Govs Applaud Former UNIUYO VC as He Retires

By Paulinus Nta, Akwa Ibom

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

The lecture, with the theme “Nigeria: the Economics of Potentials and the Potentials in Economics’, hosted by the Professor Akpan Hogan Ekpo Centre for Public Policy at the University of Uyo, was held in the 1000-seater university auditorium

In his message, Governor Umo Eno described Professor Ekpo’s 70 years as deserving of celebration and praised his dedication to academic excellence and efforts to eradicate corruption, cultism, and other vices from the University of Uyo community.

Governor Eno also commended the meritorious service of the accomplished economist at various institutions across Nigeria and the world, describing him as an honorable Akwa Ibom ambassador and a significant asset to the nation and the global community.

The governor also praised University of Uyo’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Nyaudo Ndaeyo, for initiating the Valedictory Lecture to honour such a distinguished academic as Professor Ekpo upon his retirement from the institution.

He directed the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Works, Professor Eno Ibanga, to begin constructing internal roads leading to the campus auditorium and the Ikot Obio Eka-Ikot Ibok road, which connects Professor Akpan Ekpo’s Southern Iman Ward II community to Mbioto, Etinan Local Government Area.

“The road I used to get to the University of Uyo is in poor condition. I cannot visit this university without making a positive impact.

The Commissioner of Works will come and see you. Yes, it is a Federal University, but it is located in Uyo, and the majority of students and staff here are from Akwa Ibom State. So whatever we do here benefits our people,” Governor Eno stated.

He continued, “Since I took office, you have sent me several suggestions and papers, analysing our blueprint and providing valuable insights.

“I am surprised that the road to your village was not improved, and you didn’t notify me about it. These are selfless people.

“Don’t worry, the Honourable Commissioner of Works is here. He is a professor and former Vice Chancellor. His team will inspect that road. We must properly honour those who have served our state.”

Anambra State Governor, Professor Charles Soludo, also congratulated Professor Ekpo on his triple celebration, describing their 36-year friendship as impactful.

He recalled their various collaborations, including the African Economic Consortium in Nairobi, Kenya, the African Institute for Applied Economics in Enugu State, the Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management. Governor Soludo affirmed that Professor Ekpo is an asset to Nigeria and the world.

Dr. Asikpo Essien Ibok, Managing Director of Vika Farms Limited and former lecturer at the University of Uyo’s Department of Economics, declared the lecture open.

He described the event as a worthy celebration of an academic icon whose track record of excellence earned him the Dean’s Honour Roll scholarship during his undergraduate days.

Former Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Umanah Okon Umanah, who co-chaired the occasion, supported the chairman’s accolades and expressed optimism that Professor Ekpo’s legacies would endure.

About Funmilayo Ojo

Funmilayo Ojo is a Mass Communication Graduate. She is a prolific writer and a journalist who is gifted in Media works. She is also a business tycoon. She is currently the Regional Editor, of Southwest National Telescope Newspaper. She is happily married to Femi and they are blessed with lovely kids. Email: sweditor@nationaltelescope.com

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