Minister of State, Industry, Trade, and Investment, Chief Dr Samuel Ortom, has disclosed that he would quit the Federal Executive Council, FEC, on October 20, 2014, to pursue his Benue State governorship aspiration.
Chief Dr Ortom made the disclosure at a valedictory dinner he organized for the Benue community at the Ladi Kwali Hall of Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.
“Like Paul said in the Bible, ‘I have fought the fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith,’ soon, I’ll resign my position as minister and return to Benue,” he stated.
The Minister listed the receipt of investment commitments of over $12 billion in the petrochemical, fertilizer, and refining sectors, improvement in the installed capacity in the cement industry, ease of doing business, investment of over $3 billion in the sugar industry as well as resuscitation of automobile plants, as some of the landmarks recorded during his tenure.
“The Ministry developed the National Enterprise Development Program, NEDEP, that was commissioned by Mr President as our national platform to comprehensively address the constraints small businesses face in Nigeria, ” he stated.
“We developed the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan, NIRP, which was launched by Mr President as our flagship program to rapidly industrialize Nigeria.”
Chief Dr Ortom said while serving as Supervising Aviation Minister he contributed to restoring calm, reducing debts, and Nigeria securing category one status in the sector.
The governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, enumerated good and inclusive governance, provision of security, agricuture-driven industrialization, affordable and relevant education as well as health care, critical infrastructure, high speed Internet access, water, energy and transportation as key strategic sectors that he would address as governor.
“In line with international best practices we will also support gender, women, youth development and people with disabilities,” he stressed.
“The output of these strategies would be job creation and improved standard of living of our people.”
Chief Dr Ortom pledged that he would bring the experience and contacts gained while serving in the Federal Executive Council to bear on governance in the state if given the mandate.
While answering questions on the rising debt profile of the state, the agitation for Idoma governor, and his constant reference to God, the Minister said as governor he would initiate policies to reduce the current over dependence on government as well create a platform to resolve the agitation adding that to him Christianity had become a way of life without which he would be nothing.
Dignitaries including Professors Dennis Ityavyar and Yakubu Ochefu, Chief Simon Shango, General Stephen Ikya, retired, Mrs Mkeri Amahson, and Terfa Hembah, gave goodwill messages extolling the leadership qualities of Chief Dr Ortom at the occasion.