ABOUT BASSEY ALBERT
Senator Bassey Albert Akpan was born on October 28, 1972 into the family of Chief Albert Robert Akpan, a successful businessman, prominent politician and philanthropist, in Ididep Usuk village, Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area.
He is a grassroots politician who represented Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District at the 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Previously, he was Commissioner of Finance in Akwa Ibom State from 2007 to 2014.
He was elected to the Senate in March 2015, under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and was reelected in February 2019, to represent Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District at the 9th Senate.
Senator Albert started his secondary education at the St Patrick’s College, Calabar, before proceeding to the University of Uyo, where he bagged a Bachelors Degree in Economics (Second Class Upper Division). In further pursuit of academic excellence, he obtained a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
He started his professional career in 1997, when he joined the International Operations and Consumer Banking/Retail Banking Unit of the United Bank for Africa (UBA). In 1999, he moved on to become Manager, Corporate Banking group at the Continental Trust Bank at the bank’s Head Office in Victoria Island, Lagos.
He later joined First Inland Bank Plc in 2003 as Uyo Branch Manager, where he won the bank’s best performing branch manager award in the South-South region. He also won the award of the ‘Best Performing Branch Manager Nationwide’ in the bank’s midyear review of the 2004 financial year.
In 2005, he joined First City Monument Bank as Assistant Vice President, where he was the General Manager in charge of Akwa Ibom and Cross River States. He was responsible for directing and overseeing the day-to-day running of over 15 branches across the zone and as the Zonal Head, he articulated and developed key market penetration strategies for the bank, for sustainable market share and growth.
In 2007, when the call to public service came through his nomination as a commissioner into the Executive Council of the Akwa Ibom state government, he accepted and was handed the Finance Ministry to manage.
With his wealth of experience in the banking sector and background as an Economist, he was able to grow the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), to N15.6 billion as at the last quarter of 2013.
He was also the Chairman of the Inter-ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee; whose job was to ensure that Government projects were completed using direct labour initiative, to save funds for the state. He saw through successful completion of over 6000 life-touching projects in the health and education sectors, as well as areas of rural and human capital development.
In April 2009, Senator Albert chaired the first ever Akwa Ibom state Revenue summit. The Summit with the theme: “Maximizing Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) Potentials in Akwa Ibom State – A Collective Responsibility”, had in attendance stakeholders from diverse socio-economic sectors in the state and was organized as part of strategic efforts to boost the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.
He was instrumental to negotiations between the state and Standard Chartered Bank for the approval of a loan of £325.24m to execute projects in the state.
In 2014, Senator Albert declared his intention to contest for the Governorship seat of Akwa Ibom State. Even though he was a front-line aspirant, he decided to respect, as a loyal party man, the zoning policy of his party (PDP), which paved way for Eket Senatorial District to produce Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel as Governor of the State. He further contested and won the Senatorial seat under the umbrella of the PDP and was sworn in as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on 9 June 2015.
Distinguished Senator Albert Bassey distinguished himself in character and performance at the Senate, with the sponsorship of several bills, motions, petitions and other matters of strategic relevance, not minding the fact he was a first timer.
He chaired the Senate Committee on Gas Resources, whose contribution to the development of the Nigerian Oil and Gas sector cannot be overemphasized, one of such being the ‘Gas Flaring Penalty and Prohibition Bill’ recently passed by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In May 2016, Senator Albert initiated an undergraduate Scholarship scheme, which 381 students of Akwa Ibom State origin have so far benefited from. The Scholarship covers full tuition fees and upkeep allowance throughout the duration of the beneficiary’s programme. As at the beginning of the 2019/2020 academic session, 114 have successfully graduated and obtained degrees, while 267 are still on their respective programmes in various higher institutions of learning across Nigeria.
His unparalleled performance in his first term propelled the people of Uyo Senatorial District (Akwa Ibom North-East) to overwhelmingly vote for him to return to the National Assembly as Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in the 2019 General elections.
In the 9th Senate, he was appointed Chairman, Senate Committee on Upstream Petroleum Resources, and a member several other committees.