Benjamin Okezie Kalu: A man of uncommon exploits, leader per excellence.
“As an effective representative, he attracted various projects spanning from road rehabilitation and construction, rehabilitation of schools, construction of primary health centers, distribution of educational material and construction of solar powered boreholes, women as well as youth empowerment”
William Edward Burghardt had in a letter to his great grandson declared that “the return from your work must be the satisfaction which that works brings to you and the world’s need of that work. With this, life is heaven or as near heaven as you can get. Without this—with work which you despise, which bores you, and which the world does not need-, this life is hell”
Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu sits today as the Deputy Speaker of the nation’s legislative chamber; the Federal House of Representatives in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, a position which he got into not through a sudden flight but majorly by virtue of hard work, higher intellectual disposition and uncommon human relationship acumen. Hon Benjamin Okezie Kalu is an astute politician, an articulate lawyer and businessman par excellence. It is therefore not surprising that he has continued to gain greater heights in virtually all his endevours.
Born in Agbamuzu, Bende Local Government Area of Abia State, Kalu who represents Bende Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, is currently the Deputy Speaker of the 10th National Assembly.
This humble political maestro in the national parliament holds a degree in Law from the University of Calabar, Masters degree in Petroleum Taxation and Finance from the University of Dundee, Scotland, International Commercial Arbitration (ICArb) from University of Oxford and a Masters in Business Administration from Oxford Brookes University.
The youthful Deputy Speaker who is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Administrative Managers, a member of the Arbitration Council of UK (MCIArb, UK) started his leadership sojourn at his prime as a passionate youth, journeying through various positions where he effectively delivered substantial results.
At a very young age, he was the student representative at the University of Calabar and proceeded as the National Chapter Chairman of PDP in the Diaspora, with six provincial branches under his office. Kalu was also the youngest local government chairman of Bende which is said to be the oldest and largest undivided local government area in Nigeria with 99 autonomous communities.
At 34, he became a member of the Abia State Government Executive Cabinet as Senior Special Adviser to the Executive Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy affairs, while at 35, he was Senior Special Adviser to the Executive Governor on Millennium Development Goals and International Relations. “The Oracle,” as he is fondly called recorded a great achievement as the Spokesperson of the 9th House of Representative with a high-level Image monitoring while executing his role as the Chairman House Committee on Media and Public Affairs.
It was during his tenure as House image maker that he was able to take the image of the Green Chamber to soaring and enviable heights. With over 52 bills to his credit, Hon. Benjamin Kalu ranked 4th on the chart of top 10 performers in the 9th NASS and first in Abia State representatives.
He’s also first among first-time members at the Green Chamber of the National Assembly in terms of bills sponsorship as published by the Order Paper of the House after a 24-month legislative experience.
Through his innovative leadership as the Chairman House Committee on Media and Publicity, he initiated the Green Chamber Magazine, currently on its 4th edition where the achievements and legacies of the House of Representatives are periodically published.
As an effective representative, he attracted various projects spanning from road rehabilitation and construction, rehabilitation of schools, construction of primary health centers, distribution of educational material and construction of solar powered boreholes, women as well as youth empowerment. Following his numerous achievements in the Green Chamber in the space of two and half years, he was recognized by the Independent Newspaper as the South East and Abia State Federal Lawmaker of the year at the Annual Independent Nigerian Parliamentary Excellence Awards. He was also awarded by the Abia Online Media Publishers, the umbrella body of all online media practitioners in Abia State as the Most Outstanding Federal Legislator for the year 2021 in recognition for exceptional legislative abilities in the House in bills sponsored and projects attracted to the constituency and state amongst other recognitions.
As a means to promote accountability and participatory governance, Hon. Benjamin Kalu holds a weekly program on radio called ‘BEN KALU’S MANDATE’ with the aim of highlighting his activities in the house, educating his constituents and the nation
His Non-Governmental Organisation, (NGO), the Benjamin Kalu Movement, is founded on the mission to build the communities that build the nation and has executed several projects to help indigents and less privileged people in rural Nigeria.
Through this organization, he has funded educational scholarships for children, agricultural training and entrepreneurship and empowerment programs for women and youths. As a result of his leadership and philanthropy to the Bende people, he was conferred with the prestigious title ‘Utabiri Bende’.
As a visionary leader, Hon. Benjamin Kalu has been able to gradually transform the vision which he is passionate about for Bende into reality. He has shown the light and given the constituency a new definition of leadership and governance far from what has been experienced since the 4th republic.
Hon Kalu is married to Dr. Ezinne Benjamin Kalu, a practicing medical doctor and is blessed with five children.