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Friday, August 7, 2020


By Tom Fredfish

Many countries of the world are today grappling with the negative effects of Covid-19 and how to fast track their economies in the post covid-19 era. Nigeria is not left behind as the country makes daunting efforts to reopen her economy which was shut down due to the pandemic since March 2020. 

In Akwa Ibom state, governor Udom Emmanuel, quite characteristically, is working proactively and round the clock to stabilize the state's economy and forge better ideas that would diversify her economy and place it on a vantage position in the new world order.

One of the proactive steps taken by governor Emmanuel is the setting up of a committee to generate  ideas on how to jump-start the socio-economic programmes of the state and place Akwa Ibom state at an advantageous and sustainable path to growth. He has since constituted a Post COVID-19 Economic Reconstruction Committee to reconstruct the State's economic fundamentals to face the challenges of globalization and subsequently named a 5-man implementation Committee to craft modalities for the implementation of a 30-year broad and strategic plan, 2021 to 2050.

One of the 5-man implementation committee members is Mr. Udom Inoyo who according to Etokowo Owoh, a research consultant, is a "former manager of a Fortune 500 company, former Executive Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil companies in Nigeria, managed a complex and hi-tech oil and gas conglomerate and is highly respected internationally, even by his most ardent critics, as a turnaround manager."

Strangely, while Mr. Inoyo, in conjunction with other compatriots, is busy puting his vast experience to use in the post COVID-19 implementation Committee - going about the length and breadth of the state - working round the clock to ensure that the committee headed by Prof. Akpan Ekpo implements some of her lofty recommendations, some media hirelings appear to pride themselves infamously by publishing unbelievably false banner headlines that, the same Mr. Inoyo who is accurately equipped with intimate and deep knowledge about the challenges and perculiarities of his people in Akwa Ibom, has employed the services of an imaginary Consultant Economist with the University of Oxford. How comical!

As strange as the title "Consultant Economist" would sound, the story is not only laughable, but an irony of unimaginable proportion. This is based on the fact that, Inoyo who has not declared any intention to run for any political office, and who is hundred percent in tandem with the completion agenda of governor Udom Emmanuel will not elicit the services of a foreigner who does not know the state beyond her name to write a manifesto for Akwa Ibom people. Such stories are better left to rot in the thrashbin. 

The intention of the perveyors of that false story is well known and shamelessly designed to paint Inoyo as not being in tune with governor Emmanuel's completion agenda; cloak him in an elitist garment and portray him as being out of touch with the grassroot have, as usual, failed woefully. Not a handful of persons will believe that Inoyo, who has invested huge personal resources in education through his Inoyo Toro Foundation will be insensitive not to engage the people whose lives his foundation has had tremendous impact on, if he ever needed to.

The Inoyo we know doesn't wage a war against the mountains of unintelligible promoters of gobbledygook conjectured to tarnish his image through sensational headlines; he is the type that will only pray for the redemptiveness of the vendors of falsehood. 

 _Dr. Tom FredFish is a Journalist and lecturer at the International Institute of journalism, Uyo_

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