Rep. Ben Kalu (APC), representing Bende Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, said on Tuesday that the Federal Government has begun the reconstruction of the Umuahia-Bende-Ohafia Road.
Kalu said this while briefing traditional rulers and political stakeholders on his performance at the National Assembly during a town hall meeting/empowerment programme held in Bende, the headquarters of Bende Local Government Area.
He said that 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 biggest single federal government’s project in Abia”, saying that the contract entailed expanding the 45-kilometer road.
The lawmaker also said that the federal government had given approval for the construction of a solar farm that would house a mini grid for 25 years uninterrupted power supply in the area.
He said that the project would take off in the first quarter of 2021, adding that land had been acquired for the project and survey also carried out.
He listed some of his constituency projects to include the rehabilitation of the Etitiulo-Itumbauzo Road which, he said, was at its completion stage; the institution of a health insurance scheme for 500 constituents, completion of a maternity and health centre and the construction and renovation of classroom blocks in 13 schools in the area.
Others were the provision of boreholes in about four communities, federal employment for youth of the constituency and training of at least 1,000 constituents in poultry farming.
Kalu also gave out 27 motorcycles to APC candidates, who contested the counsellorship seats in the December 18 poll but lost.
He donated 13 tricycles, sewing machines to party faithful and four wheel chairs to persons living with disabilities.
He also handed out N30,000 each to 100 petty traders in the constituency to inject into their businesses.
On his performance in the house, Kalu said that he had moved 15 motions and sponsored 36 bills since the house was inaugurated in June 2019.
He said that aside from being the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, he also belonged to 19 “strategic committees” by virtue of his appointment as the Spokesman of the house.
The legislator described the empowerment programme and town hall meeting as a fulfilment of his electioneering promise to regularly engage the leaders and stakeholders of the area.
“It is now one-and-a-half years since I was sworn in to represent Bende and the passion to rewrite the history of our people and reposition Bende for national political inclusion and development has remained 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.
“In spite of the challenges and opposition, considerable progress has been made on the promises in my manifesto to the glory of God,” Kalu said.
A cross-section of the beneficiaries of his largesse and traditional rulers paid glowing tribute to the lawmaker, describing his activities in the house so far as substantially impactful