Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, today presented a cheque of N20 million to the Mbakyor Community in Makurdi Local Government Area as compensation to facilitate the establishment of the Independent African Television, AIT, as well as Ray Power radio stations in Makurdi.
Presenting the Cheque to representatives of the community at the Old Banquet Hall of Benue People’s House Makurdi, Governor Ortom said out of the amount N13 million was paid by the Benue State government while the balance of Seven Million was paid by the management of Daar Communications Limited, owners of the media houses.
He explained that the payment was in fulfilment of his promise on the day of his inauguration that he would sustain the good done by the previous administration since government was a continuity.
Governor Ortom stressed that the collaboration was to underscore his belief in public private partnership and that the radio and television stations would complement efforts of other media organizations in disseminating information about the government and people of the State.
According to him the state government was to provide land and buildings while Daar communications Limited would provide equipment and that the immediate past administration signed an agreement to that effect and also constructed two buildings on the site.
He disclosed that when the equipment were brought for installation the land owners stopped it because the N13 million which government promised to pay as compensation was not paid.
Governor Ortom stated that the equipment had been deposited in Government House for years hence the need to act quickly to utilize them.
The Governor expressed hope that with payment of the compensation Daar Communications would immediately commence installation of equipment for takeoff of the project.
Governor Ortom also received media and Information Communication Technology, ICT, stakeholders who presented reports of what the state needed to do to catch up with the rest of the world.
He urged the group to disseminate correct information about the activities of his administration and to examine criticism carefully in order to pick something positive from it.
The Governor advised the stakeholders to synergize and learn from one another since no one was an island.
Presenting separate reports, a software Engineer, Mr.Mike Iduh advocated the setting up of the Benue State Information and Technology Development Agency, BITDA, to drive ICT in the state while Mr. Japhet Gurgur expressed gratitude for the opportunity accorded the group to make inputs into media policy.
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