AKWA IBOM STATE COMMISSIONER FOR FINANCE: A BRIDGE BUILDER

By Rev’d Richard Peters

One man that I came to discover how accommodating he is, is Mr. Linus Nkan, the commissioner of finance, one of the strong forces moving and interpreting the vision of Governor Udom Emmanuel. His efforts in always engaging the people, in explaining the situations of things, as it regards the financial sector of the state.

Since assumption of office, the Finance Boss has showed that, he is fit to manage the ministry effectively, by giving the people the proper information than the ones that they get through a third party, which always mislead the public on payment of salaries, pensions etc.

A man who came into the Akwa Ibom State Exco, with an intimidating profile, couple with his several years of working experience, One who is a Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN),an associate member of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (ACITN),holds an MBA Master in Business Administration .

The day i went through the profile of Mr. Linus Nkan, it beats my imagination how he could still remain this humble, a social mixer with high intellectual ability. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting, worked at Zenith Bank PLC, between 1997 – July, 2015. While at Zenith Bank, he served as Assistant General Manager/Zonal Head, Akwa Ibom, Supervising 6 Branches and 4 Cash Offices (2014 – July, 2015). Between 2013 – 2014, he was Assistant General Manager/Branch Head, Aka road Branch, Uyo. From 2006-2013, he was Manager/Branch Head, Eket Branch. From 2001 – 2006, he was Head of Operation , Akure and Uyo Branches. From 2000 – 2001, he was Head of Operations, Warri Branch. From 1997-2000, Mr Nkang worked at the Internal Control & Audit Department Zenith Bank Head Office, Lagos.

Indeed the Commissioner is a model so many people should emulate, Mr. Nkan came into Government as a professional with expertise, not an opportunist, that is why his people of Ibesikpo Asutan respects him, and said that he is a leader worthy of emulating.

The commissioner is always at his best, to give details information about his ministry. Few months ago when the tension was high as a result of the misleading information by the opposition on how the state government is mismanaging the funds sent to the state, it was the Commissioner who came out and gave clear explanation to the people and the agents of falsehood were pushed aside by the truth.

In one of his media chats, he confirmed that the State government had received the second part of the Paris Club Refund of N10 billion after the first one was also received, maintaining that the funds were barely enough to settle indebtedness and commitment of government, that it would be used to pay salaries of workers, pension of which it was used for. He was quoted to have said ” The Governor has given direction that we use the funds to pay salaries and to the extent that it can cover, also pay pensions”

The issues on the first refund of 14.5billion was explained better by the commissioner in his media chats, except for those who do not want to understand, but it is self explanatory. The Commissioner who admitted that there were pressure on the government on this Refund, stated that ,the State House of Assembly had captured it as strategic revenue for 2017, and was properly appropriated.

On the area of community development, the commissioner has assisted his people in so many ways, giving out funds for men and women to do business, paying school fees for students, sponsoring people on skill acquisition, and maintaining a high level relationship with the people, by bringing everybody together, work together in the interest of the people of Ibesikpo Asutan and Akwa Ibom State.

His leadership strength was seen from the build up of the plans for the just concluded local government election, in the local government, and how his goodwill brought the people together amidst political tension and crisis that rocked the local government.

When the issues regarding the zoning and the political leadership tussle became serious early this year, where it was said that the zoning the former commissioner, Prince Uwem Ita Etuk did ,on the local government was a bad one,and his continued desire to still maintain the political leadership power of the area, Mr. Nkan came in as a bridge builder, to make peace and return power to the people by supporting Hon. Sylvester George, who is currently the chairman of Ibesikpo Asutan local government.

When the likes of Engr. Eduok Eduok,who wanted the position of the chairman to be zoned to ward2 for him to stand the election,saw that the commissioner has step into the crisis, decided to give peace a chance and worked with the commissioner for the successful outcome of the December 2 local government election, with no blood shed, no fighting in Ibesikpo, as is always the case in the past.

The Commissioner took upon himself to call meetings upon meetings, just to ensure that peace return to the area, in one one his meetings, a motion to endorsed Governor Udom for 2019 was moved by Engr. Eduok Eduok, and seconded by Hon. Aniekan Uko, and was agreed by all, Rt. Hon. T. O. Akpan, others gave in their voices, and today, aside what a few opposition forces are speculating, peace has return to Ibesikpo Asutan PDP, because of the fact the commissioner decided to bring all together and remind them that, there is brotherhood after politics, and there was Ibesikpo Asutan before the coming of party politics and interest.

Rev Richard Peters
Writes in from Eket.

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