It was a galore of celebrations at the Akwa Ibom Ministry of Information and Strategy on March 31 as drums were rolled out to celebrate different cadre of staff of the ministry, including those who were born in the month of March.
The grandeur event at the Helemah Events Centre, Uyo, also featured the send-forth of the retired permanent secretary, Mr Inyang Jameson and reception of the new permanent secretary, Akparawa James Edet.
The chief host and commissioner for information and strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong, said the event was organised to bring together in a refreshing environment, all strata of staff as well as stakeholders of the information sector to celebrate themselves and in the process become re-energized for efficient service delivery.
Ememobong, who reiterated that the ministry, under his leadership, would continue to humanize politics and not politicize humanity said, he had to celebrate Jameson, because he was very supportive, adding that his cooperation and counsel greatly aided in providing good leadership for the ministry.
He also appreciated Edet for his support to his predecessor and dedication to service and expressed the hope that he would strive to succeed even above his predecessor.
Ememobong equally celebrated all the newly promoted staff of the ministry, especially those moving into the management cadre and charged them to exhibit consummate character and learning in their new levels, urging them to imbibe good ethical conduct befitting of their new managerial positions.
While acknowledging that the reward for hard work was more work, the commissioner admonished all staff to remain loyal, dedicated and hardworking, stressing that he would, to the best of his ability, continue to reward dutiful staff with awards of excellence ranging from cash to landed property and even to car gift.
He announced a donation of a parcel of land to an information officer in his office, Mr Lawrence Ekong, for his dedicated service, emphasising that other hardworking staff would benefit from similar largesse coupled with overseas training.
Ememobong congratulated all the staff of the ministry, who were born in March and prayed that the God who brought them thus far, will keep them to see many more fulfilled years ahead in good health, sound mind and in all round blessings.
He appreciated his predecessors-in-line for turning out for the celebration, emphasising that their presence was a solid backing to the ministry while their moral support and solidarity have given him the needed strength to forge ahead.
Setting the tone for the event, the chairperson of the planning committee and director, public relations, Mrs Grace Akpan,applauded Ememobong for the numerous initiatives brought to the ministry since his assumption of office, which have not only given the staff a sense of belonging and worth but have geared them towards greater performance and higher productivity.
Akpan lauded the commissioner and the entire management of the ministry for the training programmes instituted for staff, both in Nigeria and abroad and for the sponsorship of staff in specialised training in the Chinese and Sign Language.
A member of the planning committee and the director of administration, Mrs Tiuba Nduonofit, appreciated Ememobong for the confidence reposed in members of the committee by giving them the opportunity to serve, and thanked guests for turning up for the events as well as staff for their cooperation and support towards the successful hosting of the event.
The event, which had the head of civil service, Elder Effiong Essien, as guest of honour, represented by the permanent secretary in his office, Mrs Ekaete Ekanem, was attended by former commissioners of information including Dr Chris Abasieyo, Mr Okon Nsabasi, Obong Rita Akpan, represented by Pastor Idy James and the wife of a late commissioner, Mrs. Nkoyo Ekpo.
Others were the director-general of AKBC, Pastor Anietie Ukpe; the chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Akwa Ibom State Council, Comrade Amos Etuk; his Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) counterpart, Mr Nsemeke Udoakpan; the national secretary of NAWOJ and editor of Pioneer daily, Comrade Helen Udofa; the general manager of Comfort FM, Eddy Ekpenyong and other heads of broadcast stations in the state.
In their separate goodwill messages, the guests took turns to appreciate the efforts of Jameson, whom they called the jinx breaker, who rose through the rung to the apex of his career and commended Ememobong for his laudable initiatives which have lifted the ministry to an enviable height.
Highlights of the ceremony were the presentation of brand new washing machines to both the retired and serving permanent secretaries in the ministry, a golden handshake with all the recently promoted staff of the ministry by the state information boss, Ememobong, the presentation of birthday cards and cash to March-born staff of the Ministry, the cutting of the birthday cake as well as a demonstration by staff undergoing the Chinese and Sign Language trainings.