By Maurice Okafor, Enugu.
Barely one month in office, the federal lawmaker representing Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency in the 10th National Assembly, Hon. Engr. Chijioke Stanislaus Okereke is already focused on achieving targeted objectives that would stir the industrial revolution, capacity building and socio-economic development of his constituency, Enugu State and the nation, generally.
The Enugu state born Federal Lawmaker in his capacity as the current Deputy Chairman of the Science Research Institutions Committee, House of Representatives with the support of his colleagues, is promising to initiate policies to intensify revolution in the Agricultural sector, as well as innovations in Science and Technology that would enhance socio-economic development of the country. He is also initiating moves to revitalize the abandoned Federal Pilot Tannery Oji-River.
Hon. Chijioke Stanislaus Okereke, an Engineer by profession, who relatively has set the pace of endearing Youths of his constituency in digital technology training that would expose them to the global digital economy through his pet project ‘CSO Tech Programme’, sees his assigned position as Deputy Chairman, House of Reps Committee on Science Research Institutions as an added advantage and enlarged scope in the area of his specialization, and will leave no stone unturned in his commitment to serve the nation.
Hon Okereke stated, ‘The Science Research Institutions Committee is a vital component of our legislative body, tasked with shaping policies and making decisions that will drive scientific research and technological advancements in our great nation. This position offers a unique opportunity to influence the future of Nigeria positively, especially in the domain of agriculture which aligns with my agenda and manifesto for Greater Awgu [Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency]’.
‘As the Deputy Chairman, I am committed to fostering an environment that encourages innovation, research, and development in various scientific fields. We will work tirelessly to promote collaborations between research institutions and industries to harness the power of knowledge and technology for the betterment of our society’.
The Aninri/Awgu/Oji River federal lawmaker said one of the primary objectives of his committee is to ensure adequate funding for scientific research and related projects. By so doing, they will pave the way for groundbreaking discoveries and solutions to some of the nation’s most pressing challenges.
He said his committee will also develop policies that would enhance Agriculture, Hard Skills, as well as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). His words, ‘Furthermore, I intend to push for policies that promote agriculture, hard skills, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Investing in our youth and providing them with access to quality education and empowerment in these fields will not only empower them but also contribute to building a competitive and prosperous Nigeria’.
Hon. Okereke said he would seek the input of all Nigerians in achieving desired goals, expressing his belief in the diversity of the country.
‘Our great nation is rich in diversity, and I firmly believe that harnessing the collective knowledge and experiences of all Nigerians is essential for achieving our goals. I will actively seek the input of experts, stakeholders, and representatives from various sectors to make well-informed and inclusive decisions’, he stated.
Barely one month in office, Hon Chijioke Stanislaus Okereke is already walking the talk. Through his pet project, CSO Tech Programme, he has facilitated tech internships for over 350 youths of his constituency on digital technology training in technology-inclined institutions across the globe including: CISCO, Ingressive for Good, NITDA, DataCamp, Terra Learning among others, in fulfilment of his campaign promises even as the gesture is not part of his constituency project.
In his intention to facilitate the exploration and exploitation of abandoned facilities within the Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency, Hon. Chijioke Stanislaus Okereke, has visited the abandoned Federal Pilot Tannery, Oji River, stating that a motion for its revitalization has been approved and awaiting action on the floor of the House after the on-going recess.
Checks revealed that the Federal Pilot Tannery Oji-River boosted the economic base of the constituency and the nation while it existed. It utilized basic raw materials such as hides and skin, sourced within Nigeria in manufacturing shoes and other leather products locally thereby creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs for the populace.
Hon. Chijioke Okereke in the past month also visited Federal Cooperative College Oji-River and observed the challenges confronting the institution in maximizing its operations. He noted that the institution as well as the College of Health Oji-River can contribute immensely towards the envisaged federal government’s revolution in the Agricultural sector.
In the past month, Hon. Chijioke Okereke in his initiative has procured stand-alone street light equipment to enhance security for Elugwu-Akwu Achi Community, part of his constituency. According to him, the contractor will report for the reconnaissance survey ahead of installations within the month. He revealed the project is also part of his gesture, not coming as his constituency project.
The Greater Awgu federal lawmaker is also doubling efforts to facilitate telecom, communication and internet service coverage intervention, especially within Mgbidi Awgu and other affected areas as he promised during his campaigns to improve connectivity and access to ICT in the constituency.
He stated, ‘We made efforts to approach the relevant organizations to cover isolated areas such as Mgbidi in Awgu LGA during the campaigns. Now in the office, we are doubling our efforts to bridge the telecom, communication and internet gaps across the constituency. Presently, my team is collating network coverage data for comprehensive action’.
Checks revealed that the Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Lawmaker has mapped out the Constituency Office with service personnel in each of the three local government areas of his constituency, for easier grass root touch and presence with the rural dwellers. He plans physical Town Hall Meetings with constituents in each of the three Council areas, Radio Phone-In Programmes, and Virtual Meetings equally, as part of his unique measures to be accessible to his constituents.