<<< By Terver Akase >>>
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has directed the Benue State Water Board to ensure steady water supply in the state capital using the old pipe network while waiting for new reticulation.
Governor Ortom who gave the directive shortly after the inspection of the Greater Makurdi Water Works said faulty pipes in the network should be replaced to allow water to flow in the old network.
He said the people of the state had waited too long for public water supply.
“A lot of money has been spent on this water project and there has to be justification for such spending. Our people deserve to feel the impact of this project. They can’t wait any longer”, he stated.
Governor Ortom also visited the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Makurdi where renovation work is at 90% completion. The Governor disclosed that furnishing of the school will commence as soon as the renovation is completed.
He said he had already directed that public water supply be extended to the school to make the learning environment conducive.
“I am in a hurry to see the School of Nursing and Midwifery reopen as soon as possible so that the students can resume. Once we are through with structures in the school, we will move to ensure that it is reaccredited,” Governor Ortom stated.
The Governor was accompanied on the inspection by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Cecilia Ojabo, the Commissioner for Works, Transport and Energy, Emmanuel Manger, the Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, John Otokpa Onoja, as well as Nick Wende of Water Resources and Environment.
…EXPLAINS WHY HE WENT OUT TO INSPECT PROJECTS
By Nelson Ogbu
After inspecting some projects in the state capital today, Governor Ortom spoke with journalists about the inspection. Below are excerpts:
I went out this morning to see the level of work going on at the School of Nursing and Midwifery. I’m in a hurry to see the school reopen and admit students. I have seen the level of work. I was there with my technical team and commissioners. I’ve given them instruction to ensure that the work is completed in record time so that we can apply for the reaccreditation of the institution. So far I’m satisfied with the level of work and have directed the Commissioner of Health to present a budget for the furnishing of the school. I also directed Ministry of Water Resources to ensure that public water supply is linked to the school.
I’ve also been to Water Works and I’ve seen things for myself and have also directed them that while we are waiting for the final process of reticulation in Makurdi town, they should use the old pipes; the old reticulation should be supplied with water and where there are damages they should ensure that they are repaired. I believe like they said, “half a loaf is better than none”.
So we can start from somewhere. We are spending a lot of money buying chemicals every six months and this must be justified by us feeling the impact, not just a handful of people trading with water. The average man on the street of Makurdi should feel the impact of what we are doing in water works.
We have also looked at the road we are trying to open up around the Mobile Barracks road down to Welfare Quarters. We believe that if that road is opened, it will clear some of the security challenges we have been having and also allow the people from there real access to wherever they want to go and come back at their convenient time.
We’ve looked at that with the aim of trying to award the contract on that road as soon as possible. We’re also looking at the possibility of constructing a layout because opening up of that Mobile Barracks road will give us the opportunity to do a new layout and the place will be open up for more people to access land and then build houses.
We’ve also looked at government facilities and buildings at the Ministry of Works, Transport and Energy. We are looking at how to revive the Ministry of Works’ Electrical and Mechanical workshops, the equipment are there, they just need some value addition that will make them work and we will open it, commercialize it and open it for the public to use.
We have looked at the progress of work at the new complex of the Benue State House of Assembly and we’ve been assured that within the next two months work would be completed.
We have as well looked at the security challenges we have around Government House occasioned by the short perimeter fence that is abandoned around the Governor’s residence. I have directed the Ministry of Housing to ensure that work is completed and we have directed that money should be released to that effect immediately.