By Dennis Udoma, Uyo
An Uyo based author, Mr Nduonyi Effiong has appealed to Akwa Ibom Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel to prevail on the State Ministry of Education to pay the sum of N50 million he approved for the purchase of 5,000 copies of his books, ‘‘Principles of Mathematics for Schools and Colleges’’.
It was gathered that, the governor on October 20, 2017 in a memo with reference number GHU/AKS/S/70/Vol.1/125, gave approval for the distribution of the said textbooks to all Secondary Schools across the state.
Documents sited by Daily Watch revealed that, the Ministry of Education in the state issued a follow up letter with reference number SSB/AKS/45/Vol.1V/123 to the author for purchase of the said copies, covering the amount approved by the governor.
Effiong, who teaches Mathematics and Accounting at Mary Haney Secondary School in Oron said, based on the Governor’s approval letter, the Ministry’s follow up letter and regular interface between his publishers; Frontiers Press International Ltd and the Ministry, he obtained a loan facility for initial production of N1,000 copies of the book pending release of the N50m.
The author lamented however, that since the supply of initial 1,000 copies on 15th October, 2019 the ministry was yet to pay the money.
He said, the most annoying aspect in recent times was that, the Ministry was denying that, Governor Emmanuel did not give any approval for the sum to be paid.
Mr Effiong also alleged that, his life was under threat by those who sponsored the production of the 1,000 copies of the book saying that, different correspondences to the Ministry of Education since December 2017 to date have not yielded tangible result.
According to him, “Governor Udom Emmanuel on 20th October, 2017 issued approval letter for the purchase of 5,000 copies worth N50m. The Ministry of Education in the state wrote to me an approval letter. The Budget Office also issued an approval letter.
“In 2018, I wrote to people to sponsor the production of the book to supply to the ministry. But thank God in 2019, I got a publisher who financed 1,000 copies of the book. After supplying the books to the Ministry, I am yet to be paid the money.
“And from my findings, the money has been collected. But the Ministry in August, 2020 wrote to me that the Governor has not ordered release of the money. What I am saying now is based on the last letter they wrote to me.
“I am using this opportunity to appeal to the Governor, and I want him to know that, the approval he gave is yet to be implemented and because of the letter he issued, I went and borrowed money to do what is stated in the letter. Those who sponsored the publication are threatening my life”.
Commissioner for Education, Mrs Enobong Mbobo when contacted on the matter said, “I am just resuming office, so I don’t know anything about it”.