SPEECH BY CHIEF DR SAMUEL ORTOM, BENUE STATE PDP GOVERNORSHIP ASPIRANT, AT THE FIRST PLENARY OF THE ORTOM GOVERNORSHIP ORGANIZATION POLICY AND STRATEGY COMMITTEE, HELD AT THE CONFERENCE HALL, SMILE VIEW HOTEL, MAKURDI, SATURDAY, JUNE 21ST, 2014.
I consider it a rare privilege that God has given me to address this cream of Benue sons and daughters gathered here for the special assignment that history has beckoned on us all to perform.
The interest and ripples generated by the publication of the preliminary committee list a few weeks ago underscores the acknowledgment by our people that this group assembled here holds the present and future destiny of the state in its hands.
Even though a few notable people have indicated withdrawal due to their peculiar circumstances many more of such people have offered to be included hence the expansion of the initial list.
The expansion is also intended to accommodate people from as many walks of life as possible as well as all shades of opinion and aspirations.
In a democracy the more the merrier.
We have a date with history; let us therefore resolve to keep it with resounding success.
The Policy and Strategy committee has been formed in order to harness the vast and diverse human potentials that abound in our state so as to trigger processes aimed at sustaining existing gains and charting new frontiers of advancement for our state
Yet this committee which has been drawn largely from experienced technocrats from various fields is neither a partisan group nor an arm of my Governorship Organization.
The inclusion of several partisan members is intended to provide the guide to where my passions lie but beyond that the committee’s responsibility is to make available a technical document that will drive our vision and mission for the state.
Part of my determination, if given the mandate by the grace of God and the people of the state, is to govern with the fear of God which will translate into wisdom in statecraft, truthfulness, selflessness, honesty, dedication, transparency, fairness, accountability, forgiveness and reconciliation.
These shall lead to peace and unity which shall usher in unprecedented development and progress.
The year 2015 offers us another opportunity for renewal and new beginnings.
We believe that God has endowed us with capacities to create the Benue of our dream as we consolidate on the existing foundations and press forward towards recharging, redefining and repositioning our state.
Our objectives include delivering on a transformed state within the scope of our mandate even as we seek to leave behind robust and lasting legacies for future generations.
The Benue of our dream must have appropriate substructure or cross-cutting principles which will drive all engagements as we collectively work to inspire and raise citizens who will not only look at Benue State with alternative lenses but also commit to building an enduring sustainable superstructure.
It is with these at the back of our minds that we have carefully selected the cream of Benue intellectuals, distinguished women and youths from various fields of human to constitute a Policy And Strategy Committee (PASC).
I charge you to brainstorm, consider and design a gender friendly and implementable blueprint that will be used by both government and private sector partners to move Benue forward to an enviable position. Your terms of reference shall be as follows:
1. To develop strategy for achieving the aims and objectives of the Ortom governorship organization.
2. To develop a comprehensive Blueprint with programme of activities to move Benue forward aimed at industrializing Benue State from 2015 through (a) Private-Public-Partnership. (b.) Extraction and processing of mineral resources (c.) adding value to the Agricultural sector (d) Any other matter incidental or necessary to achieve industrialization of Benue state so as to reduce poverty, create jobs, wealth and opportunities.
3. To develop set of core values, and moral reorientation as the foundation and basis for social economic transformation of Benue state.
4. To provide advice on a new structure of government that will enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of government services.
5. To provide strategy to address insecurity, youth unemployment, gender inequality, and issues relating to workers’ welfare, and pensioners.
6. To seek ideas to consolidate on the maintenance of rule of law, and security in Benue state.
The Committee is to concentrate on the following key sectors:
1. Industrialization, Trade and Investment
2. Public Finance and Revenue Generation
3. Health, Social Services and Utilities
4. Agriculture and Environment
5. Rural Development
6. Information and Communication Technology, ICT
7. Law, Justice and Security
9. Science and Technology
11. Gender, Children, Youth Development, those with special abilities
12.Poverty Alleviation, Employment and Job Creation
13.Tourism, Cultural and Amusement Development
14.The Structure of Government
15. Principles, Moral and Cultural Re-orientation
16. Research, Statistics and Planning
The deliverables for each sector will be as follows:
i. Provide comprehensive situation analysis of the present condition in the sector
ii. List the current gaps/problems of the sector
iii. Clearly indicate what the Ortom administration will need to do to address the gaps/problems identified in the sector
iv. Explain clearly how suggestions in (iii) above will be implemented
v. Provide a modest indicative budget that is needed to implement the new transformative agenda in the sector
vi. Indicate when (Time Line) when the projects can be implemented.
vii. Work out observable verifiable indicators
I hope that you will be able to deliver on this assignment by the end of July 2014.
May I also inform you that if given the mandate, I shall by the grace of God, run an inclusive administration as such it will be appreciated if the committee accommodates views and criticism from non members as well as all segments of the entire Benue community.
I suggest that you could also consult widely and also take advantage of previous and other current blueprints in the state and beyond, especially Our Benue Our Future.
I thank you and wish you God’s blessings as you discharge this responsibility.