and again, he has said his administration  is a corrective one. The reason many old politicians hate him today is because he has refused to allow them to do “business as usual” with state funds. He insists on due diligence and proper monitoring of all projects to ensure realization of completion dates. Before any contract is awarded, it if first advertised and tenders received and considered. Experience and ability to deliver are also viewed. Then, everything is exhaustively discussed at the Exco meeting, with contributions taken from all the members before a decision is taken. Thus, there is no room for fraudulent practice.

Indeed, Akpabio, has constantly reminded  his commissioners and aides that in these days when governors leave offices to prison, he would rather go home than prison. Such a man would rather be given to meticulous, transparent processes in governance. Such a man can not accused of contract inflation unless somebody produces a convincing detail of what the project should be worth.

(2)     Saharareporters: “He is also cited for demanding $10 million kickback from a U.S.-based company that bid to set up a refinery in the state”.

Another falsehood! We presume that by “a US-based company” the reporter was talking about the promoters of Amakpe Refinery. If that is the case, there is need for a little education here.

When Chief Akpabio assumed office on May, 29 2007, there was a case in court already, involving Amakpe Refinery and Akwa Ibom State Government. Originally, the Government, under Arch Obong Victor Attah, had entered into an agreement with the Amakpe promoters. That led to the government advancing them $US10million to initiate the processes of bringing the refinery into reality. The promoters were then to raise money from EXIM Bank. But they never did. Rather, they converted the state government’s money into 20 percent shares equity; a situation which the government felt uncomfortable about and went to court.

Akpabio inherited that case. But convinced that the refinery would bring development to the state and provide jobs for the teaming population of Akwa Ibom/Nigerian youths, he entered a fresh negotiation with the Amakpe REfinery. The result was that the state recovered about $US3.5 million; while the rest are to be converted to equity shares for the state. Where then did Akpabio demand “$10million kickback”?

(3)     Saharareporters: “Governor Akpabio is also accused of wastage of state resources in several international trips that had no bearing on state matters”.

Please note: Chief Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has not traveled out of the country more than twice since he assumed office as Governor. The first trip was when he attended a Gulf of Guinea conference in Holland; which ultimately had to do with the Niger Delta question. The second trip was when he went to New York to renegotiate terms of contract engagement with DynCorp, the company handling the construction of Ibom Airport.

Again, note that when Akpabio resumed office, about 90 per cent of the contract sum had been paid but the work on ground was not up to 20 per cent. The terms of the previous contract made it possible for the company to collect a stipulated amount of money every three months without any process of monitoring to ensure what it was used for.


It is worthy of note that Gov Akpabio, a prudent manager of resources, postponed his trip to New York for the DynCorp arrangement to coincide with the time Samuel Peter, “the Nigerian Nightmare” for fighting for the WBC title. Recall that it took Akpabio’s patriotism for Nigerian to watch that match live. It was also his presence and constant encouragement – as confessed by Peter himself - that spur the Akwa Ibom son to win the title.

(4)     Saharareporters: “The document … noted that the governor... has  brought in some Port Harcourt-based contractors with whom he inflates state contracts”. Again, the latest allegation lacks merit; bases and facts. IN fact, it does not make sense. If a governor wants to inflate contract sum, he doesn’t need to bring in a company from Port Harcourt before he can do that. And for the avoidance of doubt, Akpabio has brought in a number of world class companies like Julius Berger, Stemco, Setraco, etc to handle the numerous road projects in the state. However, many other companies have been attracted by his laudable policies; the entrenchment of peace and security in the state, which act as a panacea for development. For instance, as at the last count, companies like CCC; Statoil Hydra; Sentrica; etc have all berth on Akwa Ibom shores for one private sector driven project or another.

Thus, a governor who has awarded road contracts – some of them Federal roads - of about 300 kilometres at the cost of about N77.4 billion can not be said to have inflated costs. Even a cynic knows that the cost of road construction in the Niger Delta is double what obtains in other parts of the country. So, a governor who is thus prudent deserves commendation.


By Usoro I. Usoro
Usoro I. Usoro, Chief Press Secretary to Governor
Godswill Akpabio


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