SPOTTING OUT BASSEY ALBERT!
By Franklyn ISONG
Obong Bassey Albert Akpan was born October 28, 1972. He is a serving two-term senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2015 – 2019 and 2019 to date), representing Akwa Ibom North-East (Uyo) Senatorial district. He was a Commissioner for Finance in Akwa Ibom State from 2007 to 2014.
He attended St. Patrick’s College, Calabar, Cross River State from where he proceeded to the University of Uyo and bagged a B.Sc in Economics. He later obtained a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
He started his professional career in 1997, when he joined the International Operations and Consumer Banking/Retail Banking Unit of the United Bank for Africa (UBA). In 1999, he became Manager, Corporate Banking group at the Continental Trust Bank at the bank’s Victoria Island Lagos, Head Office. He later joined First Inland Bank Plc in 2003 as the Uyo Branch Manager, where he won the bank’s best performing branch manager award in the South-South region. He also won the award of the best performing branch manager nationwide in the bank’s midyear review of the 2004 financial year.
In 2005, he joined First City Monument Bank as Assistant Vice President, where he was the General Manager in charge of Akwa Ibom and Cross River States. He was responsible for directing and overseeing the day-to-day running of over 15 branches spread across the zone and as the Zonal Head, he articulated and developed key market penetration strategies for the bank, for sustainable market share and growth.
Serving as a Commissioner for Finance, he used his wealth of experience in the banking sector and his background as an economist, to grow the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, to N15.6 billion as at year end 2013.
He was also the Chairman of the Inter-ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee whose job was to ensure that government projects were completed using direct labour to save some money for the state.
In 2014, Bassey Albert contested the Governorship seat of Akwa Ibom State, but stepped down at the primary stage to Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, current governor.
As a senator, he has sponsored/co-sponsored many bills and moved several motions, including a motion on the deplorable state of Ikot Ekpene – Itu – Calabar highway which was abandoned for years. He was also appointed as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Gas Resources. Senator Albert is an outspoken member of the Nigerian Senate.
He holds several chieftaincy titles and honours owing to his philanthropic gestures, contributions to humanity, and advancement of the society.
‘OBA’ as fondly called is adored, loved and respected by many; he is a golfer and was the chairman of Akwa Ibom State Golfers Association in 2013. He is married with children.
Isong is a public affairs commentator and conscience of the society.