The immediate past Commissioner for Health in Akwa Ibom State and Honorary Special Adviser on Health Matters to Governor Udom Emmanuel has revealed how the former Vice Chairman of Exxonmobil Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Udom Inoyo helped mobilized the employment of Akwa Ibom people to work in ExxonMobil.
He disclosed this in a recent interview with newsmen and was captured by the Mail Newspaper in Uyo. Ukpong who was the Group Medical Director and Country Manager in the Medicine and Occupational Health Department of the Oil Giant explained that Mr. Inoyo took several intentional efforts to ensure that Akwa Ibom people are not only engaged in the company but occupy befitting positions.
He described Mr. Inoyo as an astute administrator whose discipline and honesty had facilitated his rise to the echelon of his service at ExxonMobil, pointing out that the claim that Inoyo did not help Akwa Ibom people during his reign with ExxonMobil is false and done out of ignorance.
Ukpong opened up that he heard some people saying that Mr. Inoyo does not love his people which is owing to their suspicion that he wants to vie for an elective position, advised that such posture should not be the rationale for assessing one’s capacity to hold political office, that even if that is the motivation, he is aware that Inoyo did a lot to get Akwa Ibom people into the company.
“I heard some people talk that he does not love his people. If I want to vie for an elective position now, they will say you were in Mobil. You didn’t employ people. They don’t know how many I have helped in Mobil there. But I know that Udom did a lot to get people from our State to be there.”
The Honorary Special Adviser informed that before Inoyo got to the company, there used to be a lot of obstacles to employing Akwa Ibom people as a former staff, who is now late, and from Akwa Ibom extraction struggled to change the trend but did not succeed until Inoyo came in to discover some unpleasant things that hindered the employment of Akwa Ibom people in the company.
“Anietie Johnson who is late fought a lot to get people into the company. He had a lot of obstacles. But Udom came into that place, he was the one who found some dirty things that were being done underground to exclude our people.”
Clarifying some measures taken by Inoyo to ensure that Akwa Ibom people are employed in the company, the governor’s adviser said: “when people were to be employed through advertisement, he left his office to go to town. If they told him about someone’s house, he went there two times to ensure he sees that person apply. He sought for those who got First Class, second class upper to apply, if that’s what they are looking for, he got them to apply”.
“And when they were trying to shortchange those people, I can tell you he fought. You can find out. In one particular interview in which he encouraged and mobilized our people to apply, 93 people did that Interview. The first five (5) of that 93 came from our State. Yet, we were a State that was said to be uneducated. I know that because we were very close.”
Dr. Ukpong further narrated that Akwa Ibom people who worked in ExxonMobil had a rallying group named “ufok” in which they discussed challenges facing people at home and how to address them maintaining that Udom Inoyo was at the forefront of battling those challenges especially as it concerns the employment of Akwa Ibom people into ExxonMobil.
Continuing, he recounted that: “For a senior manager to run to town and ask ‘do you have somebody? What has he got? What did he score’? You say 2.1 in Engineering. He will say give me the name or call the person, is worth appreciation. Nobody was paying him money for that. I do not think he was doing that for any purpose. It is because we felt that we have been marginalized in a company that comes from our area.
“When the result of that particular interview came out, the first was a woman from our State. I remember my friend in Mobil calling me to tell me ‘your people have risen now’. I told him; they have always been there. Just to give them an opportunity. All these changed positively because of Udom Inoyo’s involvement. I know how he suffered. That was why when he was promoted, I stood in the meeting and said what did I tell you? That God exists and with time, he will show up. I remember one day, he came to ask me ‘Dr., when will this God stand up for us’?.
The Coordinator of covid-19 Incident Management Team in Akwa Ibom noted misconceptions by some Akwa Ibom people about the staff of ExxonMobil from Akwa Ibom state which must change. “I have noticed that anyone who works in Mobil and comes out, he is not received well at home by his people. The people just felt he worked in Mobil and earned a good salary. He didn’t do anything.
“Our people had created the impression that they won’t be taken there but we said just apply. We encouraged and mobilized people. Do not forget that Inoyo was in the administration. He was there. He saw what happened and he did a lot. The Ufok was also for Cross River State people who worked in Mobil. And if you felt victimized, we served as a group that if someone felt victimized, we plead with the authorities and say this is not fair for this person. When did we ever have Executive Director or Vice-Chairman? Udom Inoyo is the first”, he concluded.