<< By Tahav Agerzua >>
Benue State is blessed with many illustrious sons and daughters who have excelled in various spheres of life.
The current Supervising Minister of Aviation and Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Dr. Samuel Ortom is one of those sons who have brought dignity to the people of Benue and are making greater efforts to uplift the state.
Chief Dr. Samuel Ortom, an industrialist, farmer, businessman, politician, philanthropist and administrator per excellence is an employer of thousands of young Nigerians.
Chief Dr. Ortom established Oracle Business Limited, the firm that owns Goshen Water which produces bottled and sachet water. Also on the stable are Oracle Oil Mills, Oracle Printing Press and Oracle Farms Limited which handles mechanized farming and animal husbandry.
It is on record that Oracle Business Limited acquired the moribund Benue State Government-owned Plastics company and has invested N1billion to turn around the firm. The company also manufactures polythene bags and sanitary packs.
Also in the fleet of Dr. Ortom are Capital Prints Limited which handles commercial printing, publishing and documentation as well as Achive Engineering Limited which is into civil and mechanical construction.
Each of these companies has employed many youths of Benue State and other parts of the country.
Under the Oracle Business Limited Foundation, Chief Dr. Ortom has set aside funds at Bishop Murray Medical Centre, Makurdi and Rahama Hospital, Gboko for FREE treatment of hernia and snakebite patients.
Chief Ortom also offers full scholarship to indigent students, especially orphans in secondary and tertiary institutions.
Through the same foundation, Chief Dr. Ortom has at various times shown love and care to prison inmates including paying the fines of many of them.
Another outreach of his is Oracle Driving School which turns out qualified drivers on a regular basis.
Chief Samuel Ortom has served the nation in different capacities such as being the National President, Independent Print-Media Publishers Association of Nigeria, IPPAN, and as the current patron of the association.
He was appointed chairman of the governing council of the Standards Organization of Nigeria, SON where he showed uncommon commitment to service.
The Minister is a recipient of several awards including the Best Performing Local Government Chairman in 1992.
As Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Ortom has contributed immensely to the efforts in attracting huge investments into the country.
His additional responsibility as Supervising Aviation Minister has witnessed increased supervision of projects in the aviation sector.
When the people of Benue State came under sustained attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen recently, Dr. Ortom suspended consultations on his governorship ambition for one whole month.
He chose the one-month period to collaborate with the state and federal governments, as well as other relevant authorities in finding a lasting solution to the crises.
Chief Ortom donated relief materials to thousands of displaced persons in the camps.
It is worthy of note that his efforts with those of others have yielded results, as the attacks have subsided while concerted peace building measures are being put in place.
As Chief Samuel Ortom celebrates at 53 amid cheers and prayers from friends and other well-wishers, many people, especially the younger generation would draw inspiration from the story of a man who rose to his current height from a humble beginning.
Born on 23rd April, 1961 in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, Chief Ortom who holds a doctorate degree today began his educational career at Saint John’s Primary School, Gboko in 1970, but a few years later, his dream of having a smooth academic career suffered a setback, as he could no longer pay the school fees, following the retirement of his father.
Instead of idling away at home, the young Samuel decided to become a tout at Gboko Motor Park where he also learnt driving.
The former Executive Chairman of Guma Local Government Area of Benue State has held several key political positions which include the State Pub