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By Ekerete Udoh

Honorable (Obong) Umana O. Umana, Secretary of Government – of Akwa Ibom state.He has a disarming demeanor that is both inviting and captivating.  He does not speak glibly, preferring to listen, observe and to absorb elements that are germane to the common good. When he speaks, you could see the manifestation of a mind that is discerning and blessed with the best possible practices and approaches to finding solutions to both complex and less confounding problems.

For more than two decades, he has given his all to the service of his beloved state – Akwa Ibom State...

For more than two decades, he has given his all to the service of his beloved state – Akwa Ibom State – rising from the position of Principal Budget Officer in 1989, when he joined the state civil service after a rewarding time spent at the now defunct School of Basic Studies – Akamkpa – now University of Cross River State, developing and equipping minds for future productive lives, to the position of the state’s Director of Budget, Permanent Secretary in 2003 from where he
retired as one of the most consequential bureaucrats the state has ever produced.

Blessed with a sterling education – a BSC in Economics (Second Class Upper) which he earned in 1980 from the University of Calabar, and an MBA, which he earned in 1987 from the University of Port-Harcourt, several courses including the Senior Executive Program at the London Business School, Columbia University Graduate School of Business, New York – Senior Executive Program, his star undoubtedly was on the ascendance and was subsequently tapped by former Governor – Obong Victor Attah to be the Commissioner of Finance in 2003 – a position he excelled creditably.

In 2007, following the election of the incumbent Governor – Barrister Godswill Akpabio, he was appointed the Secretary of the State Government – a position of immense power and influence and was reappointed in May 2011 after the landslide victory of Governor Akpabio for a deserved second term in office.

He is described by friends as ‘the eternal optimist who sees possibilities where others see pitfalls, a kind, humane and Godfearing technocrat.” As a loyal and trusted ally of Governor Godswill Akpabio, he has been an integral part of an administration that has brought uncommon and awe-inspiring
development to the state, changing in the process a deeply internalized psychological layer of the people of the state from cynicism about government to seeing the endless possibilities that abound in the state. He has been a major plank in the determined efforts of Governor Akpabio to leave a legacy of unparalleled performance and to establish a model for future leaders to build on and emulate.

A loving and devoted husband – a father of boundless love and a leader blessed with insightful skills and a commitment to the principle of common good, a lover of tennis and squash, a fellow of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, member, Nigerian Economic Society (NES) and the holder of
numerous chieftaincy titles, here is wishing you, Obong Umana O. Umana – the hardworking Secretary of Government – of Akwa Ibom state Government and my former teacher, who turned 52 on Saturday – August 20th, 2011 Happy Birthday and God’s eternal protection. May your tribe multiply!

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