“Leadership is all about service to humanity” —Hon. Samuel Ifeanyi Onuigbo
The current state of politics and the public square in Nigeria has heightened the need for thoughtful, informed and effective leadership in Congress. Rep. Samuel Onuigbo is precisely the type of leader we need at this point to represent our constituency in Federal Congress.
In contemporary Nigeria, divisiveness has clouded thoughtfulness, emotion has displaced reason and print, television and social media have done little more than to distort and inflame the passions of ordinary citizen like I.
I have been following Rep. Onuigbo since he got elected and sworn- in and believe he has done a remarkable job during his first term in office. He has a deep understanding of both national and local issues and deserves our support for re-election to Congress Federal house of representatives.
Herewith, are things that shaped my conviction about him.
Representative Sam Onuigbo is member representing Ikwuano/ Umuahia North/ South, Abia State, federal constituency in the House of Representatives under flag of People’s Democratic Party(PDP). A serving Chairman, House Committee on Climate Change at Nigeria Federal House of Representatives, Abuja.
Through his motion and interface with the Ministry of Works, Power and Housing, dilapidated Umuahia – Ikwuano – Ikot Ekpene road which has been a nightmare to motorists was reconstructed. A very busy road linking his state to other states- Akwaibom state and Cross rivers states. A former death trap, accident and death proned road, pothole ridden road is now wearing a new face of dualised federal high ways today, he also worked to include in the 2018 Federal budget, the construction of an alternative federal road from Okwe Oboro-Obuohia, to Nkari in Akwa Ibom State. It has reduced the burden on the Umuahia-Ikwuano-Ikot Ekpene federal road as contract for the design of the Ehie bridge that will link the two states has been awarded.
He foresaw construction of the Okwe-Obuohia-Umuemenike-Ahiaorie Ring Road, in the 2013 budget of the Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC)
On March of 2018, embarked on construction of the Elemaga-Itunta mini bridge in Ibere, Ikwuano LGA, completed and commissioned.
Rep. Sam Onuigbo, on February 16th, 2018 flagged off the Usaka Ukwu, Oloko, and Obuohia Obi-Ibere in Ikwuano LGA, electricity projects.
Rural Electrification scheme, aimed at promoting the welfare of his rural communities and improve the economic status of his people in the rural areas, helping industrialization of his constituency, completed and commissioned.
Erosion control works at Amankwo Ezeleke, Umuopara, in Umuahia South LGA, Umuwawa in Umuopara, Umuahia South LGA, and Amankwo Ezeleke Amachara-Okwe Oboro, in Ikwuano LGA, which gulped about N760million saved these communities constantly living in fear of being swallowed by erosion. He achieved these by making sure out of 25 Erosion Projects earmarked by Federal government, two he caught for his constituency. Completed and commissioned.
Youth And Sports
He periodically, hosted
Ibere football league, and the Obuohia Obi-Ibere football league as part of his efforts of scouting for talents and providing entertainment for the youths.
Medical Centre and Outreach Rep. Sam Onuigbo has also attracted the construction and
renovation of Health Centres in Oloko and Obuohia Obi-Ibere and periodically, been providing medical services and check ups around his constituency. In March, 2018, Rep. Sam Onuigbo, aware of the importance of health to his people organized the Rep. Sam Onuigbo Health Initiative For Rural Dwellers in partnership with the Medical Team of the National Youth Service Corps(NYSC). Over 400 participants benefitted from the free medical and counseling carried out by the medical practitioners.
Scholarships, Trainings, and Direct Engagement With His Constituents.
Rep. Onuigbo has within the period under review, sustained his several scholarship programmes for Secondary School students, undergraduates, and Post-graduate students; maintained direct interface/engagements with his constituents through meetings and events, and projected the interest of his constituency in the 2016, 2017, and 2018 budgets. He provided several skills acquisition trainings for his constituents. For instance, in September of 2016, through his efforts, an Entrepreneurship skills acquisition programme held at Kolping Society, Umuahia. Also, the National Automation Council Training held for mechanics providing them with necessary training and machines in their workshop held at Mgbuka, Ohiya Mechanic village, Umuahia in November of the same year.
Rep. Onuigbo has also organised a training and skills acquisition workshop for youths and women through the Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology, Lagos for people who want to acquire knowledge in fish farming and feed production, in November, 2016. Participants were empowered afterwards.
Also, in January of 2018, Rep. Onuigbo organized a two-week Basic Business Training for selected persons(youths, men and women) from his constituency. The idea behind the training was to equip his constituents with basic business skills that will guide them in their respective Small and Medium Scale businesses.
Construction of School Blocks:
Rep. Onuigbo in the period under review has executed projects that include; the construction of school blocks in Ekebedi, in Oboro, Ikwuano LGA, and Old Umuahia in Umuahia South LGA. Completed and commissioned.
Construction of Inter-village Roads:
Sam Onuigbo has ensured that the 3km
Akpahia Obi – Ohuru road, Afugiri, Umuahia North and the 9.5 km road at Okwe- Obuohia Umuemenike- Ahia Orie in Ikwuano, are all included in the NDDC budget. Efforts are ongoing to ensure the commencement of construction on both roads as the NDDC chairman had already committed to this. He has also facilitated the grading of the Agbama-Ahiaukwu Olokoro road; Okwe Obuohia road, etc. Completed and commissioned.
It is worth noting, that Rep. Onuigbo has assisted
well over 50 indigenes of his constituency to gain employment in both public and Private Establishments.
Provision of a Generating Plant For NTA Umuahia:
On the 29th of July, 2016,
Rep. Onuigbo, intimated of the power problems facing the Nigerian Television Authority(NTA), Umuahia, visited their offices and donated a generating plant and fuel to them.
He further promised to ensure that all of their needs are effectively presented to the appropriate national bodies.
This he followed up by working with the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mohammed Lai, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, and the Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority, and to the glory of God, NTA Umuahia is now back on air.
Provision of Solar Powered Borehole:
Rep. Sam Onuigbo has attracted the
sinking of a solar-powered borehole at Avonkwu Ibeku, in order to help with the water problems of the community.
Agriculture: Alternative Revenue Source and Empowerments:
On the 24th of April, 2017, Rep. Sam Onuigbo, in
recognition of the place of farming to his constituents, unveiled his farming empowerment package for them. Over 250 people benefitted from his distribution of fertilizers, Coveralls, Nasa Sprayers, Pesticides, etc, worth millions of Naira.
Office equipment to Donation to Pacesetter FM, Umuahia after the fire outbreak incident.
Purchase of JAMB forms for over thirty(30) students from his constituency in 2017.
He is currently concluding plans to ensure that a Climate Change Research
Institutes set up in Ikwuano.
Rep. Onuigbo in late January, 2018, flagged off the construction of a Skills Acquisition Centre which he attracted to his constituency. The Skills Acquisition Centre, domiciled at the headquarters of the Umuahia South Local Government Area, in Apumiri, Ubakala, will see to the steady provision of various skills for the people of Ikwuano and Umuahia. The project is valued at over N90million.
As part of his plan to support education for his constituents, Rep. Onuigbo in 2017 provided a generating plant, television set, Air condition units, etc, for the Senior Staff Club of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture.
Friday, 16th February, 2018, Rep. Sam Onuigbo, in his bid to support Abia State government with the digitalization of the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State(BCA), donated a video camera and lighting accessories to the station. As part of efforts to ensure the all round development of his constituency,
Since elected, consistently has been making provisions for his people to celebrate the festive periods( Easter, Christmas) in the form of cash and foodstuff.
His Climate Change House Committee Chairman Actions
As Chairman, House Committee on Climate Change, been able to carry out the following oversight duties;
i. The Committee keyed into key oversight roles in the Ogoni Clean-up exercise launched by the Federal Government on June 2nd, 2016. Rep. Onuigbo was physically present when the process was flagged off by the Federal Government, on June 2nd, 2016.
ii. As the Chairman of the House Committee on Climate Change, Rep. Onuigbo was part of the Nigerian delegation led by President Muhammadu Buhari, to UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris, France, when the first globally and legally binding agreement on Climate Change was adopted.
iii. On September 22, 2016, Rep Onuigbo, 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 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.
Indeed, Rep. Onuigbo was the only legislator who stood on the right hand of Mr. President and witnessed the signing ceremony on behalf of the National Assembly.
iv. In November 2016, Rep Onuigbo participated at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco as part of the Nigerian delegation led by President Muhammadu Buhari. In November of 2017, he was also part of the Nigerian delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP 23 in Bonn, Germany.
v. As part of his efforts to ensure that relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies become actively engaged on Climate Change issues, Rep. Onuigbo has conducted over twelve interactive and budget defence sessions with MDAs during which he created the awareness required to contain the devastating effects of Climate Change.
vi. In recognition of his exploits and commitment to Climate Change issues, he was on November 24th, 2016, elected the Vice President of GLOBE Nigeria– Global Legislators Organisation for 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.
Rep. Onuigbo’s election as the Vice President of GLOBE Nigeria came as a recognition of the important role he has played as the Chairman House Committee on Climate Change which has seen several Ministries, Departments and Agencies become aware of the roles they have to play in ensuring that Nigeria meets her Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in combating Climate Change.
The honourable member’s 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 his constituency experience is a result of Climate Change.
vii. On Tuesday, February 28, 2017, Rep. Sam Onuigbo was able to work with MDAs, to get an unprecedented N8billion naira for Climate Change issues. He stressed during the budget defence that the N8billion was far inadequate and hoped to get massive improvement on that amount. It is projected that before the expiration of Rep. Onuigbo’s tenure, massive improvements in Climate Change will be made in Nigeria.
His Legislative Actions
1. Motions Moved and Bills Sponsored:
i. Motion On The Need For An Urgent Reconstruction Of The Umuahia – Ikwuano – Ikot Ekpene Federal Road.
ii. 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 on courses without getting certificates at the end of the journey.
iii. Motion On The Need To Stop The Deconstruction Of Nigeria’s National Flag : This 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. Rep. Onuigbo has also initiated the process of amending the Flag and Coat of Arms Act.
iv. Motion On A Matter Of Urgent Public Importance On The Need To Immortalize Two Former National Football Coaches, Stephen Keshi, And Amodu Shuaibu Who Passed On’: This followed the death of both Stephen Keshi and Shuaibu Amodu, with the revelation that despite the selfless services of the two great sportsmen and gaffers, the government was owing them heavily.
v. Petition On The Wrongful Dismissal Of Over 300 Diamond Bank Staff Without Due Process: Here, he urged the House to take appropriate steps to ensure that the Bank pays the staff their full benefits.
vi. Petition On The Wrongful Termination Of The Employment Of Some Employees Of The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
vii. Motion On 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. Rep. Onuigbo
followed this up with several consultations with stakeholders both within Abia State, and at the national level, while also engaging the media extensively. As at the time of compiling this report, some of the delisted courses had been restored.
viii. Climate Change Act: In June, 2016, Rep. Onuigbo put together a panel of experts to fashion out a robust bill on a Legislative Framework on Climate Change Governance for the Nation. The bill, entitled “AN ACT TO PROVIDE A LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE MAINSTREAMING OF CLIMATE CHANGE RESPONSES AND ACTIONS INTO GOVERNMENT POLICY FORMULATION AND IMPLEMENTATION AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE COUNCIL AND FOR RELATED MATTERS” has passed through both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and is currently awaiting Presidential assent.
The bill, when assented to, will among other things, ensure that Nigeria meets her international Climate Change obligations, including Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs), international treaties and agreements, under the United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change, like the Paris Agreement, which Nigeria has assented to. The bill also seeks to ensure that Nigeria pursues sustainable economic development and growth that fosters the availability of clean energy, while also ensuring that strategic Climate Change responses are consistent with national development priorities, in conformity with the stipulations of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(as amended).