Apart from the passage of bills and motions that affect the lives of citizens from the National Assembly, Senator execute their oversight functions to promote effective development and advancement of democracy, and also promote physical development of the nation and their constituencies through participation in the budget and appropriation process of the legislature. In all these, and especially in the budget appropriation process, a Senator must be present to fight for, demand and defend the budget appropriation and utilize his networking abilities if the process is to have a meaningful impact on the constituency.
Not many people actually know that the 2017 budget appropriation process is the first one that Senator Mao is participating as a Senator since his election into the National Assembly in 2015. The reason is that while he was busy making plans for a robust budgetary allocation in 2016 to develop Abia North, his traducers were busy in court seeking to annul his mandate. As a result of this and a ruling of the Appeal Court, Senator Mao’s election was annulled and a rerun election ordered from November, 2015 to March 2016. This was the same time that other Senators considered, debated and passed the Appropriation Budget, and Abia-North was not represented in the Senate, and therefore totally denied its shares of the Nigerian Cake, as undefended.
Being fully present in the 2017 Appropriation process and through several intervention processes already made, Senator Mao has positioned himself for a strong performance this time around. He has achieved the following projects, or their inclusions in the on-going budget:
1. Active work has commenced on the socio-economic and strategic Arochukwu-Ohafia road very dear to me, and I appreciate all those cooperating with me in this project. Am confident that this road will continue to receive budgetary appropriation and completed beyond all expectations.
2. Empowerment of 150 numbers of youths and women of Abia North Constituency with trainings in different self-employed crafts, pastries, and soap making, cable satellite installation, solar panel installation, GSM repairs etc, in collaboration with SMEDAN (completed).
The trained youths and women will be equipped with tools of their trade with cash to begin independent lives, and their progress will be monitored.
3. Distributions of vehicles, motor cycles, consumer items, tricycles (keke) and other items for self-employment of youths (completed)
4. Skill Acquisition Centre in Isuochi/Amuda Umunneochi (on going)
5. Solar Powered borehole at Elu Ohafia (on-going)
6. Reactivation of the abandoned Elu-Asaga-Amuke-Amagwu (Ohafia) Usukpani Road with NDDC (contractor to commence work).
7. PROJECTS ALREADY CONFIRMED IN THE 2017 BUDGET:
• Completion of rural electrifications projects in communities in
Umunneochi LGA, Isuikwuato LGA, Bende LGA, Ohafia LGA, and Arochukwu LGA. (N100,000,000)
• Provision, installation and commissioning of transformers in Umunneochi LGA, Isuikwuato LGA, Bende LGA, Ohafia LGA, and Arochukwu LGA (N50,000,000)
• Construction and Installation of 2X30/40MVA, 132/33KV substation at Ohafia (TCONR94762610) (N361,481,787)
• Construction and installation of 2X30/40MVA, 132/33KV substation at Arochukwu (TCONR69542503) (N35,060,327)
• Ohafia-Arochukwu 132KV S/C Transmission Line (TCONR41995667) (N341,852,571)
• Special Skill Acquisition Scheme at Bende and Ohafia LGAs (NDOEF70445189-0) N25,000,000.
• Empowerment of Women/Youths at Arochukwu and Isuikwuato LGAs (NDOEF70445189-0) N55,000,000.
• Isuikwuato/Uturu Road (FMOWP40922457) (N50,000,000)
• Atani/Ugwuavo Arochukwu Road (FMOWP90567761) (N50,000,000).
• Completion of Atani Arochukwu/Elu Ohafia Water Scheme (N50,000,000)
• Amuda/Nneato Umunneochi Water Scheme (N50,000,000)
8. PROJECTS PROPOSED IN THE 2017 BUDGET AWAITING PASSAGE OF BILL):
• Construction of 11 km Ndi Okereke Abam-Arochukwu Road (NDDC)
• Nneato-Aroikpa Road (NDDC)
• Umuchim-Achara-Okpo road (NDDC)
• Akanu-Abia Ohafia road(Min of Agric and Rural Development)
• Itumbuzor-Ubibia road (Min of Agric & Rural Development)
• Onicha-Amiyi-Pipeline and Umuchim-Okpo road (Min of Agric & Rural Development)
• Construction of class room blocks in Bende, and Ohafia (Min of Works)
• Construction of Umuchi-Okpo-Uburuihe-Amuvi road (Min of Agric & Rural Development)
• Construction of 10km Ndiojiugwo-Ndiebe (Abam)-Amanta (Abiriba) road (Min of Agric & Rural Development)
• Construction of Ugwueke/Amaoka-Item road (ditto)
• Construction of 4.4km Mbala-Umuaku (Umunneochi LGA) road (ditto)
• Construction of Ndiebe-Abam Bailey bridge(Min of Agric & Rural Development)
• Construction of Umunnekwu-Amaiyi-Obuluohia Nnuya road
• Amuda/Nneato/Nmam – Umunneochi Water Scheme(Min of Water Resources)
• Rehabilitation of Abiriba Water Scheme with Solar Pump(Min of Water Resources)
• Rehabilitation of Isuikwuato Water Scheme(Min of Water Resources)
• Arochukwu Water Scheme (Min of Water resources)
• Ohafia-Nkporo Water Scheme( Min of Water Resources)
• Okagwe-Item rural electrification (Min of Power)
PROPOSALS FOR PRIMARY HEALTH CARE CENTRES/TECHNOLOGY CENTRES
• Completion of Primary Health Centres in Nkporo, Abiriba, Lodu Imenyi, Atani, etc (Min of Health)
• Construction of Women and Youth Empowerment in Management of Bio-resources Products Centre in different areas of Abia North (Min of Science & Technology)
• Construction of Bio-resources Laboratories in Ututu, Arochukwu LGA (Min of Science & Technology).
EMPLOYMENT AND PLACEMENT OF ABIA NORTH APPLICANTS:
I am deeply concerned and worried about the growing unemployment of our qualified young men and women, which has become a chronic fact of our recessive economy. Just like parents who bear the anguish and watch their children graduate from universities and other institutions, only to remain idle at home and burdens, – as your Senator I am concerned and always seeking for ways to assist, even though the results remain protracted, endless and sometimes frustrating. We have done the followings with some results achieved:
• We have zealously written more than 200 recommendation letters to support our constituents applying for job openings in the Federal Ministries, parastatals and agencies. We have achieved some results from these, including securing few scholarship awards from NDDC for students of Abia North, but the rest are dependent on the future actions of the Federal Government and other employers. We will keep trying!
• Placement of constituents in Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) (4) successful
• Placement in the Nigerian Navy (3) successful so far
• Placement in the Nigerian Army (3) successful so far
• Placement in the Nigerian Air Force (3) successful
• Placement in the Nigerian Police(3) successful
• Placement of Medical Doctors, Optometrists and pharmacists in Hospitals for internship/residency (Min of Health) (18) successful.
I will keep improving on the above performance, I will not relent and I am confident that tomorrow will show greater results.