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  • News - North Central - Benue
  • Updated: April 21, 2024

Governor Alia calls for collaboration with Benue indigenes in Diaspora

Governor Alia calls for collaboration with Benue indigenes i

Governor Hyacinth Alia has called on Benue people in the Diaspora to collaborate and partner with his administration to ensure the development of the state.

The governor made the call on Sunday during a Zoom interface with the Benue Diaspora put together by the Mutual Union of Tiv in America (MUTA) and the Idoma Association in the United States of America (USA).

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Tersoo Kula, noted that it is to enable firsthand information on the present administration’s general policy direction, security initiatives as well as the government’s drive in agriculture, mining, education, health, Banking and Finance as well as physical and digital infrastructure.

According to the statement, Governor Alia informed the Diasporans that he was on a working visit to the United States to harness the power of collaboration and partnerships to drive positive change and sustainable development in Benue.

He also informed the groups of his meeting with Amina Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, alongside other northern leaders to tackle insecurity, boost agriculture, address unemployment and enhance training opportunities for the people of the various states.

Responding to questions fielded by the group, on plans to transition the state from a public-driven economy to a private economy, embracing accountability and transparency in governance, Governor Alia explained that before he assumed office as the governor, there was a deviation not just on transparency and accountability, but on deliverability of good governance in the previous years, with the last 8years being the worst.

“We met things on May 29th, 2023, in a very terrible and deplorable state. The civil service was dysfunctional. People were no longer going to work; with most of the local government headquarters overtaken by bushes, and hardly people were going there to work and it went all through the entire system.

“The workers were not paid their salaries and everybody stopped working. Pensioners were dying on a daily basis for they had no funds to get drugs, literary. All the companies that the state had owned became moribund. And in a number of efforts in trying to pull off the puzzle, the present administration discovered that there were litigations on those companies and all of that.”

He said the government has put in place quite several efforts to salvage the sorry situation, beginning with the payment of salaries, compelling the civil servants to now show commitment to work.

According to the governor, for the moribund companies such as Taraku Mills, the discoveries there were deeper than meet the eye but the government is trying to untie the hook, with investment and partnership being sought for them to be revived including the Cement Factory in Igumale.

He said his administration has granted autonomy to the judiciary, legislature and is ready to support and implement full autonomy for the local government system, adding however that, the government is still monitoring the Local Government system to be sure the right thing is done.

Also on his administration’s plans for Agriculture in the State, Governor Alia said plans were in place to introduce mechanized systems of farming and the state is looking for investors.

“We need to increase our yields; we need to increase the farms. And we cannot do all these without proper mechanization. We are trying to make some arrangements with certain companies to come into Benue and invest.

“We are trying to see if we can get some assembly plant for tractors so that they can come into the state and make something for our benefit.”

He said initiatives such as the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) and Benue Tractor Hiring Agency (BENTA) are being considered, adding that post-harvest wastages will be curtailed, giving more value to the farmers for their products, especially now that the government is working on rural roads to enable the farmers to transport their farm produce to the markets.

He said although insecurity is preventing Benue from fully expressing its agricultural potential, the issue would be addressed sooner, especially as the government hopes to raise the state's GDP through Agriculture, with farmers being encouraged to form cooperatives to enable them access farm inputs and other necessary things that will improve their yields.

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