Today makes it exactly one year since I assumed office as the member representing our dear constituency at the green chamber of the National Assembly.
The last 365 days have been quite remarkable in diverse ways, presenting new experiences, opportunities and challenges; all of which we have harnessed for the benefits of our communities.
As a people, while we count our blessings of God’s faithfulness through the relative peace and unity across the constituency, we cannot forget the progress recorded so far.
Collectively, we have made remarkable impact in various sectors across the constituency in the last one year, all of which were achievable through your undeviating support.
Our traditional institutions remain the custodian of our ancestral and cultural heritage and it is our collective duty to respect and sustain their existence.
Upon assumption of office, my first official constituency visit was to engage the traditional institutions and seek prayers from our royal fathers.
During my visit to Apa Area Traditional council at Ugbokpo, the deplorable state of the council hall as well as the efforts made by our royal fathers motivated me to take over the renovation of the council hall, the project was completed a few weeks afterwards.
In the area of rural electrification, we have commenced the electrification of Ekwo-Okpancheyi -Okadu as well as Egba-Aila, these projects will be executed in phases and we hope to complete them soonest relative to the availability of funds.
We are aware that various communities within the constituency are faced with the challenge of access to portable water supply, to this end, we hope to commence the drilling of bore holes in some of the most affected communities anytime soon, our pilot project is already sited at Usha in Agatu Local Government Area.
Again, while we strive to tackle the big issues, we cannot afford to turn deaf ears to the little things that seriously challenge the well-being of our people.
In this regards, we commenced the construction of several flood and erosion control projects across the constituency to alleviate the sufferings undergone by feeder road users during the rains.
We constructed three flood and erosion control projects at Enogaje, Engila and Odugbeho all in Agatu Local Government Area while I also donated funds for Auke and Oiji communities in Apa Local Government Area for the construction of Auke bridge as well as Ipole – Jos feeder road at Oiji respectively.
In the area of educational promotion and development, while we are cautiously working on our scholarship scheme for students of tertiary institutions, we have donated thousands of educational materials to primary school pupils across the constituency and we have also secured admissions for not less than 250 indigenes of our dear constituency to study in the University of Abuja, Nasarawa State University Keffi as well as Benue State Polytechnic Ugbokolo within the first one year in office.
The completion of Oweto – Keffi road is a major priority for our people as it has opened the two local governments to immeasurable opportunities.
As your representative, I have been engaging relevant authorities especially the Minister of Works and Housing to ensure the speedy completion of this laudable project.
Today, I can assure you that the Minister is not only interested in constructing remaining portion spanning about 40km but has also given strong promises to rehabilitate the Nasarawa – Keffi axis through his office.
I have also submitted a motion of urgent importance waiting to be listed at the floor of the House of Representatives as a legislative backing for the completion of the Oweto – Keffi road.
In the last one year, we sponsored the 2019 Enbago Annual Sports Competition for Apa/Agatu youths to promote sporting activities and enthusiasm amongst the youths. We went further to sponsor the best two footballers from the competition to the Nigeria’s Under 17 National football academy in Abuja.
We hope that very soon our boys would form part of the National football team if they perform credibly at the camp.
As your legislator, one of my major responsibilities is to lend my voice on issues of national importance and in my strong appetency for educational development, I entreated my colleagues as well as the leadership of the House of Representatives to liaise with ASUU in resolving the lingering crisis between the Union and the Federal Government which we are certain that in no time, our University students can have uninterrupted studies.
On bills and motions, apart from the motion of urgent importance for the completion of Oweto – Keffi road, my team is currently working on the bill for the regulation, monitoring and evaluation of Engineering structures in Nigeria which is aimed at reducing the rates of building collapse in the country; awaiting listing on the floor of the House as well.
Successful community development is hinged on the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders, this is why my office has supported various well-spirited groups and organisations working towards the development of our dear constituency.
In this regards, I donated two million naira for the completion of Agatu Development Association hall at Makurdi.
Our dear constituency is known for high level of religious tolerance between the Christians and Muslims, as a leader whose responsibility is to promote peace and unity amongst the people, we have continued to encourage the Muslim communities in Apa and Agatu the little ways possible.
I made half a million naira donation for the renovation of Alifeti mosque in Apa Local Government Area and also donated a million naira for the translation of the Holy Qur’an to Agatu (Idoma language) in the course of my one year in office.
The role and relevancy of security agencies in the constituency especially Agatu Local Government Area where security challenges have engulfed our people over years cannot be overemphasized.
In the last one year, I have continued to support the security agencies working round the clock to ensure serenity in the constituency.
It was in this light that I made funds available for the urgent refurbishment of the Nigerian Police patrol vehicle for Agatu Divisional Police station which was in a state of comatose prior to my assumption of office.
The year 2020 began on a sad note for the world, Nigeria inclusive with the coronavirus outbreak infecting over seven million persons and leading to the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives across the globe.
Systems were shut down, making livelihood a peregrination of struggles for the less privileged.
It was in this note that we made cash transfers worth over 4.6 million naira across the constituency through various stakeholders at the ward and community levels athwart political party and religious affiliations as palliatives to cushion the effect of the covid-19 pandemic.
I also went further to lobby and secure food items from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for victims of farmers/herders crisis in Agatu to cushion the effect of the pandemic on the Internally Displaced Persons across the Local Government Area.
Indeed, the list is endless, though faced with a major challenge of lack of funding for constituency projects by the executive, we will continue to strive for better days ahead for our dear constituency.
The next three years can be assimilated to three pregnant women fully loaded and ready to deliver, it is my earnest prayer that the coming years will be relatively better than our first year in office.
Finally, I appreciate the good people of Apa and Agatu for your unreserved support, prayers and good wishes in the last one year.
Indeed, I am very proud to have come from such a wonderful society where love and solidarity towards leadership and one another is second to none.
Once again, thank you Apa/Agatu.
Hon. Samuel Odagboyi Godday
Member Representing Apa/Agatu Federal Constituency