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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Despite Dwindle Revenue, FCTA Disburses N2,660,740,632.40 Billion Naira To Area Councils
Austine Elemue, the
S.A Media To FCT Minister of State in a press statement on July 28, 2021 says the Federal Capital Territory Administration has disbursed a total sum of N2,660, 740, 632.40 billion to the six Area Councils in the FCT and other stakeholders as its share of statutory allocation for the month of June 2021.
The figure shows that there was a minimal drop of revenue from N2,724,546,444.33 billion disbursed in the month of May to N2,660, 740, 632.40 billion in the month of June.
FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, who presided over the 155th Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC), meeting appealed to council chairmen and stakeholders to show understanding and make judicious use of the allocation.
Minister Inaugurates FCT Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory On Livestock
The minister explained that the decline in the allocation was as a result of drop in the statutory revenue allocation from the federation account.
The figures released indicate that the sum of N773, 574, 574.28 million was made available for distribution to the six area councils, while the sum of N1,887, 166, 058.12 billion was made available to other stakeholders, bringing the total sum to N2,660,740,632.40 billion.
However, distribution to area councils show that the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), received N188,477,690.83 million, while Gwagwalada got N177,472,859.50 million and Kuje received N108, 501, 865.37 million.
Also, Bwari Area Council received N84,657,261.97 million, Abaji got N117, 435, 546.65 million and Kwali received N97, 029, 349.96 million bringing the total sum to N773,574,574.28 billion disbursed to the six area councils.
Furthermore, distribution to other stakeholders include: Primary Teachers which gulped N1, 526,230, 256.60 billion, 15 percent Pension Funds took N226,478,989.57 million, One percent Training Fund gulped N26, 607, 406.32 million, while 10 percent Employer Pension Contribution gulped N107,849, 405.63 million, bringing the total sum to N1,887, 166, 058.12 billion.
The minister said a tripartite meeting comparing the officials of FCT Administration, Area Council staff and the leadership of the Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage (DOAS) would be called with a view to upscaling the revenue generation in the territory.
She affirmed that the administration would not continue to work at cross purposes in the face of dwindling revenue generation in the nation’s capital.
Aliyu, who used the occasion to call on the FCT Primary Health Care Board and stakeholders to intensify campaign against the outbreak of cholera and other severe acute diarrhea diseases in the Federal Capital Territory, also described the spread as unacceptable.
While calling for more commitment on the part of all stakeholders, the minister however commended them for showing understanding in the distribution of monthly allocation to area councils and other stakeholders.
Those present at the 155th JAAC meeting include the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, Ag. Secretary Area Council Services Secretariat, Mrs. Omolola Olanipekun, Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, Abaji Area Council, Bwari Area Council, Kuje Area Council, Vice Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council and other critical stakeholders.
NYCN Election: Ben Jerry Pledges To Run An Encompassing Leadership That Will Usher In Fresh Air In Kogi
By Yahaya Idris, Lokoja.
Ahead of the Natioonal Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, a frontline aspirant, Comr. Benjamin Jeremiah Ojodale popularly known as Ben jerry has assured the youths across the 21 local government area of Kogi State that his new leadership will purely center on inclusiveness.
Ben Jerry stated this while addressing prospective delegates that will participate in tomorrow’s election. He said he will carry the day because has gone round the State to seek for support of the youth and critical stakeholders.
He expressed optimistic of an overwhelming Victory, noting that with free, fair and credible poll he surely be the face of the day.
He said such overwhelming victory can only comes when you have a sincere aspirant that has the entire youths at heart.
He promised to run an open door policy, create an overwhelm opportunities for teeming youth to explore their talents irrespective of religion, sentiment and tribal consideration.
He maintained with the new direction administration christine by Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello whom the youths of this great nation referred as role model, noting his new leadership will strive to emulate the Governor numerous leadership qualities that is center on grooming future leaders devoid of ethnicity, sentiment but rather an EBIGO which is Unity of purpose.
Ojodale, who have earlier dedicate his aspiration to Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello’s youth inclusiveness urged all the prospective delegates to turnout en-mass ahead tommorow’s poll in Kogi State.
The aspirant assured he will emerged in a free, fair and credible poll based on the ELCOM assurance at the poll.
According to him, the position of the Chairmanship have been zone to the eastern region of the State as to ensure a level playing ground for all that is concerned.
Global Times Nigeria report that Comr. Ben Jerry, promised if elected will work for the benefit of the NYCN, saying his blueprint would see to the Empowerment of the members in all ramification.
Ohinoyi of Ozi Turbans Sons of the Land To Form Cabinet, Sues For Commitment To Duty
Ohinoyi of Ozi Turbans Sons of the Land To Form Cabinet, Sues For Commitment To Duty
By: Joshua Adinoyi
The Ozi Community in Kogi/Koton-Karfe Local Government Area of Kogi State was a beehive of activities over the weekend as sons and daughters gathered from within and outside the Area to celebrate the turbaning of worthy and rightful sons of the Area from the ruling houses.
The people who are dressed in various local attires, rolled out drums, showcasing different dance steps while other invited musicians, including Jibril Onutu Egbura, took turns to perform to the admiration of the audience.
The ruling clans of Ozi are Ohina and Onyebu, which had four of their sons each turbanned with different traditional titles.
The Ohinoyi of Ozi, HRH, Mallam Isah Shaibu, while speaking with Newsmen, appreciated Allah for making the ceremony a success, while commending the Paramount ruler, the Ohimege Igu of Koton-Karfe, HRM,
Alhaji Abdulrazak Gambo Isa-Koto, for finding him worthy to serve in the land.
Mallam Shaibu said those turbanned to serve as his cabinet members were selected based on their worth and capacity to deliver the needed results – serving the people selflessly.
The traditional ruler pointed out that he was overwhelmed with joy over the event, pointing out that those turbanned will serve as cabinet members in Ozi to ease the stress attached to the throne.
“A tree does not make a forest no matter how mighty it maybe, that’s why I have to turban worthy personalities to serve as cabinet members in this Community”
He said their turbaning came with ernomous responsibility, stressing that selfless services to the people was part of expectations from them.
Mallam Shaibu enjoined them to live up to their responsibilities towards ensuring a secured and well developed society.
On his part, a former Commissioner in the State, Hon. Abdulrahaman Wuya, described the event as historic, explaining that it was part of the statutory right of the Ohinoyi of Ozi to constitute his cabinet members after coronation.
Hon. Wuya, noted that peaceful coexistence, respect for elders, obedience to constituted authorities were haul marks that brings rapid development, calling on the newly turbanned members of the Community to ensure such traits are maintained in the area.
The former Commissioner and Chairman of KADU, appreciated the Ohimege Igu of Koton-Karfe for creating enabling environment for other Chiefs in the Area to operate while praying Allah to help Ozi Community and the entire kingdom witness unprecedented progress in the years ahead.
On his part, the former Minority Leader of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Barrister Ndakwo Abdulrahaman Tanko, who expressed joy over the success of the program, says the honour done to the sons of the Community was a rare privilege for them to contribute to the growth of the area.
Barr. Tanko pointed out that there was need for those turbanned to work closely with the Ohinoyi of Ozi to promote the peace and unity of the Community, and as well work collectively with the Paramount ruler, the Ohimege-Igu of Koton-Karfe, Alhaji Abdulrazak Gambo Isa-Koto (Agaba idu), whom he described as a man with foresight and blessed with words of wisdom.
Barr. Abdulrahaman Ndakwo Tanko urged them to as well draw government’s attention to the Community to enable the area witness rapid development.
He pointed out that tradional rulers in the Kingdom have been up and doing towards peaceful coexistence of the various tongues in the Area, calling on the newly turbanned members of the Community to also do in their best at sustaining such noble course.
Barr. Tanko also charged them to contribute their quota towards wiping out any form of security threat in the Area, saying the security of lives and property of the people was important towards achieving any meaningful development.
Those turbanned with traditional titles and their salutation include;
1. Mal. Alhassan Ohinoyi Ibrahim – Shaba (Daudu) Ohina Clan
2. Mal. Yunusa Angulu Muhammad – Ondaki Ogbani (Warri) Ohina Clan
3. Mal. Yunusa Abubakar – Ohimozi Ogbani (Dangara) Onyebu Clan
4. Mal. Usman Umar Auta – Ogazuma Ogbani (Agbor) Ohina Clan
5. Mal. Muhammad Mahmud Auta – Assannya Ogbani (Agaba) Ohina Clan
6. Mal. Zakari Yunusa – Sada Ogbani (Tukura) Onyebu Clan
7. Mal. Hussaini A. Yunusa – Galadima (Daudu) Onyebu Clan
8. Mal. Hamza Yunusa Abubakar – Oseze Ogbani (Gata) Onyebu Clan.
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