<<< By Tahav Agerzua >>>
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, today expressed the interest of the state government in Biogas production saying he would constitute a committee to visit Germany and understudy the plant at Kugle Farms in Froschhann.
He spoke when he received a German delegation brought to him by the Bishop of Makurdi Diocese, Bishop Wilfred Anagbe, at the Benue Peoples House saying the visit would be a prelude to establishing a biogas plant in the state.
Governor Ortom said with the sharp decline in the federal allocation which has made it difficult for government to finance its projects, there was need for the state to partner with foreign investors to enhance its revenue base.
The Governor said the ranching of cattle would help Nigeria to use animal dung, grasses and other wastes for biogas production and commended the Bishop Anagbe,for connecting the state with the Germans.
While stressing that his administration would continue to partner with the Church in the areas of education, health and agriculture, he said fluctuation in oil prices in the international market and the damages being caused to oil installations in the Niger Delta region make it imperative for Benue to fall back on agriculture and other creative ideas to boost its economy.
He expressed appreciation to the Bishop for his concern for the welfare of the people saying he was following the footprints of Jesus who gave the people food to eat.
Governor Ortom directed the commissioner of Education, Science and Technology, Prof Dennis Ityavyar, to initiate the process of working details of the visit with the Chief Executive of Kugle Farms, Mr Joseph Kugle.
Earlier, Mr. Kugle explained that Biomass was produced using natural waste materials from which electricity as well as heat could be generated and fertiliser produced.
He enjoined the Benue State government to key into the technology, saying his company was ready to provide the expertise and the training for the establishment of the plant.
Bishop Anagbe who said he brought Mr Kugle and his wife who were his visitors to meet with the Governor because of his interest in agriculture and processing adding that he visited and worked on the couple’s farm in Germany and was impressed with what he saw hence he was recommending the initiative to the state government.
…PLEDGES ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR PARTNERS
In another development, Governor Ortom has assured of the willingness of his administration to create an enabling environment for development partners to collaborate with the state for its overall progress.
He gave the assurance today when he received a delegation from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources who came to the state with consultants for the Third National Urban Water Sector Reform, a World Bank Assisted Project.
Governor Ortom who expressed appreciation to the Consultants and the Federal Ministry of Water Resources for the choice of Benue as the first state to kick- start the project assured that the state government would do everything possible to ensure that development partners were encouraged to intervene in the State.
He said his administration demonstrated its commitment to retaining the partners by obtaining a loan of N5.5 billion to meet its counterpart obligations decided to pay a counterpart so as to woo back those who had left the State.
Earlier, Acting National Project Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr. Adewale Olabode, explained that the partnership started in 2012 with twelve States including Benue earmarked from the six geopolitical axis of the country as beneficiaries.
Mr. Olabode who noted that Benue was being used .to kick-start the project said the visit was to solicit the support of the government and advised that a steering committee headed by the Commissioner of Water Resources be constituted to work on the project.
The Director, Castalia Washington DC, Ikepo Oyenuga, said part of their mission war to carry out diagnostic study of the water needs in the state, identify the challenges and how they could be addressed.
General Manager, Water Board, Engr. Michael Dzungu called for a review of the water policy in the State including billing system.
The delegation presented a Hilux van to the State Government to facilitate movement for the execution of the project.