Obong Victor Bassey Attah is an Architect, Planner, Philosopher, Politician, and Elder Statesman. He was born on November 20, 1938 in Uyo, in today’s Akwa Ibom State. He was educated at Practising School, Uyo, and St Patricks College, Calabar.
He started his professional studies in Architecture at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria, and completed at the Leeds College of Arts in June 1964. He continued his studies at the University of Liverpool School of Engineering where he did a one-year post-graduate work in the Building Science Department.
He then proceeded to study Advanced Architectural Design and Planning at the Columbia University, New York. His research focused mainly on wind tunnel studies for building clusters, planning as positive tool for development in third world countries.
Upon completion, he worked in Barbados in the West Indies and in New York. While there, he became the first Nigerian to be professionally licensed to practice as an Architect in America in January 1973. In the same year, he returned home to Nigeria.
In 1974, he established, in partnership with two others, the firm of Inter Designs Partnership. The firm which has done outstanding work throughout Nigeria believes in providing service with integrity. It has as its guiding principles, the attainment of design excellence and the effective integration of interior and exterior spaces. He has promoted the growth of his profession in Nigeria and had served as the President of the Nigerian Institute of Architects.
Obong Attah ventured into politics in 1998 and became elected as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State in which office he served for two terms (1999 – 2007). He is known as the Father of Modern Akwa Ibom State for having effectively transformed a little-known part of the country with a rural and backward economy into a thriving state with a voice in Nigeria.
His notable projects in the state include the airport with Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility, the Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort which has become a destination of choice for discerning golfers; an Independent Power Plant capable of delivering 191 megawatts of electricity to the state; and a University of Technology. He started an ICT Park which was to be complete with an incubation centre but the project was stalled immediately he left office. He also initiated work at the deepwater port at Ibaka. The airport he started was named after him on his 80th birthday anniversary in 2018.
Nationally, Obong Attah became known as the author and main promoter of Resource Control.
His Excellency Obong Attah has won several awards for good governance including the Face of Good Governance and Kenneth Kaunda Key to African Leadership. He has also been bestowed with a number of honorary doctorates as well as chieftaincy titles.
He remains active in the practice of his profession of architecture and town planning as well as in the running of his rubber and oil palm plantations.