By Sunday Iduh
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has commended Benue Coalition of Business and Professional Associations (BENCOBPA) for standing with the state to add value to the economy of the state and other sectors, especially the political debate which the body had organized in the past.
Governor Ortom gave the commendation Tuesday at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi, during a courtesy call by BENCOBPA, led by its Chairman, Barr Donatus Zuana.
The governor, who encouraged the body not to relent in their quest to add more value to the economy of the state, disclosed that he had to slash down the cost of processing Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) by 50% to enable the people of the state have collateral which they can use to process funds from the financial institutions, in order to expand their businesses.
He disclosed that he has initiated new projects and completed the projects that were inherited by his administration, despite the numerous challenges.
Governor Ortom commended the Federal Government for taking proactive steps to address the security challenges along the Benue-Nassarawa road.
According to him, “as parts of efforts to complement the conventional security operatives in the state, the state government established the state Community Volunteer Guards and they are doing well.
“The conventional security agencies are inadequate. Without security, it will be impossible for investment to thrive. This is why we set up the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards.”
The governor, while commending the body for their support in the enactment of the open grazing prohibition law, assured them of adequate support to enable them continue to add value to the state.
Earlier, in a remark, Barr Zuana expressed appreciation to the governor for mobilizing farmers in the state towards enhancing agricultural productivity for both consumption and economic sustainability.
He said the aim of the body was to synergize with the government of the state for the purpose of a friendly business environment and ensure that Benue State becomes the number one state in the ease of doing business and for investment destination in Nigeria and to hold roundtables and develop the State Business Agenda (SBA).
“The Benue Coalition of Business and Professional Associations is an amalgamation of 18 business and professional associations which were brought together and trained by the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) an affiliate of the American Chambers of Commerce in Washington D.C. in collaboration with the Jos Business School, sometime in 2010.
“Member associations include BECIMA, NBA, ICAN, NSE, PSN, AFAM, ANAN, MMWA, etc. The Caalition’s core mandate include advocacy for public policy reforms with a view to improving the ease of doing business in Benue State in particular and Nigeria in general,” he said.
The group lauded the governor for slashing down the land fees by 50%. “This, we believe will enable more people to process their title deeds. Since land titles are important documents in banking transactions, this will also go a long way in enhancing the ease of doing business in the state,” he stated.
The body condemns the activities of terrorists herdsmen in the state. “BENCOBPA however, notes with a deep sense of displeasure and disgust the persistent, unprovoked, dastardly and wanton killings by AK-47 bearing herdsmen, who are bent on terrorizing, displacing and seizing the Benue peoples’ ancestral lands. This no doubt has affected the food security not only in the state but Nigeria in general,” he maintained.
Barr Zuana assured the governor of the group’s support at all times.