Representative Ben Kalu (APC), who represents the Bende federal constituency in the House of Representatives, said on Tuesday that the federal government has begun the reconstruction of the Umuahia-Bende-Ohafia highway.
Kalu said this while briefing traditional rulers and political stakeholders on his performance in the National Assembly during a town hall meeting / empowerment program held in Bende, the headquarters of the Bende Local Government Area.
He said that the contract for the project was awarded by the federal government at a cost of N12 billion and that N2.1 billion would be released annually for the project until it is completed.
He described the project as “the federal government’s largest project in Abia” and said the contract involved expanding the 45-kilometer highway.
The legislator also said that the federal government had given the go-ahead for the construction of a solar park that would house a mini-grid for 25 years of uninterrupted power supply in the area.
He said the project will take off in the first quarter of 2021, adding that land has been acquired for the project and the survey was also carried out.
He listed some of the projects in his constituency to include the rehabilitation of the Etitiulo-Itumbauzo highway, which, he said, was in its completion stage; the institution of a health insurance plan for 500 voters, the completion of a health and maternity center, and the construction and renovation of classroom blocks in 13 schools in the area.
Others were the provision of drilling in approximately four communities, federal employment for constituency youth, and training of at least 1,000 voters in poultry farming.
Kalu also handed out 27 motorcycles to the APC candidates, who contested the advisory seats in the December 18 vote but lost.
He donated 13 tricycles, sewing machines to the faithful of the party and four wheelchairs to people with disabilities.
It also gave N30,000 each to 100 small merchants in the constituency to inject into their businesses.
Regarding his performance at the house, Kalu said he has moved 15 motions and sponsored 36 bills since the house opened in June 2019.
He said that in addition to being the chairman of the House Public Affairs and Media Committee, he also belonged to 19 “strategic committees” by virtue of his appointment as Speaker of the House.
The legislator described the empowerment program and the town hall meeting as a fulfillment of his electoral promise to regularly engage area leaders and stakeholders.
“It is now a year and a half since I vowed to represent Bende and the passion to rewrite the history of our people and reposition Bende for national political inclusion and development continues to be my driving force.
“2020 has been an interesting year with the peculiarities of the COVID-19 pandemic posing a formidable challenge to our mission to economically emancipate Bende.
“Despite challenges and opposition, considerable progress has been made on the promises of my manifesto for the glory of God,” said Kalu.
A cross-section of the recipients of his generosity and traditional rulers enthusiastically paid tribute to the legislator, describing his activities at the house as substantially shocking.