Until his successful foray into public service, Mr. Emmanuel was one of the definitional figures in Nigeria’s Financial Services Sector, where at Zenith – arguably one of the most successfully run banks in Nigeria nay Africa, he was the Executive Director with direct supervision on Foreign Subsidiaries, Corporate Strategy and Planning, Corporate Financial Advisory Services and Control, Business Development, International Investors’ Relations, Oil & Gas Sector, Infrastructure and Power Sector, Multilaterals, Conglomerates and Private Banking (MCP) as well as Telecommunications sector. He successfully executed these tasks bringing to bear his training and experience in Corporate Governance.
Governor Emmanuel graduated from the University of Lagos with a 2nd Class Upper Degree in Accounting and also holds a Master’s Degree in Corporate Governance from Leeds Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom, and this, makes him one of the few experts in that critical aspect of the Corporate Governance.He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA), Fellow of Institute of Financial Management, as well as Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (ACIT). Governor Emmanuel in the course of his sterling career in the Financial Services Sector also attended several executive management programmers across Continents, among them: The Advanced Management Programme (AMP) Insead, France, Advanced Leadership Management Programme, London Business School, Changing the Game: Negotiation and Competitive Decision-Making, Harvard Business School, Enterprise Risk Management & Basel 11, Dun & Bradstreet; Executive Leadership Programme, Columbia Business School, New York, USA,Strategic Thinking & Management for Competitive Advantage, The Wharton Business School, Pennsylvania, USA. Before he was elevated to the position of an Executive Director at Zenith, he had held many Non-Executive Director positions among them: Zenith Bank, UK Ltd, Zenith Bank, The Gambia, Zenith Bank, Sierra Leone, Zenith Insurance, Zenith Pension & Custodian, Zenith Securities, Zenith Trustees and Zenith Registrars. He also had held several management positions serving in key decision-making organs within the bank such as the Executive Management Committee, the Senior Management Committee, Assets and Liabilities Committee among others. Governor Emmanuel also served as a Non-Executive Director, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Director, Nigerian Inter-Banks Settlement System (NIBBS).
He was the first indigene of AkwaIbom and Cross River States respectively to be appointed into the board of AFC. In July 2013, the immediate past Governor of AkwaIbom State and currently the Senate Minority Leader of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator GodswillAkpabio, impressed by his professional achievements as a corporate titan, appointed him the Secretary to the AkwaIbom State Government, a position he acquitted himself creditably, leading the good people of the State to believe that the destiny of continuous greatness and sustainable development of the State resides in his firm and capable hands. On April 11, 2015, having won the primaries to emerge the PDP Gubernatorial Candidate, in December 2014, and having criss-crossed the length and crannies of the State, selling his people-centric, manifesto and campaign platform predicated on the 5-Point Agenda of: Wealth Creation, Economic and Political Inclusion, Poverty Alleviation, Infrastructural Consolidation and Expansion and Job Creation the people of AkwaIbom State rose in one accord and massively elected him the Governor of Akwa Ibom State. He hit the ground running from day one and has brought his ‘can-do’ spirit to the State, challenging age-old norms and urging the people to ‘Dakkada’ (Arise) and assume the greatness, drive and innate talents and skills that God Almighty has embedded in us all. This new orientation of thinking outside of the box of conventional wisdom – the spiritual and moral rebirth has been happily internalized by the people of the State.
In a little over one and half years as Governor, and in spite of the current recession the nation is facing, Governor Udom Emmanuel has worked hard to fulfil his campaign promises: Over 200 kilometres of roads have either been commissioned or are on-going, salaries and pensions of workers are paid on time, a bold diversification program anchored on agriculture is sweeping through the State and through the AkwaIbom State Enterprise and Employment Scheme (AKEES), the youths are beginning to see the joy and eternal benefits in creating an ownership society instead of cultivating an entitlement mind-set, talents have been unleashed and the society is made less restive. Over 200 Inter-Ministerial projects that span the 31 Local Government Areas in education sector, community water rehabilitation and health care facility upgrade have been executed. Electricity has stabilized and people now enjoy an average of 18 hours a day uninterrupted supply of power, improving in the process the quality of lives of the people; education remains free and compulsory up to secondary level, children between the ages of 1-5, their pregnant mothers and the aged, enjoy free medical services, the State Government has paid over 600 million Naira WAEC fees for indigent students and youths have been trained on numerous skills acquisition programs both at home and abroad. All over the State, there is a decidedly upbeat and sunny disposition on the part of the people because of the creative manner the Financial Services prodigy on the saddle has applied in the management of the State’s lean resources. Governor Emmanuel has been involved in so many community development projects and has empowered thousands of youths in the process. His philanthropic gestures especially in helping the works in the vineyard of the Lord are legendary. He has a deeply ingrained faith in the Lord and sees his mission in Akwa Ibom State as Divine, little wonder his campaign organization is dubbed “Divine Mandate”.
Prior to assuming his current position as Governor, AkwaIbom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel was a much-sought after and frequent guest on CNBC Africa where he often gave insightful analysis on policy issues, banking sector performance and current trends and the economy in general. He is a respected voice in international financial institutions, and his thoughts on a number of issues align with those of the Wall Street financial mavens most of whom he has relationships on the first name basis. Governor Emmanuel is happily married to his beautiful wife, Her Excellency, Mrs.Martha Udom Emmanuel, whose pet Project, Family Empowerment& Youth Reorientation Programme (FEYReP) is changing lives and giving hopes to the widows and women across the state, and is blessed with children. He hails from Awa-Iman in ONNA Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State