By Saviour Ekpe
I have the privilege, singular honour and great pleasure to unfold and present to you by the authority conferred on me by the almighty God and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a great academic and intellectual, professional accountant, pastor, patriot, politician, nationalist, developmentalist, public servant, philanthropist, farmer and business strategist. Ladies and gentlemen, join me welcome a Nigerianist, Africanist, Statesman, sportsman, democrat, political engineer, social crusader, activist, master planner, lecturer, leader and security communicator: Pastor Uwem Andrew-Essien (FCA, ACTI, MMI), Accountant-General of Akwa Ibom Stae.
Pastor Uwem Andrew-Essien, an accountant per excellence, a distinguished Fellow of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA), committed leader and philanthropist extraordinaire, was born on the 6th of February, 1963 at Atiamkpat in Onna local government area of Akwa Ibom State. Little was known at the time of his birth that as it was with Andrew in the Bible, the Nigerian son of Andrew would positively affect humanity in many spheres. This prophetic son of Andrew: Uwem (life) as events are unfolding has become synonymous with giving life to the lifeless, Hope to the hopeless, friends of the needy, blessing to Akwa Ibom State, Niger Delta, Nigeria and humanity at large.
Soon after his primary school education at primary school, Atiamkpat in 1975, he enrolled into the famous COMSECOMS – community secondary commercial school, Ikot Akpan Ishiet from where he obtained his West African School Certificate magma cum laude in 1980. It was while in COMSECOMS that his natural and distinct leadership and team work qualities became more apparent as some of the duties he engaged in were considered very sanctimonious at that time. It would have taken somebody under a spell to combine these assiduous and sedulous responsibilities with exemplary success and pass examinations excellently.
In his quest for advanced education, he moved to study for his high school certificate from 1981 to 1983 at the renowned now defunct School of Arts and Science, Uyo. With age, time and intellect on his side, Pastor Uwem Andrew-Essien proceeded to the prestigious university of Calabar to read accounting where he successfully graduated and bagged B.Sc in 1987. Not done with that in 1992, he enrolled into the University of Hartford, Connecticut to pursue masters degree in business administration and successfully bagged MBA in 1993.
Pastor UWEM Andrew-Essien professional foundation was laid on a solid rock because ever as a young lecturer at the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnics, Ikot Osurua, his innate leadership qualities, ingenuity and vigour shone like a million stars, paving the way for higher responsibilities. Pastor Uwem Andrew-Essien like the proverbial golden fish without a hiding place later became the Head of department, accountancy, external assessor to various polytechnics and resource person to the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
Through divine arrangement, his administrative adroitness captured the fancy of the executive governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel who in October 2015 appointed him Special Assistant (SA) to the governor on Due Process, a position he held till May, 2016 when he was posted to the Office of Accountant General as director of accounts. In December 2016, he was appointed Acting Accountant General of Akwa Ibom State by the governor. Due to his unmitigated habilidad of extreme diligence, aptitude and capacity as acting accountant general, the governor found him worthy in character and professionalism, and was confined as substantive Accountant General of the state.
Pastor Uwem Andrew – Essien is a member of many professional bodies. He is a Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA – 2010); Associate member, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ACA – 1992) and associate member, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (ACTI – 2015). As a tested and trusted professional, he has served in many positions as demanding responsibilities, notably chairman, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Uyo and District society (2013 – 2015). Treasurer, ICAN Eastern Districts Conference (2013 – 2014) member, ICAN-ATSWA committee (2015 – 2017) and director, first attempt associate (ICAN tutors: 2001 – 2016). He is a pastor in Living Faith Church (Winner s Chapel). He plays various lofty roles to promote the growth of the body of Christ. Between 2008 – 2009, he was the leader of crowd control unit of the church.
For Pastor Uwem Andrew-Essien service to humanity is the essence and this is perhaps the meeting point between the accounting profession and politics. Having grounded himself in his professional calling, Pastor Uwem Andrew- Essien felt that he was yet to harness his full potentials for service to humanity, especially to Akwa Ibom people. He subsequently ventured into socio-cultural cum political environments which earned him the Akparawa from Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio (MMI). As patron, Uyoiwaad Awa and founder, the voice of the electorate (VOTE), he uses the two vibrant socio-political organizations to champion robust sensitization of electorate in Akwa Ibom State. He is also a champion in squash and was the captain of squash section of Uyo, sport club between 2008 and 2009.
As an accomplished and astute leader whose tentacles touch many segments of humanity endeavours, he was naturally attracted more honours, laurels and awards from far and wide. For those who thought that the awards and recognitions on the Akwa Ibom accounting cum political juggernaut have been exhausted in the penultimate week during the 6th convocation of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua, speaks volume in his life. The institution conferred on Pastor Uwem Andrew Essien’s contributions to humanity, the teeming crowd stood still, the soft sun of the day smiled his achievements mustered the cloud worth a sudden jerk of kissing thunder and all of a sudden the audience remembered their hands. The ovation was echoed!
Today, Accountant General Uwem Andrew-Essien’s exemplary leadership and care for others has highlighted the hospitality and kind heartedness that are associate with the people of Akwa Ibom State. His dexterity in piloting the socio-economic and political affairs within his reach are unequal’s. He is happily married with children.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Nigeria’s son of Andrew: a fellow of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua, the icon of our time – Pastor Uwem Andrew Essien.