IBOM 2023: The Noiseless and Unassuming Achiever Called Udom Inoyo.
Authored by Vincent Aluu .
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”– Shannon Adler
I have always said it that no two persons are the same or can act in same manner. This assertion has been confirmed by Tim Lahaye, author of ‘Why you act the way you do’ when he categorised temperaments into Melancholic, Phlegmatic, Choleric and Sanguine all of which assist us discover how our personalities affect our work, emotions, spiritual life, and relationships and learn how to make improvements.
He is one man whose birth, temperament, upbringing, career path and philosophy in life have combined to make him operate from the prism of silence in obedience to God’ injunction that the left hand must not be told what the right hand has done. The man understands that he has to work hard in silence so that success will be his noise. Little wonder that upon hearing he has plans for public service, some people have begun asking him to show his scorecard as not just a Mobil staff but the numero uno of Mobil.
He stepped his feet on the fertile soil of Mobil Producing Nigeria in 1989 and remained there until 2018 when he was appointed Executive Vice Chairman. He had three decades of unblemished record rising through the rank and file to become number one in the leadership cadre. Thirty years in Mobil Producing Unlimited is not a mean feat but I am sure must have come at a huge cost.
One question on the lips of Akwa Ibomites is what the man has done to better the lives of his people and the impact he has created. While not holding brief for those asking such question, it is imperative to set the records straight and put people in perspective on the track records of a noiseless achiever who prefer his works and successes to speak for him. He preferred that his name was carved in the hearts of those he impacted and not on tombstones and that his legacies were etched into the minds of beneficiaries who would tell the story.
We are enjoined to live our lives in such a way that we will be remembered for our kindness, compassion, fairness, character, benevolence, and a force for good who had much respect for life, in general. Carlos Wallace once said, “Make a difference, change the game for the better, leave a legacy, be a guide that someone else can follow and make better, and then someone else will follow that and make that better.”
This proud son of Akwa Ibom State knew beforehand that “a man is remembered for what he gives and not what he takes knowing that what he builds outlive what he tears down”. He also knew that in the end, his legacy will not be based on rank or sales but by those who cherish his stories and the impact of his words. With the understanding that the things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy, he, from day one in Mobil chose to live for others. He decided that his story will remain the greatest legacy he will leave for his friends and the longest-lasting legacy his will leave for his heirs.
First, he purposed in his mind that he was not going to soil his hands with the king’s meat. He served diligently, honestly and humbly. He retired with an untainted career record devoid of queries, scandals or misdemeanaour. Today, he holds his head high that he served Mobil meritoriously.
Second is the fact that the board room guru used his stay in Mobil to not only to help grow the fortunes of the Multinational, but to promote the development of Akwa Ibom State. It is on record that several pioneering community development projects, employment of Akwa Ibomites into Mobil came through the unsung benevolence of the man. Those he assisted are legion and the onus was on them to share the good news of what he did for them. By this act, families were lifted, wealth created and living standard were improved. It is on record that Akwa Ibom indigenes alone constitute about 35% of all employees of the ExxonMobil affiliates in Nigeria. As at 2019, Mobil has cumulatively contributed over N160 billion to NDDC, and remits about N7b annually in payee tax to the Akwa Ibom State Government. Expatiating on the impact of Mobil to the development of the state, the Nsit Ubium-born high flyer said: “When you drive on newly constructed roads, watch a match in the ‘Nest of Champions’ or fly Ibom Air, all these have been largely enabled by the contributions of the joint venture operator.”
Buttressing on some of the man’s commitment and contributions to Akwa Ibom State, Chief Assam Assam SAN, Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary wrote, “I recall when we, as a people, were engaged in the fight for resource control. He was then the leader of the Akwa Ibom professionals in Lagos, a group vehemently opposed to the Supreme Court judgment that deprived Akwa Ibom state from benefiting from the 13% derivation payments. He anchored the compilation of the literature which in no small measure whipped the conscience of the country to adopt the political solution. Those who were privy to his invaluable contribution are Senator Anietie Okon, who was the General Counsellor of the exercise and Uko Udom SAN, who, with me, served as advisers to the late General Philip Effiong, (Akangkang of Ibibio nation), our representative on the Political Solution Committee headed by Chief Anthony Anennih. The legislation which I personally drafted for presentation to parliament by Senator Udoma Udoma, and which increased our revenue to this day, was a culmination of that effort and his leadership”.
Again, Assam Assam added, “I recall his consistent plea which convinced Obong Victor Attah to fashion a development program for the Oil-bearing communities. With Dr. Ebebe Ukpong (then Commissioner, Ministry of Economic Development), Ambassador (Mrs.) Nkoyo Ita Toyo (a development expert and social advocate) and Mr. Nsudoh S. Nsudoh (now a Permanent Secretary in AKS), he worked tirelessly to produce a document whose content has the panacea to resolve most of the feuding issues in the oil-bearing communities. That document has not been utilized to this day”
It is on record that the selfless man of deep conviction led a delegation of Mobil to a Committee hearing on the Niger Delta Development Commission where he pointedly questioned the lack of proper utilization of Mobil’s share of contributions to NDDC. How can we forget the Eket- Ibeno road project, a distance of 15 or so kilometers used to take hours with attendant safety issues? Those who were privy can attest to the fact that distinguished and consummate administrator convinced the management of MOBIL and the Government to take over the road project from NDDC. He got Mobil to contribute a whopping N8 Billion towards the construction of the road which was completed by Governor Udom Emmanuel. That road is now dualized and is a pleasure to drive on.
As General Manager, External Relations, and Member MPN Leadership Council, the great leader superintended over the Akwa Ibom State/MPN/Schools Athletics and Championships, a sport talent and skill discovery programme which ran for a whole of 15 years. Veteran Sports Administrator, Paul Bassey wrote, “On his table was the decision to fund and host a competition dedicated to the honing of the athletics fortune of the youths, in schools and colleges of Akwa Ibom State. Today, Akwa Ibom can through that novel investment and vision boast of a cream of talented young men and women who passed through this programme to establish themselves in the national and continental limelight of sports. It also promoted grassroot sports development at the time, provided sport equipment and incentives to schools and individuals, such as spike shoes and one-off scholarships to winning athlete students”.
This unassuming maker of men has a passion for education, human capacity development and community service. In 2007, he inspired the establishment of a Foundation, a platform that has been leveraged to advance the recognition of Public Secondary School teachers and student’s mentorship in his home state of Akwa Ibom. In 2014, he opened a library in his village of Ikot Okoro Ubium, to provide learning aids, and access to research and development opportunities for secondary school students. He also facilitated the start-up of the International Centre for Energy and Environmental Sustainability Research (ICEESR) University of Uyo, whose ground-breaking ceremony was performed in 2015. It is on record that through the foundation, more than 5040 students have been mentored, 3500 teachers trained, 235 teachers empowered, 3 principals rewarded, more than 90 schools reached across 30 LGAs of the state costing more than 400 million naira. Are you also aware for many years now, the man, a trained journalist has been sponsoring and providing scholarship for students at the International Institute of Journalism? Are you also aware that his foundation has been sponsoring students at the Royal Arts Academy Uyo, to train Akwa Ibomites in creative and entertainment industry?
It is common knowledge that he got ExxonMobil to partner with the International Finance Cooperation, IFC, the private sector investment arm of the World Bank, to bring in their flagship entrepreneurship development programme at the time, Support and Training Entrepreneurship Program (STEP) to the state to capacitate Akwa Ibom citizens to establish, run and grow their businesses. He attracted Growing Businesses Foundation (GBF), one of the foremost micro-credit implementing entity, to provide access to critical business finance for Micro and Small Enterprises in the state. Beneficiaries of both schemes abound in the state and they are not dead. Are you aware that as an attestation to his personable and leadership qualities, the ExxonMobil staff Cooperative built an Estate at Lekki and named it after him? The only employee to be so honored.
Pastor Harry Udoh, a development expert recently wrote, “I know the Mobil top shot as a man of integrity, cerebrally and intellectually sagacious and politically savvy. He squarely and snugly fits the bill to take Akwa Ibom state to the next level. Akwa Ibom state needs him. I only pray that he will not be persuaded by the multiple opportunities outside Nigeria but will bring his wealth of experience to help his people”.
Those accusing the man who has acted fatherly of facilitating the sack of some spy police personnel of Akwa Ibom origin either lack knowledge of the workings of Mobil or are mischief makers. PENGASSAN Chairman and Mobil Staff, Comrade Razaq Obe says Mobil is not Okon and Sons Limited or Ministry of Lands where just anyone can influence employment or sack anyone. Obe enthused, “There is no single individual, not even the Managing Director, CEO or Executive Vice Chairman, that can bend the employment policy of ExxonMobil, you will be fired. As HR Manager then, this manager of men and resources was on the side of the Spy Police and PENGASSAN from the beginning of the matter to the end. He did everything humanly possible to ensure the spy Police got justice. Most of these things were done behind their back. He need not come out openly to start telling them what he was doing in their favour. He is a good man. Only God will reward him. Those saying he was the architect of the sack are either doing it out of mischief or out of ignorance.”
Shannon Adler had this accomplished Akwa Ibom and Nsit Ubium born Lawyer cum oil guru in mind when she said, “Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” If your actions create a legacy that inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader. Is Udom Inoyo the one Governor Udom Emmanuel may have referred to in his 6th anniversary speech?
Deacon Vincent Aluu, Ubokutomabasi Kiet of Akwa Ibom State is the Publisher of Naija Eye Witness News. [email protected]