Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has accented to the Local Government Amendment Law passed by the state House of Assembly, which approved the appointment of sole administrators for the 23 councils in the state.
He signed the law at an expanded caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders’ meeting held at the Benue People’s House, Makurdi, the state capital attended by party stalwarts across the state.
He explained that the sole administrators would be appointed for six months pending the conduct of local government polls, adding that if the elections failed to hold their tenure could be renewed for another six months.
He blamed lack of funds for the delay in conducting the local government elections, assuring that as soon as the situation improved, the elections would be held.
He noted that though the amended local government law gave him the prerogative of appointing the sole administrators, he would, as a democrat, give stakeholders from each local government the opportunity to make three nominations which must include a woman.
The governor warned stakeholders against lobbying and assured that appointments would be made on the basis of truth, equity and fairness.
While expressing optimism that Nigeria and Benue would soon get out of the recession, he commended people of the state for heeding to his call of going back to land.
He said from what he has seen, the people have made appreciable effort and announced that some investors have indicated readiness to invest billions of naira in the resuscitation of some of the moribund industries.
Ortom disclosed that the investor for Taraku Mills has earmarked about N5 billion for the purchase of saya beans for the factory and explained that in Benue, farmers have noting to lose by embarking on large scale cultivation of the product.
On the provision of electricity at the Industrial Layout, Makurdi, the governor said a firm has set aside $18 million dollars for that purpose and added that 10 mega watts of electricity would be provided.
According to him, the government has already made available five hectares of land for the project for which the electricity regulatory commission has been duly notified.
He disclosed that the government would not spend a dime on it and emphasized that power supply would be on a 24-hour basis.
Earlier, the state APC chairman, Comrade Abba Yaro, gave guidelines on where the position of sole administrators should be zoned to in each local government and noted that names of those involved in anti-party activities were being compiled for disciplinary action.