<<< By David Mzer >>>
The Bureau of Rural Development and Cooperatives has flagged-off 18 major projects in the Benue North East and North West senatorial districts.
These projects include the Gwarche – Kontien electrification project in Tarka, the Ngobua Electricity project and the Gbishe – Mbakyer feeder road in Katsina-Ala, Howe electricity project, Shawa electricity project and Mase feeder road all in Gwer, Igbudu – Tse – Girgi – Ayilamo-Anyibe feeder road in Logo, Vaase electricity project in Ukum, Kontien bridge on Mkar – Tse Nyajo feeder road, three span bridge across Ambiir stream on Mkar – Tse Nyajo feeder road all in Gboko local government area.
At the separate flag off, Governor Samuel Ortom, represented by his Special Adviser on Rural Development and Cooperatives, Dr Adzer Abya, stated that the projects were executed with N1.8 billion set aside from the infrastructure facility obtained from the Federal Government.
Stakeholders from the benefiting communities expressed appreciation for the projects and also listed their benefits.
Most of those who spoke pledged that the communities would not demand compensation and would also secure the projects.
They included the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Terkimbi Ikyange, second class traditional ruler in Ushongo, Chief Ambrose Iyortyer, as well as Special Adviser on Agro Business, Mr Simon Abua.
They however appealed for the boosting of existing electricity projects, as well as construction of more rural roads and the rehabilitation of others.
The permanent secretary in the Bureau of Rural Development and Cooperatives, Mr David Ishegh, advised communities to form cooperatives in order to access support from the state and Federal Governments.
The member representing Kyan Constituency in the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. Titus Uba, described the Samuel Ortom administration as belonging to the rural people even as his constituents listed the benefits of the Mbaakon – Ihugh road.
He spoke during the flag-off of the road in Mbaakon,Vandeikya local government area recently.
The member also appreciated the Governor for fulfilling his campaign promise of constructing the road which he said would boost economic activities in the area.
Former President – General of the Kunav Development Association, Chief John Usaka urged the people to be patient with Governor Ortom as he would certainly deliver more dividends of democracy to the people when the economy of the state improved.
The Acting Chairman of Vandeikya local government, Mr Joseph Atese Agushe, said when completed the road would will ease movement of farm produce from Mbaakon to Ihugh.
Also speaking, former member representing Kyan State Constituency in the Assembly, Hon. Mrs Dorathy Mato, thanked the Governor for coming to the rescue of her people after a long wait for the construction of the road.
She urged the Governor to also construct the Tse-Mker – Koti Yough road in the course of his provision of critical infrastructure to rural areas.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Dennis Ityavyar, who is also a member of the community assured his people that more projects will be executed in Vandeikya local government area.
Alhaji Isah Usman Special Adviser on Project Monitoring and Evaluation, advised the contractors to deliver quality jobs according to specification and other contract terms and the communities to give them support and protection.
His colleague on Labor and Employment, Barrister Patricia Kupchi, directed contractors to engage the youths in the various localities in the execution of the projects while assuring that with the Ortom administration projects had moved from “hearsay to eye see.”
Their colleague on Politics, Sarwuan Tarnongu, enjoined the people to disregard comments from the opposition that the Ortom administration was not performing saying the projects were evidence of performance.
Other projects flagged-off on the same day included the extension of electricity from Akaajime to Takema Memorial College in Ipav, in Gboko, Adikpo to Mbaiwen and Ajio to Kpengwa in Kwande, Ushongo to Kpor and Manor, Abado, Hiitom, Sati, Ude as well as Tse-Ikyange in Ushongo local government area.
At the flag-off of the Ajio to Kpengwa project, a community leader, Baba Farerenga Apine, assured the Governor of the continuous support of his people and thanked him for finding rural dwellers worthy of enjoying electricity.
Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon Terwase Orbunde, expressed appreciation to the Governor for making him proud before his community through the project.
At the flag-off the Aondoana -Tse- Anangbe – Tse – Waku electrication project in Gwer West local government area, the second class traditional ruler in the area, Chief Daniel Abomtse who was represented by the District Head of Ikyaghev, Chief Adi Bata assured the Governor of the support of his people as a show of appreciation for the project and several others currently being executed through the ministry of Works, Transport and Energy.
The next phase would be the flag off of 14 rural projects in the Benue South Senatorial district soon.