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Bakassi Local Government Area

On December 12, 1996 the Bakassi Local Government Area was created out of what used to be known as Akpabuyo Local Government Area. With this creation, Bakassi continued to be an integral part of Cross River State bringing the number of Local Government Areas to 18.

There are ten Council Wards in the Local Government Area:

  1. Abana
  2. Akpa Nkaga
  3. Akwa
  4. Ambai Ekpa
  5. Amoto
  6. Archibong
  7. Atia Ema
  8. Efut/Inwang
  9. Ekpot Abia
  10. Odiong

Bakassi Local Government Area, which is internationally known, remains one of Nigeria’s richest gulfs.

She is bounded in the East by the Republic of Cameroon, in the South by Equatorial Guinea and the Bight of Bonny, in the West by the Cross River Estuary and North by Akpabuyo Local Government Area.

Marine erosion, floods, oil spills/pollution, loss of diversity, poor quality of domestic water and frequent occurrence of fire disaster in the congested residential areas of Bakassi are serious environmental problems plaguing the area. Often, oil spills, ocean surge, tidal flows in Bakassi Local Government Area have led to impoverishment of the people.

But Bakassi Local Government Area is the lifeline of Cross River State I terms of Crude Oil and aquatic food such as crayfish, fishes, shrimps, periwinkles in commercial and exportable quantities. Virtually all parts of Bakassi lie within the coastlines.

It is located between latitudes 4° 43’ and 4° 55’ north of the equator and 8° 26’ E and 8° 38 east of the Greenwich meridian. The entire area is underlain by one major geological formation i.e. the sedimentary basin also bounded by volcanic intrusions of the Cameroon.

The composition of the people is predominantly the Efiks and the Effiats who stay and do business together. Occupation of the people is fishing and trans-atlantic trading.

On December 12, 1996 history was made with the creation of Bakassi Local Government as an integral part of Cross River State of Nigeria. Antecedents again took the center stage on June 1 1999 with the swearing in and subsequent inauguration of Chief Emmanuel Effiong Etene as the second Executive Chairman of Bakassi Local Government.

The long awaited swearing-in of Chief Emmanuel Etene was not only a dream come true but the Messiah the entire people of Bakassi had been waiting for. Soon after assumption of office, Chief Emmanuel Etene who from day one spoke of his readiness to carry everybody along and accept constructive criticisms for the overall betterment of bakassi, went straight into projects designed to pull Bakassi out of all dimensions of despondency and penury.

Today one can speak with greater justification and pride that Bakassi is ready to take her rightful position in the political geography of Nigeria. Bakassi Local Government Council under the leadership of Chief Emmanuel Effiong Etene has reassured the people that it is necessary to put in place a dynamic and an enduring package for the complete re-organization and restructuring of both the public and private sectors of the economy.

Following the consistent refusal to claim monopoly of knowledge, the Executive Chairman has, irrespective of the autonomy he enjoys, chosen the path of teamwork and respect for constituted authority.

This is evident in the numerous visits of the state governor Mr. Donald Duke to Bakassi to commission projects all in a conscious effort to better the living standard of the people. One of such is the commissioning of the High Court and the Magistrate Court Complex constructed by the Executive Chairman of Bakassi.

In addition to this, the Chairman too the center stage during the commissioning of the Archibong Town water project by the Honorable Minister of State for Water Resources. Although this is a federal Government project, Chief Emmanuel Etene provided more than 20% support services to ensure the speedy completion.

The administration of the Chief Emmanuel Etene added another glorious moment with the visit of the State Governor Mr. Donald Duke to Tom Shot Island. This visit afforded the Executive Chairman the opportunity to present members of his traditional institution for awards of Certificates of Recognition.

It would be recalled that during the first twelve months of Chief Emmanuel Etene’s administration, ore than one hundred and fifty clan and village heads have been presented with certificates of recognition.

The administration of the Chief Emmanuel Etene has embarked on a number of projects in the areas of road construction, electrification, water supply, and housing. Other areas are education, health care delivery, trade and investment, environment and transportation. Bakassi Local Government Council under the leadership of Chief Emmanuel Effiong Etene has embarked on the construction of more than eight boreholes to reduce to the barest minimum diseases associated with poor drinking water. These boreholes are in Abana, Amoto, Amba Ekpai, Efut Inwang, Akwa, Ekpot Abia and Atai Ema.

Education is one of the cardinal programmes of the Local Government. In this connection, Bakassi Local Government had purchased and distributed free of charge, more than five hundred and secondary school students in the area. The council has also embarked on construction of primary schools at Abana, Akpa Nkanya, Odiong and Tom Shott Island while more than half a million has been spent to complement the effort of community school, Abana.

The health sector can only be ignored at a high cost. Council procured health care delivery items such as hospital beds, beddings, drugs among others to reduce maternal/infant mortality to the barest minimum. To alleviate the transportation problem of the people, council under Chief Emmanuel Etene has purchased 9 vehicles and 2 boats.

The furnishing of the political block; the construction of senior Staff Quarters, the renovation of official residential buildings; the renovation of the Police Station; Army facilities and installations and the completion of the FSP Projects are other areas that have received equal attention.

As the saying goes, behind every successful man there is a woman. This explains why the wife of the Executive Chairman, Chief (Mrs.) Eta Etene has also made concerted effort to improve the quality of life of children and their mothers. Chief (Mrs.) Etene has made several visits to wards of the Local Government Area during which items such as foodstuff and clothing shared out. Worried by the conditions of some war victims in the area, the wife of the Chairman presented relief materials to war and fire disaster victims.

Bakassi being a riverine and fishing settlement is constantly faced with the perennial problem of fire disaster and marine erosion and if urgent steps are not taken by the Federal Government the area could face the threat of being submerged by the raging ocean any day or ravaged completely by fire.