The Benue State Government has pledged its readiness to host the Community-led Total Sanitation Conference.
Governor Samuel Ortom made the disclosure when Engr. Ebele Okeke, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Ambassador led a delegation to visit him at the Benue Peoples House in Makurdi today.
He said the days when the state treated development partners with levity were over pointing out that his administration was ready and committed to working with them to add value on service delivery in the state.
“These partners have the expertise, experience and resources to add value to what we’re doing and we’ve reengaged with them fully,” he stated.
According to him the state has secured approval from the State Assembly to borrow N5.5 billion to pay counterpart funding across the board so as to access funds set aside by development partners for various projects in the state.
Earlier, Engr. Okeke disclosed that the state defaulted in its commitment to Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion program for which it signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2013.
According to her, a number of partners have withdrawn their support to the state because of lack of counterpart funding.
She stated however, that 50% of the communities have been engaged with 30% of these being open defecation free.
Engr. Okeke disclosed that the Governor’s wife, Mrs. Eunice Erdoo Ortom, has been chosen as WASH Ambassador in the state and solicited support for her in the task of carrying out the assignment.
She suggested the review of the WASH policy, development of its implementation guidelines and water law, development of a road map for open defecation free by 2015 and strengthening of sector monitoring and evaluation.
Governor Ortom also received a delegation led by Dr. Umar Mutallab who introduced Impresit Bakolori Plc and Automotive Nigeria Limited to him.
Dr. Mutallab said the state was fortunate to have men of Governor Ortom’s caliber in leadership position as it would fare better going forward.
Managing Director of Automotive Nigeria Limited, Mr. Segun Ogunnaike made a presentation of vehicle inspection service which the Governor Ortom accepted and directed the Works and Transport commissioner to ensure that the group sets up its outfit in the state.
Governor Ortom restated his commitment to providing an enabling environment for the private sector to drive the economy of the state in accordance with international best practices.
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