Naira: Gov. Ortom backs National Assembly for extension of deadline

Former Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom
Former Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue, has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline of the use of the old naira notes, especially for those in the rural areas.

Ortom made his feelings known when the Governing Council and Management of the Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University, Makurdi (JOSTUM) paid him a courtesy visit on Wednesday in Makurdi.

The governor said that since the new notes were not much in circulation, it was not possible, especially for the rural dwellers, to meet up with the deadline, adding that most of them did not even have bank accounts.

“I join the National Assembly members to prevail on the CBN to extend the deadline of exchange of the old naira notes.

“If we do not say it as it were we are liars and sycophants. Things are not right in this country.

“We want to let the President know that people are suffering and something must be done to reduce it,” Ortom said.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for heeding to the demand of immortalising late Joseph Sarwuan Tarka by changing the name of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi to JOSTUM.

“Tarka had contributed immensely to the development of politics and to humanity within his short stay on earth.

He fought for the right of minorities. I appreciate Mr President for honouring us not just Tarka but the entire people of the state.

He, however, alleged that the host community of the school was shortchanged, adding that the money that was released for compensation did not get to them.

“So, relocation of the people to other areas became a problem. That is why they are still laying claims to the land.

“We have formed a committee and we will bring in the management of the school into it. This will enable us to see how we will have a win win situation for both the host community and the institution,” Ortom said.

Also, the Chairperson of the council, Mrs Edith Uwajumogu, said she was grateful to God for making her the first female Pro-Chancellor of the university since its inception.

Uwajumogu disclosed that their interest was to see that the school became greater, adding that the name of the school had been changed but it had not gone conventional yet, expressing optimism that it would be done pretty soon.

She appealed to the state government to rehabilitate the road from the SRS junction to the school.

The Pro-chacellor also demanded for vehicles to ease students transportation challenges.

She said the institution was too large, therefore, students trekked long distances to attend lectures.

Acting Vice Chancellor (VC), Prof. Paul Anune, said they were grateful to Ortom for his willingness to partner with the institution.

Anune informed the governor that encroachment on the institution’s land by the host community was still prevalent.

“We wanted to open up a road from the school to Agan gate and build a perimeter fence round the school but the host community attacked the workers.

“We are seeking the intervention of the state government in order to put the matter to rest permanently,” Anune said. (NAN)

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