By Matthew Ajai-Kume
The Benue State House of Assembly has called on the Benue State Government to make adequate budgetary allocation for the revitalization of Taraku Mills Limited and other moribund Industries in the state.
The House stated this following the resolution that came after the Member Representing Gwer State Constituency, Hon. Elias Audu moved a motion calling on the Benue State Government to give urgent attention to the matter during its Thursday Plenary held at the New Banquet Hall of Government House, Makurdi.
The House also resolved that in the 2024 Budget, the State Government should adopt public-private partnership in running these factories after revitalization which is the best global practice.
Earlier, the mover of the motion, Hon. Audu, noted that, “Taraku Mills Limited is a multi-billion naira factory which has been moribund since 2010”.
Hon Audu further noted that since Taraku Mills and other factories in the state became moribund, it has adversely affected the state as it has increased unemployment rate, discouraged agriculture and promoted the exportation of raw materials outside the state at low cost thereby denying Benue State huge revenue that would have been used for the development of the state.
He expressed worry that the continued closure of Taraku Mills Limited and other industries has led to increase in criminal activities by idle youths, high level unemployment, political thuggery and over dependence on the government and workers.
The lawmaker further expressed worry that, “the closure of these factories in the state has led to loss of revenue due to government in form of profits and tax, both value added and personal income Tax by workers.
He expressed concerned that, if these factories are not revitalized soon, it will increase youth restiveness occasioned by unemployment and discourage agricultural activities as well as growth of subsidiary industries.
Seconding the motion, member Representing Otukpo/ Akpa State Constituency, Hon. Kennedy Angbo called on the Benue State Government to revamp the moribund industries.
Other members who supported the motion including: Honourables Peter Ipusu, Matthew Damkor, Simon Gabo, Thomas Dugeri and Manger Manger called on the state government to urgently do the needful by revamping Wannune Tomato Factory, Katsina-Ala Fruit Juice Factory and several others for the economic and social development of the state.
Also during its Thursday plenary, the House resolved that the Benue State Government should as a matter of urgency, put in place modalities to register all scavengers also known as “Iron Condemned Buyers ” in the state for easy identification and control.
The House made the resolution when member representing Tarka State Constituency, Hon. Manger Manger moved a motion calling on the state government to register and regulate the activities of scavengers in the state.
“Scavengers should be charged a token for their registration which will be paid into the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) account of the state,” the House resolved.
According to the House resolution, anyone caught selling or buying used iron material without any valid means of identification issued by the state government should be arrested for violation of the statutory order.
Hon. Manger said that, “due to the problems associated with the scavengers, on the 4th of August 2023, the Akwa Ibom State Government banned the sale of condemned iron in the state”.
He further expressed worry that “this trend poses a security threat to individuals and corporate bodies in the state as private residences have been pilfered and anything made of iron or that has iron rod therein is vandalized and stolen for the purpose of sale to scavengers”.
Hon. Manger therefore, called on the government to check and curtail the menace before it throws the state into a state of insecurity.
The motion was seconded by Member Representing Makurdi South State Constituency, Hon Douglas Akya Honourables Samuel Agada , Emmanuel Blessed-Onah and Solomon Gile .