The Member Representing the good people of Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South Federal Constituency at the National House of Assembly, Rep. Sam Onuigbo, has challenged journalists in Abia state to use their profession to bring positive development in the state and the nation at large.
Giving his remarks at a media briefing with members of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ),Abia State Chapter, Rep Sam Onuigbo, encouraged newsmen to be conscientious in their reportage.
According to him, journalists should use their pen to rewrite the wrongs in the society, adding that they should use their pen well and allow their conscience get involved in their profession.
“If you use your pen to encourage wrong doings,it will affect everyone, as well as weaken the development process. Where we are not doing well, correct us”, he said.
Reeling out the achievements so far made in the last six years of his administration, the Lawmaker disclosed that every elected official is an employee of the people who through the power of their thumbs, empowered officers to hold power in trust for them. “It follows therefore,that as responsible employees, elected officials must from time to time go back to their employers (the electorates) and render a transparent account of their stewardship.
“Since I was elected in 2015 to represent the people of Ikwuano/Umuahia North/Umuahia South Federal Constituency, I have at least once a year, made it a point of duty to share with my people, an account of my stewardship, as well provide answers to key enquiries by my constituents, ranging from the state of the Umuahia-Ikwuano-Ikot Ekpene Federal Road, ongoing efforts to ensure Abia gets a federal Secretariat.
He further stated that the responsibilities of Lawmakers in Nigeria are tripartite, which includes lawmaking, oversight, and representation and he would continue to provide detailed account of his representation, informing his constituents on what he has been able to do on this tripod of representation in Nigeria
On the area of Lawmaking, which the Lawmaker said his primary responsibility is to work with his colleagues and other stakeholders in making laws and pushing policies for the good of the country, which could be in the form of sponsoring of Bills, or through the tabling of motions on the floor of the House, has sponsored the Climate Change Bill which was assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari and consequently became an Act of the National Assembly of Nigeria.
“This Act has not only brought massive commendations to me by the global community, but also within Nigeria where the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Senior Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Chinedu Francis Akubueze, and many others have applauded me for pushing through this historic piece of legislation which positions Nigeria to begin her journey to sustainable development. This Act also earned me the award of Dean of Bills by the revered National Assembly Press Corps”,he added.
According to Rep Onuigbo, Other Bills,Motions and Petitions sponsored,moved and presented respectively on behalf of his constituents, include the Bill for the amendment of the Flags and Coat of Arms Act, Bill for the amendment of the Federal University of Agriculture Umudike Establishment Act, Motion on the need for the urgent reconstruction of the Umuahia – Ikwuano – Ikot Ekpene federal road.
Others are Motion on the need to check the admission of students into tertiary institutions for courses not accredited/approved by the National University Commission (NUC): The motion was aimed at saving students and parents the agony of wasting their time and resources studying for courses without getting certificates at the end of the journey.
He also moved the Motion on the need to stop the deconstruction of Nigeria’s national flag. This he said is a national issue aimed at ending the strange and disturbing act of superimposing the Coat of Arms of Nigeria on the white section of the Nigerian Flag.
In addition,the Lawmaker moved the Motion on a matter of urgent public importance on the need to immortalize two former national football coaches, Late Stephen Keshi and Late Amodu Shuaibu, for their selfless services.
On Petition presentation, Rep Onuigbo presented a petition for the wrongful dismissal of over 300 Diamond Bank staff without due process, urging the House to take appropriate steps to ensure that the Bank pays the dismissed staff their full benefits.
Also, he presented a Petition on the wrongful termination of the employment of some employees of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and moved the need for the Federal Government to reverse the Presidential directive to scale down non-agricultural programmes from the curriculum of Federal Universities of Agriculture. This motion was aimed at reversing the illegal directive to delist Management Science courses from Universities of Agriculture especially the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike.” I followed this up with townhall meetings with my constituents and several consultations with stakeholders within Abia State while also engaging the media extensively through advertorials, among others.
“At the national level, my motion led to the convening of a public hearing during which the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), the National Universities Commission (NUC), the Vice Chancellors of the three Agricultural Universities, and several important stakeholders were invited to discuss the legality or otherwise of that directive.
” I moved the Motion on a matter of urgent public importance (Order 8, Rule 4) to call on the Federal Government to immediately take actions to prevent a calamity waiting to happen at Umunwanwa, Umuopara, in Umuahia South LGA of Abia State. These motions were initiated in two Assemblies, the 8th and 9th Assemblies, to get the backing of the House in efforts at ensuring that the Federal Government and its agencies take urgent action to address the life-threatening Umunwanwa erosion”.
Meanwhile, Rep Onuigbo in a motion,called on the need to intervene in the case of attacks and the gruesome murder of four indigenes of Usaka Ukwu in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State, by armed indigenes of Ibono Okporo, Nkari in Ini Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and in order to prevent a bloodbath and as well moved on the 14th of July 2020 on the floor a motion that sought to get the Federal Government to mandate security agencies to step in and prevent further bloodshed in the boundary dispute between the two communities, ensure that the National Boundary Commission is sent to properly demarcate the boundaries, while also ensuring that relief materials are provided for the displaced.
” In Oversight functions, I have been fully committed to performing my oversight functions as the representative of the people of Ikwuano/Umuahia North/Umuahia South Federal Constituency. During engagements at the committee level, budget defence sessions, and interactions with Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, and even with the international community,
“As the chairman of the Climate Change committee during the 8th Assembly, the committee, under my leadership, keyed into key oversight roles in the Ogoni Clean-up exercise launched by the Federal Government on June 2nd, 2016.
” I was part of the Nigerian delegation led by President Muhammadu Buhari, to the UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris, France, when the first globally and legally binding agreement on Climate Change,
-the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was adopted.
On September 22, 2016, I, the then Minister of Environment (current Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations) Amina Mohammed, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama were the only Nigerian officials who stood as witnesses on the right hand of President Buhari at the 71st General Assembly in New York when President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and on February 28, 2017, I was able to work with MDAs, to get an unprecedented N8billion naira for Climate Change issues.
“As part of my efforts to ensure that relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies become actively engage on Climate Change issues, I conducted over twelve interactive and budget defence sessions with MDAs during which the awareness required to contain the devastating effects of Climate Change was created. This was during my time as the Chairman, House Committee on Climate Change.
” In recognition of my exploits and commitment to Climate Change issues, I was on November 24th, 2016, elected the Vice President of GLOBE Nigeria- Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE). GLOBE is an organization for parliamentarians in over 99 countries of the world and is committed to Climate Change and sustainable development. With an eye on energy, security and land use, GLOBE believes that legislators have an important role to play in ensuring that their governments fulfill their obligations as it concerns commitments made during international negotiations. During the 9th Assembly, I was then elected as the head of GLOBE in Africa as Vice President (Africa) of GLOBE International. This made me the first Nigerian to become a Board Member of GLOBE International. It is important to point out here that my commitment to Climate Change issues is born out of a first-hand experience of the effects of Climate Change on the people of Ikwuano/Umuahia,the massive erosion that the people of my constituency experience is a result of Climate Change.
“As the Vice President (Africa) of GLOBE International and President of GLOBE Nigeria in the 9th Assembly. I have used these positions to drive for the attainment of the objectives of the Global Environment Facility (GEF6) project “GLOBE Legislators Advancing REDD+ and Natural Capital Governance Towards the Delivery of the 2030 Agenda”.
The Federal House member noted that he is currently championing the efforts of the Nigerian branch of Climate Parliament as the Chairman of Climate Parliament Nigeria, to drive for renewable energy implementation and sustainable development.
In addition to these outstanding performance, Rep Onuigbo said he had championed the needs of his constituents and Nigerians in general in an oversight engagement, which have resulted in the provision of employment and provision of some infrastructural needs of my people.
On projects attraction and infrastructural development,the Lawmaker stated that he has done well,as he has championed the rehabilitation of the failed sections of the Umuahia–Ikwuano–Ikot Ekpene federal road in 2017,the ongoing total reconstruction of the Umuahia-Ikwuano-Ikot Ekpene federal road, training of selected women and youths from Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency on fashion designing by the Industrial Trust Fund, training of mechanics in their workshops at Mgbuka, Ohiya Mechanic Village, by the National Automation Council and the training of selected youths from Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency on Solar Panel installation, POP and painting, and web design by the Industrial Trust Fund.
He also sponsored the training of selected women and youths from Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency on fish farming by the Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology, Lagos,training of 1,500 women and youths from Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency on how to start and manage small businesses by the Border Communities Development Commission.
This he said was followed by the provision of stipends.
“Training and empowerment of 100 men and women with galvanized battery cages, point of lay birds, bags of feed and start-up funds in February 2021. Empowerment of additional 100 youths and women with galvanized battery cages, point of lay birds, bags of feed, and start-up funds in May 2021.Training and empowerment of 100 graduates from Ikwuano/Umuahia North/ Umuahia South Federal Constituency in Arts and Culture.Training and empowerment of 50 youths from Ibere in Ikwuano Local Government Area. Empowerment of constituents with several equipment/materials to enable them source for a living. These include the distribution of motorcycles, grinding machines, sewing machines, to hundreds of constituents.Construction of school blocks at Ekebedi, in Oboro, Ikwuano LGA; Old Umuahia in Umuahia South LGA; a block of two classrooms at Adanma Girls Secondary School, Afugiri, Umuahia North LGA; a block of two classrooms at Umutowe Central School, Olokoro, Umuahia South LGA; a block of three classrooms at Nsirimo, Ubakala, Umuahia South LGA; a block of classrooms at Umulu Ibere, Ikwuano LGA; a block of three classrooms at Umuajata Olokoro, Umuahia South LGA.
“Construction and renovation of Health Centres in Oloko and Obuohia Obi-Ibere. Provision of educational materials for students and purchase of WAEC and JAMB forms.Printing and distribution of past SSCE/NECO/GCE Questions and Answers (1998-2019) on English and Mathematics to students and candidates from secondary schools in my constituency. Water projects in Obunta Oboro Ikwuano LGA, Inyila Ibere, Ikwuano LGA, Avonkwu Ibeku, Umuahia North, and Obuohia Ibere, Ikwuano LGA.Empowerment of 250 farmers on the 24th of April, 2017 with fertilizers, coveralls, knapsack sprayers, pesticides, etc.Donation of Office equipment to Pacesetter FM, Umuahia after the fire outbreak incident. Provision of a Generating Plant for NTA Umuahia.Donation of a modern and powerful Sony camera set and other accessories to the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State (BCA) to support their digitization efforts.
“Erosion control works at Amankwo Ezeleke, Umuopara, in Umuahia South LGA, and at Okwe Oboro, in Ikwuano LGA. Both projects cost the Federal Government about N750million.Construction of a Skills Acquisition Centre at the headquarters of the Umuahia South Local Government Area, in Apumiri, Ubakala.Electricity projects in Obuohia Obi-Ibere, Umuezeala Obonipa in Usaka Ukwu, and donation of transformers to the following: Ndoro Oboro, Agbama Olokoro, World Bank Housing Estate Umuahia, Nnono Oboro, Landlord Association of Umudike, Maryrose Umudike, Ameke Junction, Umuagu-ngolori, Isi Court Old Umuahia.Medical Outreach in March 2018 where over 400 participants benefited from the free medical and counseling carried out by the medical practitioners. Also, following the outbreak of the Coronavirus, PPEs such as, tap-buckets, hand sanitizers, and liquid soaps, were provided for my constituents in line with the stipulations of the World Health Organization’s preventive manual.Construction of the Elemaga-Itunta mini-bridge in Ibere, Ikwuano LGA and the installation of streetlights at Obuohia Obi-Ibere and Ndoro Oboro, Ikwuano LGA”.
Also, he championed the reconstruction of the Ngwugwo valley embankment. Construction of drainage at Iyibom along the Okwe-Obuohia road,Construction of Obuohia-Nkari Bridge (Ongoing),Erosion Control and construction of rural road in Umuecheokwu,Umuovo, Old Umuahia, Umuahia South LGA (Ongoing),Construction of a market at Obuohia Obi-Ibere in Ikwuano LGA, as well as the Construction of a block of six classrooms at Amaoba, Ikwuano LGA among other laudable projects, promising to give more quality representation to his constituents.