Uncategorized

Federal Government to construct Aba – Ikot Ekpene road next year according to Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel

Posted on

 

By Tom Okure, Ph.D.

Mr.  Udom Emmanuel, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State (AKS) indicates that the Nigerian Federal Government has included the construction of Aba, Ikot Ekpene and Calabar Road in its budget plans and that the road would soon be repaired in the coming year. The governor recently made the remarks while addressing the people of Ikot Ekpene and Essien Udim during the Silver Jubilee celebration of Christ the King Parish church in Odoro Ikot in Essien Udim Local Government Area.

Gov Emmanuel in Essien Udim_1
Gov. Udom Emmanuel during the Silver Jubilee celebration of Christ the King Parish Church in Essien Udim LGA

According to Governor Udom Emmanuel:

“I have applied to the Federal Government to hand over the road traversing Aba, Ikot Ekpene and Calabar to enable me partner a Private investor who will repair the road and create toll gate to recover the investment. Instead of granting the application the Federal Government announced that the road has been captured in next year’s budget and has been earmarked for construction so I am calling for understanding as the road would soon be repaired as promised by the Central Government”

The Governor also denounced the loss of lives and properties in Ikot Ineme community due to the persistent communal clashes associated with disputed lands in the area and indicated that the Akwa Ibom State government has taken possession of the disputed land for agricultural purpose. He indicated that the government will not tolerate lawlessness in the community and urged Community Stakeholders to report crisis situations to the government for prompt intervention.

Gov Emmanuel in Essien Udim_2

During the occasion, the Governor also drew the attention of the church to the rising level of moral decadence in society and urged the church to preach words of “salvation, morality as well as reinvent evangelism to direct the minds of the people towards the fear of God.”

Read More…Link:

Federal Govt. to construct Aba-Ikot Ekpene road next year, Gov. Udom Emmanuel

 

Nigerian 2014 Centenary Celebration and 100 Fascinating Facts about Nigeria

Posted on Updated on

By Tom Okure, Ph.D
August 25, 2016

Back in 1984, a Nigerian did not require a Travel Visa to visit the United Kingdom (UK) and during the military regime headed by Babangida in 1985, the US dollar exchanged for or was equivalent to 90 Nigerian kobo. Today (August 25, 2016) one US dollar is exchanged for 340 Naira (Government exchange rate) to 402 Naira (Parallel or black market rate in Lagos, Nigeria).

Nigeria’s Centenary celebration in 2014 witnessed a flurry of activities and events to celebrate Nigeria’s existence as a nation from January 1914 to January 2014. The celebrations included the announcement of plans to develop a centenary city, military parades, special legislative sessions, grand ceremonies with music and fireworks, rallies in Nigerian State capitals and Abuja the federal capital, special prayers for Nigeria by both Christians and Muslims.

Centenary Celebrations_Pics-2

There were exhibitions and symposia which included youth and children programs; awards and honors ceremonies recognizing prominent Nigerians; a special centenary pageant and centenary scholarships and academic recognition event; there were also international trade and investment shows promoting Nigeria’s trade and economic potential to gobal investors etc.
Centenary Celebrations_Pics-3During the celebrations, Important books and news paper articles were published and facts complied highlighting interesting facts about Nigeria and its political, social and economy history. This celebration was considered necessary by Nigerian policy makers to highlight where Nigeria began as a nation and where it was heading in its quest to become one of the top twenty economies in the world.

Take for example, the grandiose plan to build a Centenary city. It was justified according to the then Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator Pius Anyim as essential “to serve as a political and economic tool for securing foreign investment.” Nigerian President Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan at the time stated that “The idea is to get a better city than the present Abuja where people will not need to provide basic amenities by themselves.”

One of the benefits of the Centenary celebrations is the fact that it created an opportunity for Nigeria’s political leaders and scholars etc. to focus and carefully reflect on Nigeria’s accomplishments and historical facts.  According to a statement made by the Board appointed to develop the Centenary city:

“The Centenary City is expected to signpost the Nigeria of the future, leveraging world class urban development as a tool for securing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and signaling a new economic awakening across the entire country. By the end of its 10-year development Lifecycle, this revolutionary and expansive urbanization project is expected to create over 55,000 well-paying jobs, attract over half a million visitors daily and accommodate a residential population of about 150,000 people. The Centenary City is envisioned as a business, leisure and tourism destination, driven by the Private Sector. The structure of the City is inspired by other Model cities across the globe that are insulated from the vicissitudes of policies and broken infrastructure that characterize the poorly run cities around them.”

Centenary Celebrations_Pics-1

From all evidence, the Centenary City project appears to be progressing slowing towards its planned objective. Vital infrastructural construction is alleged to be progressing steadily in the Abuja Centenary City, Nigeria’s City of the future. Upon completion, this city is expected to generate over 350,000 jobs. In a recent briefing to President Buhari of Nigeria on the status of the project by the Board, the president

“thanked the Board and management for their project update visitation , and praised the Centenary City’s main development partners from the United Arab Emirates for having enough confidence in Nigeria to agree to invest about $18.5 billion in the project. He was optimistic that the skills, expertise and vast experience that would be brought into Nigeria to build the Centenary City on the Dubai model, would also be of immense benefit to Nigeria.”

An interesting article by Dr. Peregrino Brimah (published in Every Nigerian Do Something) revealed an interesting set of 100 facts about Nigeria which is fascinating to read.

Below are excerpts from Dr. Peregrino Brimah article entitled “100 Years and 100 Interesting Facts about Nigeria”

Did You Know That:

  • Nigeria has 5 of the 10 richest pastors in the entire world, with net worth’s according to Forbes, from $10-150 million. They are Pastors, David Oyedepo, E. A. Adeboye, Chris Oyakhilome, Mathew Ashimolowo and Temitope Joshua.

Did You also know also that …….

  • Nigeria has the highest paid legislators in the entire world.
  • Nigerians are 1/5th the total population of Black Africa.
  • Nigeria’s population was just 16 million in 1911. It is projected to hit 444 million by 2050, surpassing the US and becoming the 4th largest in the world.
  • According to current demographics, after Hausa-Fulani (29%), Yoruba (21%), Igbo (18%) and Ijaw (10%) comes Kanuri (4%) and then Ibibio (3.5%) and Tiv (2.5%).
  • Discovered in 1928, Nigeria’s North and North Central region hosts West Africa’s oldest civilization; the Nok, which flourished between 1000 BC and 300 BC. {Nok sculptures recently went on display disappointingly in Germany (not Africa).}
  • The Obasanjo military regime converted Nigeria from a Parliamentary system to a Presidential system of government.
  • Cameroon was an administrative part of Nigeria in 1945, hence the NCNC party (National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons). Towards independence the UN mandated British held former German territory, south Cameroon opted to join French Cameroon and not Nigeria.
  • The 2006 Census found Nigerians to be the highest educated ethnic or racial group in America.
  • Nigeria in 2013 was rated the worst country to be born based on welfare and prosperity projection.
  • Akwa Ibom: King Jaja of Opobo (1821–1891) founded Opobo city-state in 1867 and shipped palm oil to Britain independently of British middle men.
  • Cross River State: The Ejagham (Ekoi) people in the Southeast are believed to have originated the Nsibidi (Nsibiri) writing system which later spread to the Efik, Igbo, Ibibio, Efut, Banyang and Annag peoples.
  • There are several Nigerian officials in the government of English speaking The Gambia.
    Aliko Dangote funded Presidents Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan’s 4th republic campaigns. Buhari rejected funding from Dangote.

For a full list of 100 Years and 100 Interesting Facts about Nigeria by Dr. Peregrino Brimah, click on the link below:

100 years and 100 interesting facts about nigeria

Note: Nigeria’s century compilation was created as a historical snapshot of peculiar events, for our benefit and that of Nigeria’s younger generations. It was compiled to the best of our ability and influenced by our learning, recollection and prejudices. We invite Nigerians to collect and share with us more important and unique events that define 100 years of Nigeria. Resources utilized here can be found on ENDS.ng.
To read and learn more about Nigeria’s Centenary celebrations and the events that took place click on the link below:

Nigeria Centenary Celebration
_________________________________

All rights reserved by Dr. Tom Okure, CEO of Inter-Continental Mgt. Systems, Inc (ICMS, Inc). The information included in this publication may not be used, reproduced, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written permission of ICMS, Inc. 

Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State Nigeria

Posted on Updated on

By Tom Okure, Ph.D
(Dr. Okure is CEO of ICMS,Inc and a Nigerian indigene based in the USA.
Dr. Okure is a Writer, Commentator, Public Policy and Economic Development Consultant/Advisor)
Date: August 12, 2016

The Akwa Ibom State Government signed a management agreement with Starwood Hotels in 2014 to manage a (4 Star) Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Ikot Ekpene built under contract for the government by Renaissance Construction. In 2015 a large portion of construction work was finished and officially opened by the departing Godswill Akpabio’s administration, even though the hotel was not fully ready and operational.

 

ICMSINC_IMG_IK EK RoundAbout _2015-Copyrighted_1
Evening view of Ikot Ekpene City Center with Four Points Hotel in the background

Starwood Hotels, the designated manager of this hotel states that the Hotel will be fully open and operational by April of 2017. Starwood Hotels has experience managing hotels in Akwa Ibom State as it also manages the well renowned Le Méridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort in Uyo. Four Points amenities include a banquet hall, spa, meeting rooms, restaurants indoor and outdoor, swimming pool, tennis courts, club lounge and even a roof terrace.

AkwaIbomStatePics3
Four Points by Sheraton, Ikot Ekpene during constrction

Four Points by Sheraton Hotel is located adjacent to Ikot Ekpene City Center Plaza that was commissioned by the State government during the Silver Jubilee celebrations in the state. It is the tallest building in Ikot Ekpene city and an imposing structure which can be seen from many miles from the city center. It is a definite enhancement to the landscape of the city.

The hotel is situated at the old site of Ikot Ekpene federal prison which was located in the heart of the city. The federal prison was demolished and relocated out of town to make room for the Four Point hotel which the city planners believe was essential to accord the ancient town of Ikot Ekpene a befitting image, facelift and boost it as a tourist destination enhancement within Nigeria deserving of its status as the first experimental local government area created by the British colonial government in Nigeria and West Africa.

IK EK Four Points By Sheraton-1
Ikot Ekpene Four Points by Sheraton

Ikot Ekpene is recognized as a commerce center and is reputable in the production and exportation of a variety of agricultural products including  palm products such as palm oil, kernels, raffia and the cultivation of a variety of food crops likes yams, cassava, and corn.

Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Ikot Ekpene Highlights

Location: Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom;
Keys: 144 Standard Rooms, 2 Presidential Suites and 16 Regular Suites;
Total Gross Floor Area: 13,700m2;
Floors: 12;
Contractors: Renaissance Construction;
Expected Opening: April 2017

Read More: Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Ikot Ekpene

Congratulations to Nigeria’s RIO Olympics men’s soccer team

Posted on Updated on

Nigeria’s Olympics men’s soccer team astonished everyone with a surprising win over Japan 5-4 in Manaus on Thursday shortly upon arriving in Brazil following a difficult and worrisome mix-up in their travel plans to the ROI Olympics. Watch video below:

Nigeria’s ROI Olympic men’s soccer team

140 militants camps in the border towns of Ogun and Lagos destroyed by military

Posted on

Nigerian soldiers from 174 Battalion in Ikorodu and Nigerian Navy Special Boat Service (SBS) personel conducted ground operations yesterday designed to clear of creeks of Arepo, Isawo etc of militants and criminals including vandals and oil thieves. Read more:…..140 militants camps in the border towns of Ogun and Lagos have been destroyed.

Rio 2016 Olympics Action Guide

Posted on Updated on

If you are planning to go to Rio 2016 Olympics,… This BBC sport article will guide you to all the olympics action you want to see.

Rio 2016 Olympic Action Guide

 

The Dark Side of Ikorok [The Traditional Annang Communication Drum]

Posted on

The Dark Side of Ikorok [The Traditional Annang Communication Drum]
By Tom Okure, Ph.D
Dated July 17, 2016

The manufacture of Ikorok [the drum] for many Annang clan heads (Chiefs) typically began by sending a selected individual to search the clan forests to find a big tree of hard wood. When such a tree was found, laborers were sent from surrounding villages to assist in the work of cutting the tree down and removing it to the place where the drum would be utilized. Each village would send a representative wood carver. They would carve on the drum, figures of all the animals they could remember they had ever seen and the figures of important village people on the drum. The carving work on the drum was very hard and was known to take up to three years in some cases.

Upon completion of the Ikorok drum, a great feast would be held in which all the villagers were invited to join. During the feast, a sacrifice would be made so that the drum should be set apart for its special work. In Ukana clan, two men were killed and their heads placed one at each end of the drum. So many other animals would also be sacrificed on that day for the Ikorok drum.

Ikorok - Annang Messaging Drum2
IKorok Drum – The Traditional Annang Communication Drum

During the feasting, the villagers would be told that they must run to the drum at once when they heard the sound or big voice of the mysterious and magical drum. The Ikorok drum is cut out of the tree in the form of a woman with head and legs.

During the yam harvest, after the seed-yams have been selected and stored, the Ikorok drum was beaten and there would be a lot of feasting. Thousands of yams would be placed in an enclosure and put together in rows of twenty upright and fifty rows horizontal. Two men were always killed and their bodies were hung at each end of the enclosure. No one was allowed to go near the place of the sacrifice until the flesh on the sacrificed individuals was gone from their bones. The historical significance of this sacrifice was to warn would be yam and farm thieves. During the next planting season, three men would be caught and sacrificed and the drum was beaten. Two of the men were sacrificed for Ikorok [the drum] and the third person was sacrificed for the seed-yams. The body of the sacrificed third person was cut into pieces and the blood sprinkled on the yams before they were planted.