As you are aware, the challenges of development and transforming a State like Benue, is daunting especially at this time when resources available to constituted authorities for development purposes are dwindling amidst the ever growing dependence and demand for these scares resources.
What is required at a time as this is a resourceful and visionary leadership committed to leveraging on abundant talents coupled with managing the limited resources to reposition and transform the lives and livelihoods of the people which is the hallmark of my administration’s blueprint and 7 point agenda.
Without disrupting the existing structures, I am genuinely committed to the transformation of Benue State, harnessing the abundance of untapped natural resources and vibrant youthful population and talents to actualize this Benue dream.
Since my assumption of office on May 29 this year, I have paid keen interest to the issues that bother the people, prioritizing agriculture, human capital development, health and infrastructure upgrade, among many others.
My administration’s 7–point agenda anchored on:
- The Security of Lives and Property
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- Commerce and Industry
- Human and Capital and Social Development
- Infrastructure and Environment
- Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
- Political and Economic Governance
- Firstly, I have, in recognition of the importance of the media as the 4thestate of the realm, constituted a strategic communications team led by one of the your members – Mrs Bridget Ikyado who is my Principal Special Assistant on Media, Publicity and Strategic Communications. She is effectively projecting my administration via the use of media and this is what I will encourage you all to do in your various media organizations.
- Payments of salaries and pension have been consistent- on the 25thof every month. I have ensured that the payment are made, making lives and means of livelihood easy for Benue citizens.
- The prompt payment of gratuities (100%) on retirement is another milestone in this administration.
- Work is speedily ongoing on 16 township roads in the State capital and streets in Gboko and other towns like Otukpo, Katsina- Ala will follow very soon.
- The light-up Makurdi streets light project is underway.
- The administration has already sponsored 10,000 youth who are undergoing IT related training powered by Google.
- Work is speedily ongoing to connect back to regular power supply at Benue State University Teaching Hospital for optimal health care delivery system.
- The opening of the Muhammadu Buhari, Mother and Child Hospital has boosted the Health system in the state with the aim of reducing maternal mortality rate and offering prompt and almost free service to women and children below the ages of 5.
- Special allowances for NYSC medical Doctors serving in the state and increment for other corp members
- In the area of transport, we have procured 100 buses for BENUE Links – the state-owned transport company to improve services and relief the burden of transportation.
- I am focused in attracting new investment and resuscitating moribund companies.
- Also, the Benue State government is to make case to be considered for thirteen percent derivative given to states with mineral deposits from the federation account.
- The Vehicle Computerized Inspection Centre in North Bank is underway and I have flagged off operation “Enduring Peace III” a military exercise by formations in the state to enhance unity and security.
- I have had the course to meet with heads of security agencies on many occasions finding ways of fostering peace in the state.
- There is also on-going rehabilitation works at the state Secretariat and Benue State House of Assembly.
- Furthermore, my engagements with authorities in Abuja, has led to FG’s presence in the state providing regular interventions through humanitarian services by donor organisations. They have been directed to deploy to Benue to help alleviate the suffering of IDPs and aid security operations.
- The construction of cluster houses for the resettlement of IDPs is also underway in affected communities across the State.
- On illegal structures and citing of structures on water ways, we are ensuring we have a proper town planning framework to avoid floods and to beautify our State.
- The State government has begun a capacity building initiative for civil servants in China to enhance productivity and service delivery in all sectors.
- To guarantee proper scrutiny of government commitments, debts and contracts, I have directed all MDAs to have legal units for that purpose.
- We just commissioned the newly reconstructed Upper Area Court Otukpo in Otukpo which was furnished by the former Deputy Governor of Benue State, Engr. Benson Abouno.
I can go on and on with some of the things we are doing within this short period. My commitment is unwavering. This is why I call on all of us from Benue to join hands with my administration, and also invite our friends, to support this effort to rebuild Benue.
Let me specially appreciate my team at all levels and arms of government for their commitment so far in ensuring the success of this administration.
Lastly, I appeal to you as a body to use your good offices to counter fake news and propaganda from some medium who are trying to sabotage our administration with negative reports.
* Being excerpts from the remarks by Rev Fr Dr Hyacinth Alia, Governor of Benue State, to visiting members of the Abuja-based Conference of Benue Journalists (CBJ) in Makurdi, on Saturday.