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Friday, 17 February 2012


Introduction: A brief historical background of Senator Liyel Imoke.

Senator Liyel Imoke was born on July 10, 1961 at the University College Hospital, Ibadan in the then Western Region of Nigeria. A native of Itigidi. His father, Late Dr. Samuel Imoke was a medical Doctor and first generation politician who played an instrumental role in Nigeria’s nationalist struggle, eventually becoming a cabinet minister and leader of parliament in the former Easter region. His mother, Mrs. Comfort Imoke is a retired nurse/midwife practitioner, and a pioneer community and public health delivery expert.

Senator Imoke had his early education in a number of primary schools, for his secondary education, which he would complete as a member of the pioneer class of 1977 at the Federal Government College, Enugu.

Subsequently, he enrolled for a Bachelors degree in International Relations (major) and Economic (minor) at the University of Maryland, College Park in the United States. He graduated in 1982, and went on to study Law at University of Buckingham, England, earning an LLB degree in 1985. He proceeded for a masters in Law at the American University in Washington D.C. He completed his legal training at the Nigerian Law School, in 1988.

Imoke ventured into business, with interests in oil and gas, construction, communication, merchandizing and management consultancy. As his defines as a technocrat evolved, conviction and destiny compelled him into politics. In 1992, aged 30, he was elected a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, becoming the youngest legislator in the history of The Senator.

His political credentials were substantiated and he was thrust to national prominence, when he was appointed a Special Adviser on public utilities by President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999. He also served as Executive chairman of the special Board charged with responsibility for the winding down of oil minerals producing Areas Development Commission OMPADEC. He also served as chairman of Technical Board of the National Election Power Authority (NEPA).
In 2003, Senator Imoke was appointed Nigeria’s Minister of Power and Steel-at a point, doubling as Minister of Education. As minister of Power and Steel, Imoke Comprehensive reforms in the power sector including the management of the passage of the Electric Power Reform Bill in 2005, which led to the establishment of the Nigerian Energy Regulatory Commission (NERC) the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the unbundling of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). Also under Imoke’s leadership, the ministry devised, and began the implementation of a 25 year national energy development plan, embarking on the largest power programme in the world at the time-the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP).

Senator Imoke was elected Governor of Cross River state on April 14, 2007, in a landslide. The election was annulled by an Election Appeal Tribunal in July 2008, which necessited are-run on August 23rd of the same year. Governor Imoke’s previous victory was validated as he won, again with a landslide.

Governor Liyel Imoke has received many awards, including the Thisday Award as Best Governor in Tourism Development for 2008.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to humanity, Senator Imoke was awarded a Doctor of Law Degree, Honoris Causa by the Imo State University, where he delivered the 6th pre-convocation lecture on “Fostering Rights and Liberties through education” in 2009 and 2010 by the university of Calabar, Calabar.          
He is married to Mrs. Obioma Liyel Imoke, herself a lawyer, business and political leader, and a champion for children and women’s rights. Their marriage is blessed with children.

The Milestones of an Era 2007-2011 Cross River state has unarguably witnessed an era of transformation since May 29, 2007. Significantly the administration led by Senator Liyel Imoke which succeeded that of Mr. Donald Duke introduced a programme of sustainability of programmes initiated by the Duke administration with solid foundation in the 1st eight years of the present democratic dispensation which was ushered in 1999.

Distinctively, the administration introduced the Cross River standard in the execution of its projects with best practices being the keyword.

Back to office in August 2008, with added commitment, and an unshakable focus in the implementation of the 7-point Development Agenda, the Governor Imoke-led administration’s conceptualization of the Destination Cross Band encapsulated in Best practices gave the state’s development a new gusto.

Derived directly from the vision statement is our mission to take Cross River state become the preferred Destination for Business and leisure with empowered citizens and Government institutions that are committed to sustainable development”.

The physical logo that has been the conceptualization of the Destination Cross River Brand which preceded in the service delivery of the brand permeates all facts of the states development thrust all public documents including letter heads, publications as well as stickers proudly carried by Cross River motorists has recently come alive standing at the biggest Roundabout in Calabar –Ndidon Usang Iso extension, completed during His Excellency’s current tenure, and the 8 miles road. The Destination Cross River effigy literally hollers to visitors coming to the state “you are at the end of your troubles” as they begin to feel the audience of the Nations paradise which the effigy optimistically promises.

Achievements by the Imoke administration
Accordingly, all development programmes initiated by the Imoke administration have been driven to meet international standards-:
(1)          Rural Roads are not just to be graded, they are to be asphalted and properly drained. Nearly 600 kilometers of rural roads spread across the 18 local government Areas have been completely asphalted. The construction of 29 rural roads across the state complete with nylon, asphalt, double drains as well as construction of bridges and culverts where necessary.
(2)          The renovation of class room block among other dilapidated blocks in Cross River state public schools, and provision of infrastructure. In the first phase, 60 secondary schools have been completely renovated, equipped with seats, libraries, science laboratories and computer laboratories.

(3)          Health care centers in rural communities now present the most modern infrastructural spectacies. Other tangible projects like free healthcare services to woman and children 0-5 years, training of medical personnel and upgrading of the school of Health Technology. In addition General Hospitals and schools of Nursing and Midwifery have all been renovated, all have functional coaster buses attached to each of them.

(4)          In terms of electricity, over 87% of the state has been linked to the National grid. So far, over one hundred and thirty-six communities have been completely electrified, while others are on-going. See the Electricity Project, Akamkpa Urban.

(5)          Environment-Cross River state especially the state Headquarters has retained its status as the cleanest and greenest state capital in Nigeria. The round the clock evacuation of refuse has continued with the purchase of new trucks as well as the maintenance of old ones.

Besides erosion control and drainage are a top priority under the Governments Environmental protection agenda.

(6)             Agriculture: Apart from loans to farmers there is provision of Agricultural infrastructures, fertilizers and farm implements have been pursued with great vigour by the Liyel Imoke administration. The state Government has provided seedlings and fertilizers to farmers for optimum yields, under the Cross River state Food Security programme. Also tractors are distributed to encourage mechanized farming.

(7)             Sports-The Liyel Imoke administration envisions that the state becomes a centre of all sports. The priority to take sports to the next level.

(8)             Security-Cross River state has consistently remained one of the most peaceful and safe states in the country. There is provision of Emergency Response centers and a blanket security of network every 20 kilometers on major high ways. With key military and police headquarters located in the state, security coordination is very effective, the state capital which has a natural geographical advantage of having one in and out outlet, is easily policed.

(9)             Tourism (Business & Leisure) with an array of Tour sites of International standard such as Obudu Ranah Resort, Tinapa, the Marina Resort, the Kwa falls etc. This is why these tour sites have continued to receive key personalities around the world on holiday, Conferences and business retreats.

(10)        To this end, the Governor said government requires the cooperation and support of all residents of the state, to always pay prescribed taxes especially taxable adults. And Governor Imoke charged private entrepreneurs to buy into the new service-led economy by becoming major employer of labour, stating that government alone cannot be major employers of labour.

(11)        The recent signing of four bills by the ex-governor of cross river. 23rd January 2012 The Nigerian National News wrote this, a caption which says “Aneej hails Senator Liyel Imoke for signing fiscal Responsibility, public procurement and two other Bills into law in Cross River State”.

The African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (CANEEJ) hails the former Cross River state Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke for demonstrating a strong political will to institutionalize good governance into the state, to promote transparency and accountability in governance in Cross River State.
It is therefore imperative for other stakeholders, particularly civil society organizations to wake up to the challenges of monitoring to make sure that the laws are implemented.
Cross River emerges the fourth state to have met the benchmark of putting in place public procurement and Fiscal responsibility laws. In place, under “Strengthening Oil Revenue Management Project in Niger Delta States, a project being supported by the Norwegian Government”.
A right step in direction and an important milestone in collective guest for better oil revenue management in the region.
Liyel Imoke’s example is the journey for transparent and accountable governance, by putting the right legislations in place, which the former Governor Liyel Imoke has done, “Says Comrade Edom Edem, Programme Coordinator of Grean Concern for Development (GREECODE), Calabar. Comrade Edem notes that, he openly demonstrated his desire to build strong institutions that would outlive his administration in cross river and therefore called on the people of Cross River state to support the governor in this regard.

Comrade Edem eulogized members of Cross River state House of Assembly for giving the bills accelerated hearing and working closely with civil society groups and other stakeholders to incorporate their inputs into the bills before the final message.
“This demonstrates clearly the house members are serious with the drive to strengthen the governance system of Cross River State”.

Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko;
Executive Director,
On behalf of eighteen NGO’s. 


1 comment:

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