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Gov Samuel Ortom Of Bunue State Executing Mandate In Grand Style

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Governor Samuel Ortom
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Governor Samuel Ortom took a second oath of office on May 29, 2019, with a clear vision and determination to serve his people better than he did in the first four years.

The governor, Samuel Ortom Of Bunue State, thanked the people of the state for overwhelmingly re-electing him for a second term with a firm promise to sustain the quality of leadership he was proving them.

The result of the 2019 Benue guber polls was a clear manifestation of the fact that during his first term of office, the Governor performed satisfactorily in the people’s estimation and they deemed it necessary to reward him with a second mandate. This sterling performance, Governor Ortom has continued to exhibit in the second term.

It must be said that the emergence of Governor Samuel Ortom in 2015 was divine considering his last minute movement from the PDP into the APC where he was able to pick the ticket of the party effortlessly and went on to win the general election to the surprise of many of his detractors.

Even in the 2019 election, despite the stiff opposition from some power brokers within and outside the State, he won the election convincingly and in grand style in a different and better party PDP thus proving again that God was involved.

Today, many people in the State, who thought his vision was unachievable are beginning to hide their faces in shame as the Governor has proved them wrong and performed beyond expectation.

It is worthy of note that the Ortom administration, being committed to accountability and transparency, has opened itself for public assessment and scrutiny by individuals and institutions and almost everyone has scored the administration well.

A critical reflection on the state of affairs in Benue shows that when the Governor assumed office in May 2015, he left no one in doubt about his mission to transform Benue as encapsulated in his policy document “Our collective Vision for a New Benue”.

His vision and determination to transform the State accounts for the many projects the administration has been able to execute in the 23 local government areas of Benue.

In the area of security, Governor Ortom introduced amnesty programme in the state to address security challenges and has provided vehicles to security agencies. His administration, apart from the enactment of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017, has also enacted a law prohibiting Kidnapping, Cultism and other related crimes. He has effectively supported security agencies and held peace meetings with his Taraba and Nasarawa states counterparts.

Those efforts are today yielding results.

The Governor has approved the recruitment of 2,300 personnel of Community Policing and 460 Community Volunteer Guards, also known as Vigilante, to complement the efforts of conventional security agencies.

READ: Breaking: Gunmen Assassinate Councillorship Candidate, Kidnap Two Others

In the education sector, Benue State Government under Governor Ortom raised N7.6 billion in partnership with Universal Basic Education, UBEC, for the execution of 740 primary school projects in the twenty-three local government areas of the state. Over 1,000 of the school projects have been completed.

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Other projects completed in the education sector include, Renovation of Government College Makurdi, Renovation of Government Girls College, Makurdi, Renovation of Government Girls Model Sec. School. Aliade, Renovation of Special school for exceptional children, Aliade.

Also, the administration has procured more seats and tables for primary schools across the state, merged Special Science Senior Secondary School Makurdi with BSU Technical College into Government Science and Technical College (GSTC) Makurdi, Conversion of Alfred Akawe Torkula College of Advanced and Professional Studies, Makurdi, and Akperan Orshi College of Agriculture, Yandev into Polytechnics and the employment of more lecturing staff employed at Benue State University, Makurdi.

Benue State Executive Council, EXCO, last year approved the design and development of an e-learning and virtual education software and hardware for Benue State E-Learning Centre.

The programme, which is in partnership with Standtall Africa Initiative, includes donation of books and other instructional materials as well as training of teachers.

In the health sector, the measures Governor Ortom took on assumption of office included the attention given to the Schools of Nursing and Midwifery Makurdi, as well as College of Technology Agasha which were reconstructed and regained the accreditation they lost several years ago.

The institutions are now carrying out full academic programmes. The School of Nursing has been affiliated to the Benue State University College of Health Sciences for award of degrees in Nursing.

Still in the health sector, the Ortom administration swung into action and met all the accreditation requirements paving way for the graduation of six sets of over two hundred medical doctors so far at the Benue State University College of Health Sciences.

In collaboration with the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, a two hundred bed Mother and Child Centre will soon be completed in Makurdi.

Governor Ortom last year signed the law for Benue State Health Insurance Scheme which is to cover both formal and non-formal sectors.

In the primary health sector, the Ortom administration provided counterpart funds with Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, and forty-two fully equipped health centres have been established in different communities of the state.

The State Government has also established the Primary Health Care Board which is making significant impact on the people of the state.

The State Government has also supplied ambulances and other equipment to Agatu, Gboko, Ohimini, Oju, Ushongo and Tarka LGAs.

In infrastructure, the Ortom administration mobilized contractors to site on eleven roads, most of which have been completed, and there is ongoing work on several other roads in parts of the state.

Some major roads including Imande-Akpu-Gbajimba in Guma, Zaki-Biam-Gbeji in Ukum, Taraku-Naka in Gwer and Gwer West, Amadu Bello Way, Captain Dawnes road and Tor Tiv roundabout in Gboko, Commercial Way, Amstrong Avenue, Och’Idoma road in Otukpo and Customary Court road now named Gabriel Torwua Suswam road.

Other ongoing roads construction such as Mobile Police Barracks-Adeke-Welfare Quarters, Yaikyo-Apir junction will soon be completed. Most of these projects were commissioned last year to the admiration of Benue people.

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The Ortom administration also provided traffic lights to control accidents and ensure orderly vehicular movement in the state capital.

The Benue State Government has also executed over fifty rural access roads and over sixty electricity projects while many others are ongoing.

Similarly, the Ortom administration has constructed gigantic Skills Acquisition centers in Gbajimba, Guma local government area, Apa- Agila in Ado and Makurdi.
At Governor Ortom’s initiative, the state sponsored the training of youths in the acquisition of several skills by the Industrial Training Fund and acquired starter kits for five hundred of them.

In Partnership with International Development agencies, the State Government in providing potable water to the people has provided over 1,000 motorized and hand-pump water schemes in various Benue communities, much also that the reticulation of water from the Greater Makurdi Water Works has commenced and some parts of the city such as High Level, Judges Quarters and Wadata are already enjoying water supply.

In agriculture, the present administration has resuscitated the Fertilizer Blending Plant and fertilizer produced from the plant will be supplied to farmers in large quantities during the last cropping season. This is in addition to about 40% subsidy on fertilizer in the last five years and the acquisition of 50 tractors which were distributed to farmers in May last year (2020).

In the same zeal, the Benue State Government has established Garri Processing plants in Agatu and Ohimini Local Government Areas and has constructed Sesame Seed Cleaning and Packaging plant in Oju and Daudu.

READ: Breaking: Gunmen Assassinate Councillorship Candidate, Kidnap Two Others

The Ortom administration has similarly provided a Soyabean Cleaning and Packaging Plant in Wannune as well as Orange Packaging factories in Ushongo and Yandev.

Relatedly, Governor Ortom has also approved that massive land clearing and preparation should commence in nine major sites covering about 1,700 hectares of land. This policy is designed to boost agriculture in parts of the state.

I need not mention the Thursdays and Fridays given to Benue civil servants as off days to enable them work on their farms. The policy has had immense positive effect on agriculture in the last three years in Benue State.

It is worthy of note that Governor Ortom recorded these achievements in the face of limited resources and has kept his promise of ensuring monthly payment of workers’ salaries from January 2018 to date while sourcing funds to clear the arrears.

In Information and Communication, Governor Ortom has established Benue State Television which is now a digital television and is set to compete favorably with others in the country and elsewhere.

The television station which will provide employment opportunities to Benue youths is already positively projecting the image of the state and telling the Benue story.

Under environmental sanitation, the Governor revived refuse clearing vehicles at Benue State Environmental Sanitation Authority, BENSESA and the agency is now living up to expectations. He revived 14 waste clearing vehicles to enable the BENSESA serve the state better.

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Under the commerce and industry, the government gone into partnership with Bank of Industry and CBN to give loans at only 5% to Benue farmers and other industrialists.

Governor Ortom has repositioned the traditional institution by amending the Chieftaincy Law/appointment of Traditional Rulers across Benue State including the Tor Tiv and have conducted free and fair local government elections in 2017 and 2020.

in tackling salary/pension challenges, Ortom’s administration has only been regular in payment of salaries from January 2018 till date with some of arrears also paid but has also domesticated the pension law with its full implementation.

In his transparency and accountability drive, Governor Ortom last year Signed into law Fiscal Responsibility, Public Procurement and Debt Management Office, and a law to amend the Internal Revenue Administration Law of 2015.

In his effort towards tackling COVID-19 global pandemic in the state, the Governor constituted the State Action Committee on COVID-19 headed by his Deputy, Engr. Benson Abounu which he vested with the responsibility of keeping the state as free as possible of the virus.

The Committee has so far utilised the funding made available to it and done a commendable job working round the state to curb the spread of the pandemic, the result being that Benue today ranks among some of the states with the lowest case rates in the country.

Governor Ortom’s landslide victory at the 2019 General Election and the large turnout of Benue people from all walks of life to witness his inauguration for a second term on May 29, 2019 attested to his popularity.

The Governor’s promise to provide greater service to Benue State to reciprocate the support given to him by the people is reassuring.

Governor Ortom also declared that he will remain the Governor of all, irrespective of ethnicity, religion and political affiliation.

These are some of the pillars upon which a new Benue is being built under Governor Samuel Ortom’s pragmatic leadership.

When Benue people came under heavy attacks from armed herdsmen militia at the beginning of 2018, Governor Samuel Ortom demonstrated rare qualities of a leader who truly loves and cares for his people.

He made repeated calls on the Federal Government to act more decisively to end the killings and gave security agencies all the needed support to stop the bloodshed and restore peace.

Through the efforts of Governor Samuel Ortom, insistence the Exercise Ayem Akpatuma was upgraded to Operation Whirl Stroke which yielded positive results in chasing most of the murderous invaders away.

The Governor Samuel Ortom administration has also effectively managed the humanitarian crisis arising from the attacks by caring for over 200,000 displaced persons living in internally displaced persons camps and 500,000 others staying with their relations.

 

Source: By Benjamin Ngutsav, Makurdi.

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Kogi Mega Bus Terminal: Govt. Orders Closure Of All Motor Parks Within Lokoja Metropolis.

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Chairman committee for the movement to the Mega Terminal and beautification of Nataco -- Felele highway, Commander Jerry Omodara
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Kogi Mega Bus Terminal: Govt. Orders Closure Of All Motor Parks Within Lokoja Metropolis.

Idris Ahmed, Lokoja.

Kogi State Government has ordered the immediate closure of all motor parks in Lokoja metropolis and all passenger vehicles have been directed to relocate to the new Lokoja Mega Terminal.

Chairman committee for the movement to the Mega Terminal and beautification of Nataco -- Felele highway, Commander Jerry Omodara

Chairman committee for the movement to the Mega Terminal and beautification of Nataco — Felele highway, Commander Jerry Omodara

Chairman committee for the movement to the Mega Terminal and beautification of Nataco — Felele highway, Commander Jerry Omodara, disclosed at a press briefing in Government House Lokoja, that all parks and Mini parks within Lokoja metropolis have been served quit notice.

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Commander Omodara who is the state Security Adviser to the Governor, said the state government has also ordered the revocation of certificates of all lands currently used as motor parks in Lokoja, and all land tittles have been re-designated .

He added that no vehicle will be allowed to carry passengers in any part of the metropolis except at the Mega Terminal, while all vehicles traversing Lokoja metropolis must drop-off passengers only inside the Mega Terminal.

Chairman committee for the movement to the Mega Terminal and beautification of Nataco -- Felele highway, Commander Jerry Omodara

Chairman committee for the movement to the Mega Terminal and beautification of Nataco — Felele highway, Commander Jerry Omodara.

Police Nabs 3 Suspected Robbers For Attacking POS Shop In Kogi.

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The Security Adviser who disclosed that security agencies along with Kogi Transport Management Agency (KOTRAMA), have been directed to impound any vehicle that violates the order, also tasked the Ministry of Transportation and other Committees to ensure strict compliance.

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Chairman of the FCT wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Comrade Stephen Knabayi, (m) addresses some executives of the union shortly after a closed doors meeting with the chairman of Bwari Area council, John Gabaya over non payment of teachers annual increment and arrears promotion.
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Bwari Chair Approves Teachers Annual Increment, Arrears Promotion.

Chairman of the FCT wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Comrade Stephen Knabayi, (m) addresses some executives of the union shortly after a closed doors meeting with the chairman of Bwari Area council, John Gabaya over non payment of teachers annual increment and arrears promotion.

Chairman of the FCT wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Comrade Stephen Knabayi, (m) addresses some executives of the union shortly after a closed doors meeting with the chairman of Bwari Area council, John Gabaya over non payment of teachers annual increment and arrears promotion.

By Abubakar Sadiq Isah.

The Chairman of Bwari Area Council, John Gabaya, has approved annual increment/ implementation of arrears for 2021 and arrears promotion for 2018 for primary school teachers of the council.

Gabaya, disclosed this when he received the standing committee of the FCT wing Executives of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) led by its state chairman, Comrade Stephen Knabayi, in his office on Friday.

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He said it was not deliberately hurt by his administration to delay the payment/implementation of teachers arrears promotion despite he inherited liabilities across board from his predecessors.

In fact, when I assumed office, there are about five garnishing orders from court as a result of litigation by some contractors that being owed by the previous administration. But I want to assure the union that the council will ensure that the implementation /promotion arrears for 2021 and 2018 for teachers are implemented without delay,” he said.

He said his administration was continue to intensify efforts towards gradual paying N6 million monthly in order to offset the 2016 and 2017 teachers promotion arrears.

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The chairman, while expressing delight with members of the standing committee of the union for their peaceful approach towards their members demand, said his administration will continue to make welfare of teachers as a priority since teachers made him to attain the position of local government chairman.

He, therefore, directed the Local Education Authority (LEA) secretary of the council, Solomon Ayuba Dagami, to compile a comprehensive figures of the amount being owed the teachers in order for the council to offset them.

Chaiman of the FCT wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Comrade Stephen Knabayi (m) Acting Secretary of the union, Comrade Margerete N. Jethro, Bwari Branch chairman of the Union, Comrade Arron Abbah, shortly after the state executives of the union meeting with the chairman of Bwari Area council, John Gabaya in his office on Friday.

Earlier, the chairman of the FCT wing of the Nigeria Union of (Teachers NUT) Comrade Stephen Knabayi, said the union record has shown that the council has paid 2017 teachers promotion arrears, which he said was quite commendable.

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He said though, the union was seriously bothered that the council has been delaying the payment and implementation of annual increment and arrears for teachers, which he said are outstanding.

“We are very much aware that the two NUT branches has made efforts discuss theses things with you with the aim of having these monies paid, but their efforts has not yielded any results,” he said.

Knabayi, said the activities of the union was not about boxing with the leaders, but rather, engaged in dialogue, intervene and discuss issues that has to do with education and the welfare of the teachers.

Chairman of the FCT wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Comrade Stephen Knabayi, (m) addresses some executives of the union shortly after a closed doors meeting with the chairman of Bwari Area council, John Gabaya over non payment of teachers annual increment and arreas promotion.

Chairman of the FCT wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Comrade Stephen Knabayi, (m) addresses some executives of the union shortly after a closed doors meeting with the chairman of Bwari Area council, John Gabaya over non payment of teachers annual increment and arrears promotion.

Global Times Nigeria report that the standing committee of the FCT NUT executives has resolved to meet with the council chairman next week Monday, where an undertaking will be written by the council chairman for payment of the arrears promotion and implementation of annul increment for the teachers.

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S’West PDP: Fayose Group Meets In Abeokuta, Says; “PDP, Nigerians Common Enemy Is APC”

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Ayodele Fayose, the former Governor of Ekiti State
S'West PDP: Fayose Group Meets In Abeokuta, Says; "PDP, Nigerians Common Enemy Is APC"
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S’West PDP: Fayose Group Meets In Abeokuta, Says; “PDP, Nigerians Common Enemy Is APC”

The group in the South-West Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) loyal to the former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has met stakeholders in Ogun State, reiterating commitment to peace, unity and progress of the party in the zone.

The group, which met in Abeokuta, Ogun State, further affirmed that non of its candidates will go to court to challenge outcome of the congress, saying “Our common enemy as PDP members and as Nigerians is the APC, we will rather join hands and work together to rescue our people from mis-governance of the APC instead of bickering over zonal congress.”

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The group however condemned the use of violence before and during the congress, urging that use of thugs should be discouraged in the party’s future engagements.

The Ogun State stakeholders were led by Hon Ladi Adebutu and the State Chairman, Dr Sikirulai Ogundele.

A statement by its spokes person,Lere Olayinka, read; “After meeting with stakeholders in Ogun State today, it was further resolved that the Fayose group has accepted the outcome of the South-West congress.

“That non of our candidates will go to court as we will stand by what we said during and after the congress.

“The group thanks all delegates to the congress and appreciates Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and in particular former Governor Ayo Fayose, for his rare demonstration of leadership.

“It congratulates Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja and promised to work with him in the interest of the party in the zone.

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“It expresses commitment to working for the victory of the party in 2022 and 2023 elections.

“The group condemns the use of violence before and during the congress and urge that use of thugs should be discouraged in our future engagements.

” That the group admonishes Governor Makinde to rise above ‘yesterday’ and reciprocate its good gesture and show of sportsmanship by providing the required leadership with maturity, sincerity and honesty of purpose in the overall good of the party.

“Lastly, the group reiterates that the common enemy as PDP members and Nigerians is the APC, we must join hands and work together to rescue of people from its mis-governance.”

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