Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, in the early hours of today arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport, Abuja, on his return from a working visit to the United States of America.
During the trip he attended the session of the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations at which President Muhammadu Buhari spoke about Nigeria’s efforts in tackling the HIV/AIDS challenge.
While on the visit Governor Ortom met with development partners, investors and stakeholders in some key projects in the state.
The meetings took place in New York, St Louis, Missouri, and Washington DC.
He met with Dr. Timothy Ijir, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Founders Limited on fast tracking the completion of the Katsina-Ala Yam Processing factory.
The Governor also held discussions with Mr. Ochapa Ogenyi, Secretary of Program in the Office of Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals on the inclusion of Benue State in the next stage of the program under the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Averson Group that had sought to establish a food processing factory in the state in the last 13 years, Altek Mainland Holdings Limited, Efatab Global and Foundation, African Community Bridge Foundation and Baker International were among investors which the Governor Ortom met during the trip.
He stressed that Benue was virtually a virgin land with abundant opportunities for investment in the exploitation of its resources in agriculture, solid minerals, culture and tourism, provision of critical infrastructure in the health, education, water, housing and other sectors.
Governor Ortom invited the groups to visit the state and assess the situation as well as meet with professionals in the various sectors who would provide answers to their enquiries and help conclude discussions on projects.
According to him the current global best practices dictated public private partnerships to drive economies and pledged the resolve of the state government to provide a conducive environment for investments to thrive in the state so as to create massive jobs, wealth and opportunities.
The Governor’s wife, Mrs. Eunice Erdoo Ortom, his Principal Private Assistant, Dr. Tavershima Adyorough, Special Advisers on International Development, MDGs, and NEPAD, Dr. Magdalyne Dura, as well as Media and ICT, Mr. Tahav Agerzua, also attended the meetings.
Speaking with newsmen on arrival he assured the people of the state that he was committed to fulfilling his covenant with them even as he remained mindful of their plight, sacrifices and aspirations.
Governor Ortom stated that the technical hitches encountered with regard to securing the bailout funds have been overcome and that it would soon be accessed and disbursed to those for whom it was meant.
He enjoined the people to disregard mischief makers circulating false information that the funds had already been accessed and spent stressing that the screening of those entitled was ongoing so that only genuine beneficiaries would be paid.
According to him the plan of such people has always been to distract his administration but assured that it remained committed to delivering on set goals with judicious application of resources and zero tolerance for corruption while remaining available for genuine public scrutiny.
The Governor expressed appreciation to the people for their understanding and patience in these times which he described as difficult and trying while expressing confidence that the challenges would be overcome and that the state would bounce back to better times.
Special Adviser, Media and ICT.