Hon. Onuigbo Engages With The Media, Gives Account Of His Six Years Stewardship [WATCH VIDEO]

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Honorable Sam Onuigbo member representing the people of Ikwuano/Umuahia North/Umuahia South in the federal house of representative on Monday 11th January 2020 had a media chat with a cross section of media professionals where he briefed them of his adventure in the green chamber for the over six years, he was elected to represent his constituents. The honorable member said, it is very imperative for him to engage members of the media as the media is a channel between the leaders and the led.


Onuigbo asserted that he has always believed that every elected official is an employee of the people who through the power of their thumbs, empowered him or her to hold power in trust for them. It follows therefore that as a responsible employee, every elected official must from time to time go back to his or her employers (the electorates) and render a transparent account of his/her stewardship. He stated that since he was elected in 2015 to represent the good people of Ikwuano/Umuahia North/Umuahia South Federal Constituency, he has at least once a year made it a point of duty to share with his people, an account of his stewardship. He added that in fact, in 2021, he had, on numerous occasions, participated in radio simulcasts to provide answers to key enquiries by his constituents, ranging from the state of the Umuahia-Ikwuano-Ikot Ekpene Federal Road to ongoing efforts to ensure that 30 years after its creation, Abia State joins other states in having a federal secretariat. He said he holds these engagements because he is a servant of the people, and it is mandatory for him to dutifully account to his people at all times. He stated that the media chat with the members of the NUJ is therefore another platform for him to render a detailed account of his representation of the people of Ikwuano/Umuahia North/Umuahia South Federal Constituency.


In giving account of his stewardship since his election into the green chambers, the federal lawmaker asserted that a lawmaker’s responsibilities in Nigeria are tripartite— lawmaking, oversight, and representation. He therefore gave a detailed account of his representation by focusing on what we have being able to do on this tripod of representation in Nigeria.


In terms of lawmaking, Onuigbo opined that as a lawmaker, his primary responsibility is to work with his colleagues at the national assembly and other stakeholders in making laws and pushing for policies for the good of the country. He pointed out that this could be through sponsoring of Bills, or through the tabling of motions on the floor of the House. On this front, he rated himself high. According to the federal lawmaker ,2021 ended with a bang for him and his team as the Climate Change Bill which he sponsored was assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari and consequently became an Act of the National Assembly of Nigeria. He emphasized that this act has not only brought massive commendations to him  by the global community, but also within Nigeria where the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Senior Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Chinedu Francis Akubueze, and many others have applauded him for pushing through this historic piece of legislation which positions Nigeria to begin her journey to sustainable development. This Act also earned him the award of Dean of Bills by the revered National Assembly Press Corps.

The lawmaker enunciated other Bills that he sponsored, motions that he has moved, and petitions presented on behalf of his constituents, to include:   Bill for the amendment of the Flags and Coat of Arms Act, Bill for the amendment of the Federal University of Agriculture Umudike Establishment Act. Motion on the need for the urgent reconstruction of the Umuahia – Ikwuano – Ikot Ekpene federal road, Motion on the need to check the admission of students into tertiary institutions for courses not accredited/approved by the National University Commission (NUC): The motion was aimed at saving students and parents the agony of wasting their time and resources studying for courses without getting certificates at the end of the journey,Motion on the need to stop the deconstruction of Nigeria’s national flag: This is a national issue aimed at ending the strange and disturbing act of superimposing the Coat of Arms of Nigeria on the white section of the Nigerian Flag and motion on a matter of urgent public importance on the need to immortalize two former national football coaches, Stephen Keshi and Amodu Shuaibu who passed on: This followed the death of both Stephen Keshi and Shuaibu Amodu, with the revelation that despite the selfless services of the two great sportsmen and gaffers, the government was owing them heavily.



Some other petitions sponsored by him includes; Petition on the wrongful dismissal of over 300 Diamond Bank staff without due process: Here, I urged the House to take appropriate steps to ensure that the Bank pays the dismissed staff their full benefits.  Petition on the wrongful termination of the employment of some employees of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). While he also raised  motion on the need for the Federal Government to reverse the Presidential directive to scale down non-agricultural programmes from the curriculum of Federal Universities of Agriculture. This motion was aimed at reversing the illegal directive to delist Management Science courses from Universities of Agriculture especially the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike. I followed this up with townhall meetings with my constituents and several consultations with stakeholders within Abia State while also engaging the media extensively through advertorials, etc. At the national level, my motion led to the convening of a public hearing during which the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), the National Universities Commission (NUC), the Vice Chancellors of the three Agricultural Universities, and several important stakeholders were invited to discuss the legality or otherwise of that directive.    Motions on a matter of urgent public importance (Order 8, Rule 4) to call on the FederaGovernment to immediately take actions to prevent a calamity waiting to happen at Umunwanwa, Umuopara, in Umuahia South LGA of Abia State: These motions were initiated in two Assemblies—8th and 9th Assemblies– to get the backing of the House in efforts at ensuring that the Federal Government and its agencies take urgent action to address the life-threatening Umunwanwa erosion.


Also raised by him, is motion on the need to intervene in the case of attacks and the gruesome murder of four indigenes of Usaka Ukwu in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State by armed indigenes of Ibono Okporo, Nkari in Ini Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State in order to prevent a bloodbath. Moved on the 14th of July 2020 on the floor of the House of Representatives, the motion sought to get the Federal Government to mandate security agencies to step in and prevent further bloodshed in the boundary dispute between the two communities, ensure that the National Boundary Commission is sent to properly demarcate the boundaries, while also ensuring that relief materials are provided for the displaced. Note that I had moved a similar motion during the 8th Assembly when due to this same crisis, a young man, from Ariam Eluelu, Ikwuano Local Government Area, was killed.

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In terms of Oversight, Hon.Onuigbo stated that he has been fully committed to performing his oversight functions as the representative of the people of Ikwuano/Umuahia North/Umuahia South Federal Constituency. During engagements at the committee level, budget defence sessions, and interactions with Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, and even with the international community, he said his voice has been strong, loud, and effective.


He listed  some of his key oversight engagements to include:  As chairman of the Climate Change committee during the 8th Assembly, the committee, under my leadership, keyed into key oversight roles in the Ogoni Clean-up exercise launched by the Federal Government on June 2nd, 2016.He informed the NUJ members that he  was part of the Nigerian delegation led by President Muhammadu Buhari, to the UNFCCC COP 21 in Paris, France, when the first globally and legally binding agreement on Climate Change—the Paris Agreement on Climate Change– was adopted.


He further added that, On September 22, 2016, the then Minister of Environment (current Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations) Amina Mohammed, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama were the only Nigerian officials who stood as witnesses on the right hand of President Buhari at the 71st General Assembly in New York when President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. There were over fifteen prominent Nigerians (Governors and Ministers) who were observers at that event.He also stated that  on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, he was able to work with MDAs, to get an unprecedented N8billion naira for Climate Change issues.


The federal lawmaker also added that   In November 2016, he participated at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco as part of the Nigerian delegation led by President Muhammadu Buhari. In November of 2017, he was also part of the Nigerian delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP 23 in Bonn, Germany. He said he was also part of the Nigerian delegation to COP26 at Glasgow, Scotland, in November 2021.


As part of his efforts to ensure that relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies become actively engage on Climate Change issues, Hon.Onuigbo said he conducted over twelve interactive and budget defence sessions with MDAs during which the awareness required to contain the devastating effects of Climate Change was created. He stated that this was during his time as the Chairman, House Committee on Climate Change.


The lawmaker revealed that in recognition of his exploits and commitment to Climate Change issues, he was on November 24th, 2016, elected the Vice President of GLOBE Nigeria– Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE). GLOBE is an organization for parliamentarians in over 99 countries of the world and is committed to Climate Change and sustainable development. With an eye on energy, security and land use, GLOBE believes that legislators have an important role to play in ensuring that their governments fulfill their obligations as it concerns commitments made during international negotiations. During the 9th Assembly.He pointed out that he was then elected as the head of GLOBE in Africa as Vice President (Africa) of GLOBE International. This made him the first Nigerian to become a Board Member of GLOBE International. The lawmaker adduced that It is important to point out here that his commitment to Climate Change issues is born out of a first-hand experience of the effects of Climate Change on the people of Ikwuano/Umuahia–the massive erosion that the people of this constituency experience is a result of Climate Change.



As Vice President (Africa) of GLOBE International and President of GLOBE Nigeria in the 9th Assembly. He opined that he used this position to drive for the attainment of the objectives of the Global Environment Facility (GEF6) project “GLOBE Legislators Advancing REDD+ and Natural Capital Governance Towards the Delivery of the 2030 Agenda”. In the course of driving this important national project,” I have held many interactive sessions with key MDAs, private sector players, and generally led national legislators to begin to pay attention to the importance of Natural Capital Accounting to Nigeria’s sustainable development, while also furthering the country’s implementation of its REDD+ and Great Green Wall Initiative plans. We have as part of our efforts produced three policy documents that will drive legal and institution reform of Nigeria’s REDD+ Programme, the Great Green Wall Initiative, and Natural Capital Accounting in the country”, he added.


The Ikwuano born federal lawmaker adduced that he is currently championing the efforts of the Nigerian branch of Climate Parliament as the Chairman of Climate Parliament Nigeria, as they drive for renewable energy implementation and sustainable development.  As part of efforts to kickstart the transition of women (some of the worst impacted by greenhouse gases –GHG– emission) to the use of clean energy sources, he revealed that he donated clean-cook stoves to women leaders from his constituency. He also points out that    In January 2020, he was one of the speakers during the tenth session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates where his presentation focused on the impacts of Climate Change on women and the need for Climate Change mitigation and adaptation efforts to prioritize women. In 2017, he also participated in the 7th session of the IRENA Assembly. The lawmaker further stated that On November 5, 2021, he delivered a paper entitled “Net Zero Laws, Green Recovery, and NDCs—Who is getting it right? The Nigerian Perspective” at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, Scotland, as part of the GLOBE COP26 Legislators Summit.


Hon.Onuigbo also added that as part of his oversight responsibilities, during a budget defence session in November 2019, he brought to the attention of the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, His Excellency Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, that Abia State does not have a Federal Secretariat, and impressed upon him the need for this to be handled. That began the process of ensuring that the Federal Government builds a Federal Secretariat in the state.    In addition to all of these, he stated that he has through several oversight engagements championed the needs of his constituents and Nigerians in general and some of these engagements have resulted in the provision of employment and provision of some infrastructural needs of his people.

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