The annual Bende Empowerment Programme usually held every 29th December by Hon. Benjamin Kalu, took an interesting turn this year as the member representing Bende Federal Constituency used the opportunity to hold a townhall meeting to present the leaders and stakeholders of Bende with a report of his activities in his one and half years in office.
The meeting which took place at Agbamuzu civic center Umuoche Bende, had in attendance Bende indigenes, 60 traditional rulers representing all the autonomous communities, APC stakeholders as well as members of various political parties, christian leaders, women and youth of Bende. It also had in attendance, the Honourable Minister of State for Mines and Steel, Dr. Uche Ogah, represented by Hon. Solomon Okogbue.
Speaking during the event, Hon. Kalu, unveiled his achievements and a report of his activities since inception of office ranging from motions moved, bills sponsored, various oversight activities as well as legislative interventions championed by him for the good of Bende and Nigeria at large. He highlighted major infrastructural projects, previously abandoned, which were now receiving federal government attention due to his unrelenting representation of the infrastructural challenges of Bende people. Some highlights of his presentation included the securing of 33 projects for Bende in the 2021 National Budget including the construction of roads in Nkpa, Alayi and Bende-Okporoenyi-Nkalunta; as well as the rehabilitation of the Umuahia-Bende and Etitiulo-Itumbauzo roads; disbursement of over N15.7 million in financial support to constituents in 2020; construction of health and maternity centres in Bende and Ntalakwu; construction of several blocks of classrooms across the constituency; commencement of solar powered boreholes in various communities in the constituency; subsidized health insurance for over 500 Bende indigenes; securing an approval to build a solar mini grid capable of providing 25 years of power to Bende, away from the national grid; provision of an electric transformer to Item; various agricultural trainings and empowerment in Bende; donation of 30 bikes and 13 tricycles for security and transportation support as well as the rehabilitation of community townhalls in Bende and Igbere.
At the town hall meeting, attendees and stakeholders were given the opportunity to ask questions, which were answered by Hon. Kalu. The lawmaker also gave them the opportunity to identify other areas and issues requiring his action.
Reacting to the report of activities presented by the legislator, visibly pleased attendees of the townhall meeting expressed surprise at the remarkable achievements recorded in just one and half years in office. They were overjoyed at the opportunity to interact with their representative on the future of Bende, and expressed optimism for the future.
A highlight of the event was the official presentation of a grant of 30,000 Naira each to 100 hardworking women, single mothers and widows in the federal constituency under Hon. Kalu’s Micro-Business Support Program. Additionally, Hon. Benjamin Kalu partnered with the National Directorate of Employment to provide several motor bikes and tricycles for security and transport purposes in the rural areas.
Various empowerment items were also distributed to indigenes of Bende by Hon. Kalu including wheel chairs and sewing machines and several bags of rice and other food items to mark the 18th edition of Hon. Benjamin Kalu’s Food support program.
After the event, the traditional rulers in Bende Federal Constituency were specially hosted to dinner at the country residence of the representative.
A copy of Hon. Benjamin Kalu’s achievements in office so far can be downloaded here.
Below are some picture highlights from the event.