By Brenda Agba
A gubernatorial aspirant on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Julius Aondona Atorough, has said he will restructure the economy of Benue State if elected as governor.
This, he said he will do, through the harnessing of the agricultural resources that abound in the state, as well as the establishment of a financial institution which will be private driven, but control the management of the state’s financial resources.
Atorough made this known while rolling out his agenda before journalists at NUJ House, during the on-going NUJ Gubernatorial Interactive Forum organised by the union, in collaboration with Festiva Authentic Investments Limited.
The gubernatorial aspirant who grouped his agenda in six key areas including Health and Sanitation; Education, Women and Youth Development; Agricultural Revolution; Restructured Benue Economy; Transport and Infrastructure, as well as Security of Lives and Property with the code name HEARTS, said under health and sanitation, he will strengthen the state’s health institutions in terms of personnel and facilities, with special attention to the primary level for quality healthcare delivery, even as he will ensure a clean environment as good health is tied to sanitation.
In education, women and youth development, Atorough said he will pull together the required resources to ensure that Benue people have access to quality education at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels with scholarship being one of the key channels, even as he intends to empower women who though are good managers of resources, are most times placed at disadvantaged positions begining from the family level.
“The youths will also be given adequate attention for them to be well developed towards becoming good leaders as this is the only way we can have a secure future,” he added.
In agriculture, Atorough who noted the comparative advantage Benue has over other states, in view of its abundant resources said, he will carry out a total revolution of the sector through private partnerships in the various areas of the agricultural value chain.
“The Benue River is a very big resource which if well harnessed, will add value to the state’s economy, not just in agriculture through fishing and cropping, but also in transportation and tourism,” he stated, adding that he will step up piggery production for export.
Atorough further assured of the provision of basic infrastructure that will make life easy and more meaningful, as well as enhance the transportation system for easy movement of goods and services accross the state and beyond.
Stressing the importance of security of lives and property, the aspirant stated his desire to build a home grown security system that will compliment the efforts of the conventional security apparatus for more efficiency.
In his closing remark, the Director of Special Projects, Festiva Authentic Investments Limited, Mr Solomon Atavti, commended Atorough for his good intentions, expressing hope that he will not deviate if elected.
Earlier, Chairman, NUJ Benue State Council Caretaker Committee, Comrade Stephen Ijoh, said the interactive forum is aimed at providing an avenue for aspirants to avail members of the public their intentions, with a view to help them elect leaders who they feel can provide effective leadership for the state.
Atorough, a seasoned banker, is also a philanthropist who has touched many lives through his foundation, the Julius Atorough Foundation.