Bar. Ita Essien (SLA to Sen. Gershom Bassey)
In the realms of politics and planning, 2023 is a year that can be discussed within the context of governance and direction anchored on public service delivery at the national or state level .
A political player perfectly fitted into such discuss in Cross River state on account of his public service pedigree, experience, requisite knowledge and exposure for the position of governor, is Senator Gershom Bassey.
Senator Gershom Bassey’s presence in the Hollowed Chambers of the Nigerian Senate since June 9 , 2015 when the just ended 8th Senate was inaugurated up to this very moment that the 9th Senate has taken off, is not only being positively felt in the Southern part of the State he is representing but the entire state generally based on his development – driven representation and legislative performances so far .
Analytically, within the last four years of Senator Bassey’s impactful presence in the Senate as Senator representing Cross River South Senatorial District, development- driven bills such as the one seeking for establishment of Federal College of Forestry Technology and Research in Akamkpa , another bill which sought for an Act for the establishment of the Nigerian Research Institute of Fisheries and AquaCulture in Bakassi, another which sought for Establishment of a Federal Polytechnic in Akpabuyo and so many others were sponsored by him .
Senator Gershom Bassey who served as the Vice Chairman , Senate Committee on Petroleum ( Upstream), during the 8th Senate and currently the Chairman Senate Committee on FERMA in the 9th Senate also sponsored series of development- driven motions like the Call for the proper resettlement and compensation of the Bakassi people by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Motion on The need to ascertain the degree of local content in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry. The Local Content motion saw to the creation of a Local Content Committee of the Senate.
Apparently being a Senator from one of the oil producing states in Nigeria and planning ahead on how to better the lots of the people from the black gold , Sen. Gershom Bassey made good use of his vice chairmanship position of the Senate Committee on Petroleum ( upstream) during the 8th Senate by attending on yearly basis, all the Oil Technology Conferences ( OTC ) held in Texas , United States of America for acquisition of required knowledge and technical know -how , on making the best economic gains from the product . Through the Petroleum Upstream Committee, he was able to secure the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) Local and Oversea Scholarship for some of his constituents. He also made robust contributions in the Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream to ensure that the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) received Presidential Assent. The Senator through the instrumentality of his position in the Upstream Committee ensured that a Department of Petroleum Resources office was open in Calabar and also saw to the establishment of an Oil and Gas Park in Odukpani.
Being a graduate of Production Engineering and Economics at different levels of certification from reputable Universities abroad, Senator Bassey’s areas of legislative participation in the Senate over the last four years have always been on productive economy geared toward wealth generation and job creation which are the required weapons of not only fighting poverty but reducing crime to its barest minimum .
Little wonder that as mark of appreciation for his sterling performance(s) in public service so far, multiple awards from credible organizations in and outside Nigeria have been bestowed on him .
Some of such deserved awards and recognition are ÷ Award of Recognition given to him by Nigeria Society of Engineers, FGC Sokoto, Golden Jubilee Award for service to Alma Mata, Patronship of Christian Association of Nigeria (Youth Wing) and Patronship of Red Cross Society, Cross River State Chapter. Honour by the Men’s Christian Association of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, First Abuja Parish.
Others are , Global Pillar of Peace Ambassador Award (2016), National Disabilities Vanguard, Personality of the Year Award (2016), African International Role Model Leadership Award etc .
Biographically, Senator Gershom Henry Bassey completed his secondary education at Federal Government College Sokoto after which he proceeded to Greylands College Isle of Wight UK, where he obtained his A-Level results in 1979. He got admission to Manchester University UK where he studied Production Engineering and Economics, graduating in 1984. He also completed a Masters programme in Construction Management at Brunnel Universty UK in 1986.
Based on realities on ground as far as politics is concerned in Cross River State , Senator Gershom Bassey is no doubt, strategically and solidly positioned , to vie for and occupy the governorship position of the State , come 2023 when the tenure of our amiable incumbent Governor, His Excellency (Prof) Benedict Ayade will expire .