By Brenda Agba
Benue people irrespective of political, ethnic and religious inclinations, have been charged to commit to the beauty of a diverse society and cling to the values of honesty, hard-work, transparency, accountability, harmony and meritocracy towards building a viable state and nation for present and future generations.
The Executive Governor of Benue State, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, gave this charge while delivering his speech on the occasion of the 63rd Anniversary Celebration of Nigeria’s Independence at the Old Banquet Hall of Government House Makurdi.
Governor Alia, who said the independence anniversary was a moment for Nigerians to salute their heroes past noted that, it took valour, sacrifice and cohesive nationalistic onslaught for them to actualise the country’s political freedom.
According to the governor, “It is most importantly, an opportunity for us to thank the Almighty God for preserving us amidst several storms, some of which at some point within the last 63 years, threatened our very own
existence as a country.
“While we reflect in retrospect, it is equally pertinent for us to examine where we are, and look to the brighter future that lies ahead of us, especially in a state like ours that possesses all
the potentials of peaking us in the comity of states,” he admonished.
Speaking on the potentials of the state, Alia described the agricultural sector in Benue is a sleeping giant only waiting to be jolted and unleashed to boost food security and enhance job creation.
“It is in view of this that barely few weeks after coming on board, my administration procured 100 trucks of fertilizer for distribution to farmers at subsidized rates. This, coupled with several ongoing agricultural reforms under my watch, I confidently envision a Benue that would efficiently feed itself and the country in its entirety, and as well, export its array of agricultural produce,” he said, adding that the ‘Dawn of Renewed Hope’ in the state which he champions is not just a mere rhetoric as it is already being translated into reality.
He enumerated other achievements made by his administration to include Purchase of one hundred buses for Benue Links Transport Company; Training of ten thousand Benue youth on Information Communication Technology (ICT) in collaboration with Google and Microsoft; Award of contracts and mobilisation of contractors to site for the construction sixteen strategic roads within Makurdi metropolis even as water supply and sanitation facilities
are also receiving attention in major towns across the state.
The state Chief Executive emphasized that, the era of padding contract figures is over as accountability and transparency in the award and execution of these projects are sacrosanct.
Commenting on the looming industrial action by organised labour across the country, the governor appealed to the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade
Union Congress (TUC), to reconsider their plans by exercising little more patience, as Government is working round the clock to meet their demands,
despite the harsh economic realities.