By Brenda Agba
The Benue State Government is set to purchase one hundred Hummer Buses for the Benue Links Transport Company to boost intra and inter-state transportation services, as well as provide shuttle buses for Gboko, Makurdi and Otukpo towns to ease intra-city movement.
Relatedly, the Benue State Government
has assured that it will pay the fees for both WAEC and NECO examinations for 2023/2024 academic session for students of all government approved secondary schools across the state.
These are part of efforts by the state government to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal by the federal government.
The Benue State Governor, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, disclosed this recently in his address during the flag-off of the 2023 National Special Economic and Livelihood Intervention for 2022 Flood Affected Persons and the Most Vulnerable in Benue State.
The governor, who acknowledged the receipt of Two Billion Naira out of the five billion naira subsidy removal palliative from the federal government, explained that having critically looked at various areas mostly affected by the new policy, the state government decided to divide the funds into two: 2.4 billion naira for the Interest Free Loan Component and 2.6 billion naira for the Grant Component.
According to the governor, also as part of the cushioning programs, the state government intends to sponsor two thousand youths in six areas of Information Communication Technology (ICT) which include: Digital Marketing and e-Commerce; Advanced Data Analysis; User Interface and User Experience; Back End Development and Front End Development as well as Mobile Info-Graphics.
“At the completion of this program, beneficiaries are sure of getting immediate employment within and outside the state”, Governor Alia assured.
Speaking on the impending flood, the governor appealed to those living around flood prone areas to vacate such places for their safety even as he warned that structures built in water ways will be demolished.
“We also fully understand the River Benue requires dredging and it is on our priority list to be presented to the federal government for necessary action”, he stated.
Earlier, the Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Mustapha Habeeb who was represented by Abdulazeez Atunku explained that the federal government approved the intervention for persons affected by the 2022 flood disaster across the country following the loss and damage assessment that was conducted by NEMA and SEMAs to complement the various state governments.
He gave a run down of the items for distribution to include 1,350 sewing machines, 1,350 grinding machines, 1,100 (25kg) bags of rice, 1,100 (10kg) of maize, 3,623 (10kg) of garri, mosquito nets, nylon mats and mattresses among others.
Note that 660,804 households across the nation are to benefit from the intervention.