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My Constituents Had No Light For 5yrs Yet Given Bill Of N2.1bn, Abia Rep Member Laments



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Member representing Arochukwu/Ohafia federal constituency, Hon. Ibe Okwara Osonwa, has bemoaned the fate of his Ohafia kinsmen who he said had been without public power supply for five years.

The lawmaker who addressed a press conference in Umuahia, expressed shock and the community which had not used electricity for over five years was given a bill of N2.1 billion by the power distribution company in charge of the area.

Hon. Osonwa who described the scenario as very strange, accused the power distribution company of lack of empathy.

The lawmaker who decried the instability in the power sector, said that cost of production would continue to soar unless the power sector challenge is frontally tackled by the Federal Government.

He described as unacceptable, a situation where power alone gulps over 60%  cost of production in the country.

According to him, Nigeria’s economic woes will be half solved if the power sector is fixed, as that would lead to increase in economic activities.

Responding to questions on some of his achievements so far in the green chamber, Rep. Osonwa, expressed hope that his bill which proposed for the conversion of Ohafia General Hospital to Federal Medical Centre, to attend to the health challenges of the people, would sail through.

He argued that the constituency was due for a federal medical centre considering its large population density, plus patients from  neighbouring Ebonyi and Akwa Ibom States besieging it for medical care.

Rep. Osonwa also expressed delight that six of his projects captured in the 2024 budget had been awarded though awaiting funding, while 15 are yet to be awarded.

He equally revealed that about N2 billion had been proposed for erosion control in the constituency but awaiting presidential approval.

The Labour Party lawmaker who expressed concern over the deplorable condition of the Umuahia-Bende-Ohafia federal road, disclosed that the contract had been revoked due to underperformance by the contractor.

He said that the Nmori bridge on the road before Ohafia which was constructed by the Federal Emergency Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, was being threatened by erosion, and called on the federal government to intervene by ensuring the continuation of the road project.

Rep Osonwa further disclosed that contract had been awarded for the construction of Omenuko bridge before Abam, and expressed hope that work would soon begin at the site.

He restated his resolve to bring democracy dividend to the doorsteps of his constituents through equitable distribution of his constituency projects.

According to him, the era of imposing projects on the people is over, explaining that he had during a town hall meeting with his constituents in January,  made each community to chose a project of their choice.

He added that each political ward had chosen the year their preferred project would be captured in the budget.

The lawmaker further said that Abia caucus of the National Assembly members had been working harmoniously irrespective of party affiliations.

He said it was the first time Abia NASS members were working together as a team for the greater good of the state.

Rep Osonwa commended the efforts  of Gov. Alex Ott to  reposition the state, assuring him of the support of the lawmakers.

” In the past it was an embarrassment to say you are from Abia but now we are proud to say we are Abians because of the great works of our performing Governor”.

On the debate over new minimum wage, he supported increase in wage for workers but noted that the N497,000 being demanded by labour is unrealistic.

He suggested N100,000 as new minimum wage, arguing that the rising cost of living has made it compelling for upward review of salaries.

The lawmaker restated his support for Nigeria to adopt a type of democracy that would help reduce cost of governance.

He said that consultations were on to give Nigeria a workable and home-grown democracy that would be in the best interest of the country, taking cognisance of her peculiar challenges.

On the Bill for the creation of additional state for the South East geopolitical zone, he hailed the move but said he was not consulted by the proponent.

He, however, advised that the recommendation of the 2014 constitutional conference which had already dealt with the matter, be adopted.

Responding to the allegation that Igbo political leaders are not doing enough to secure the release of  the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Rep. Osonwa, said that the position of South East NASS caucus for Kanu’s unconditional release, had not changed.

He expressed hope that the IPOB Leader would soon regain his freedom and in good health.

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