In what could be considered a unique deviation from the common political empowerment practices of giving cars and cash gifts, Engr. Otobong Ndem, the lawmaker representing Mkpat Enin state constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, has donated a mini-housing estate to members of his constituency.
The 620-square metre per plot 20-unit housing estate, right in the heart of Uyo capital city, is indeed one of its kind in the history of political empowerment in the state.
Speaking with newsmen in Uyo at the weekend as part of activities to mark his mega constituency briefing/empowerment slated for April 18 2018, the lawmaker said 20 members of his constituency would on Wednesday receive land allocation papers.
He explained that two beneficiaries of the scheme had already moved into their new homes, while many others have been mobilized to site and were at advanced stages of completion. Others who were yet to be allocated, would, according to Ndem, be handed the land documents during the empowerment programme.
His words “The housing estate which situates in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital (Aka- Etinan – Mbiokporo road, opposite Jehovah Witnesses Assembly Hall), measures 620 square metres per plot of land. The mini-housing scheme is my own way of providing one of the basic necessities of man, which is shelter, within the state capital to some members of my constituency who were yet to have houses of their own in Uyo.”
He explained that under the housing scheme segment of his empowerment scheme, beneficiaries were allocated a plot of land in the estate to build any house of their choice, while he would assist them in the building construction with cement and roofing materials.
On the criteria for the selection of beneficiaries of his empowerment schemes, Ndem said the choice of beneficiaries were usually thrown to ward and community leaders within the 14 wards in Mkpat Enin to ensure that no deserving individual was left out.
Providing a feed forward to his empowerment programme, the House of Assembly Services Committee Chairman explained that in addition to the housing scheme, several of his constituency members would smile home with buses, cars, starter packs, financial aid, among other empowerment packages.
Presenting a scorecard of his representation, Ndem reported to have so far sponsored three bills and no fewer than six life touching motions which were debated on and acted upon.
He listed some of his motions to include; “the Motion on Death Fangs from Consumption of Illicit Drinks popularly known as Kaikai (Ethanol and Methanol); Motion for the Rehabilitation of Cottage Hospitals in Asong, Ikot Abia and Ikot Ekpaw, all in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area; Motion on Community Based Budgeting (Participation of People in Budgeting for Creation of Community Based/People Oriented Budget); and Motion on Checking Roadside Markets and Trading on Highways in the State to Safeguard Lives; among others.
Some of his bills included The Akwa Ibom State Investors/Investments Protection Bill, 2016, The Akwa Ibom, State Economy Strategy Bill, 2016, which have both passed the second reading and the Akwa Ibom State Urban and Regional Planning Bill 2017.
He said he had trained hundreds of constituent members, most of whom he said will be given starter packs during the empowerment programme. He however appealed to those who have not been captured in the first two phases of his empowerment programmes to forward their names to his constancy office, as he is currently planning a third phase of empowerment in the next two months and the fourth phase before the end of his first tenure in office.
He listed some of his interventions in Mkpat Enin to include; the provision of a solar powered boreholes in Ikot Ekpaw, Ukam and Ikot Akata, facilitate the provision of transformers in Ikot Akata, Nya Odiong and Ikot Abasi-ufon, reactivation of electricity in Ikot Abasi Akpan, Ekpuk, Ikot Ekpaw and Nya Diong, and construction of a befitting Unity Hall in Ukam.