Someone has said that the National Assembly is a high-wire bargaining table fit only for those gifted in the fine art of patriotic deal-making. He could have been talking about Senator Udoma Udo-Udoma, lawyer, administrator and businessman who served as President Muhammadu Buhari’s Budget and National Planning Minister in his first term. Udo-Udoma is a consummate lawmaker who has often told close friends and associates that he went to the Senate to work with like minds to get Akwa Ibom State a fair share of its oil revenue.
A Supreme Court ruling on April 5, 2002 which denied Akwa Ibom and other coastal states the rights to proceeds of oils within their seaward boundaries got him to work. With the law not behind them, Akwa Ibom and other states had to negotiate a political solution by way of a legislation of the National Assembly which was eventually assented to by the President. Working with colleagues, Udo-Udoma championed a bill to remove the onshore-offshore dichotomy. He chaired the Senate Committee that merged, considered and processed the bill and with the active support of his colleagues, managed to get the bill passed, not once, but twice. The first in his first term; and the second, in his second.
During his first term, the President refused to sign the bill, so in his second term, the bill was reintroduced and passed again. This time the President agreed and signed. The effect of the bill was monumental: It changed Akwa Ibom State from being one of the states with the least allocation of derivation resources from the Federation Account to being one of the largest recipients of allocation from the Federation Account.
Once his work was done, Udo-Udoma left the Senate and returned to his private businesses. Yes, businesses. Because Udo-Udoma is an accomplished businessman with interests in several key sectors of the economy including law, banking, manufacturing, real estate and oil and gas. Udo-Udoma is a founding partner in the law firm of Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie and a former chairman of UAC, Union Bank, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), among others. Senator Udo Udoma! Lawyer, politician, businessman, leader and defender of Akwa Ibom interests.
A proud and great son who stands up to be counted when it matters the most, Akwa Ibom celebrates this quintessential law maker, the Senator, Udoma Udo-Udoma!