By Promise Etim
It was an evening of tributes and accolades, as Akwa Ibom indigenes in Lagos gathered at the Lagos Country Club Ikeja on Thursday to celebrate an illustrious son, Distinguished Senator Bassey Albert.
Sons and daughters of the state across the South West region joined their counterparts in Nigeria’s commercial nerve center to x-ray the contributions of Obong Albert, who represents Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District in the 9th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to National Development.
Highlighting the essence of the ceremony, a business consultant, Mr. Etim Sunday, said the opportunity was necessary to allow for a smooth interface between the lawmaker and the people in core areas of concern. He noted that the interest of Akwa Ibom people residing in Lagos is majorly on policy formulation for the growth of small and medium businesses, which he said employ a large percentage of indigenes.
Corroborating the narrative, the Chairman of Uyo Senatorial District Forum in Lagos, Chief Matthew Udoeyop, said Akwa Ibomites in Lagos are proud of the achievements of Senator Albert, which he said cut across legislative agenda, empowerment, and welfare of the people.
He cited the restoration of Mr. Celestine Williams, a police officer, wrongfully dismissed for 21 years as one of the humane gestures facilitated by Senator Albert, which drew enormous commendation from persons beyond the state that were also privy to the story.
In his response, Senator Albert thanked the people for the opportunity to interface with them, stating that he has achieved set goals in the National Assembly because of the support he has enjoyed from the Akwa Ibom people across the globe.
He said the National Assembly is an institution that comprises people with diverse political, economic, and social interests. He narrated that protecting the interest of Akwa Ibom people at times requires him to lobby his colleagues for their support.
Albert, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources, Upstream, tasked participants at the event to explore ways they can contribute to the development of Akwa Ibom. He said attention must consciously shift to the development of the non-oil sector. He expressed optimism such would enable the state to provide employment opportunities.
He identified the areas where such opportunities abound to include but are not limited to Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Energy, Micro-Small-Medium-Enterprises, Transportation, and Rural Infrastructure.
Senator Albert prayed God to sustain Akwa Ibom people doing business in Lagos and other major cities within and outside the country and grant them a peaceful 2022.