<<< By Tahav Agerzua >>>
Former Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Dr. Samuel, who aspires to be governor of Benue State, next year has unveiled a five-point development agenda for the state.
He listed provision of good governance and revenue security, agriculture-driven industrialization, education and health, investment in critical infrastructure as well as focus on gender, women, youth issues and people with disabilities as key points of the agenda.
Chief Dr. Ortom spoke at the Ibrahim Babangida Square in Makurdi to mark a public declaration of his aspiration even as his supporters caused a gridlock in the state capital.
They had gathered and waited for him at the Agan Toll gate at the outskirts of the town and on his arrival from Abuja they escorted him through the major streets of the metropolis to the square where he addressed them.
“Our government will be committed to promoting participation by men, women and youth as a key cornerstone of good governance while we’ll reduce the cost of governance through e-governance,” he stated adding that the state revenue apparatus would be upgraded to a commission in order to beef up internally generated revenue.
The aspirant explained that the core objective of the agriculture-driven industrialization would be to enhance food security, provide employment, reduce poverty, and enhance the economic growth of the state.
He pledged that his administration would generate initiatives for the establishment of new industries both in the agriculture and solid mineral sectors through public private partnerships and support provision of credit guarantee services for small and medium enterprises.
“We will seek for investment in grid and off grid power solutions with focus on coal, hydro, solar, recycled waste and geo-thermal power generation to increase electricity supply in the state,” he said, promising to “build capacity for road, rail, water, and air transportation.”
“The mission of our Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) based education is to make education in our state strong at the tertiary level, stronger at the secondary level, and strongest at the primary level.”
Chief Dr. Ortom also gave insights into the other key areas and said a detailed blueprint would be unveiled soon.
He received pledges of support and goodwill messages from representatives of the three senatorial districts in the state, the International Forum for Development and Ahmadu Bello University alumni association.
He was excited at the large turnout of supporters and danced for joy at reception accorded him.