By Nicholas Dechi
Makurdi – Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue said on Tuesday that his administration had built no fewer than 40 healthcare centres in the state in the last three years.
Ortom said this while briefing newsmen in Makurdi on the performance of his administration to mark the 2018 Democracy Day.
He said the administration procured and supplied ambulances and essential drugs to the health facilities in Agatu, Gboko, Ohimini, Oju, Tarka and Ushongo Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
The governor also said that the state government also mobilised contractors to complete 11 road projects across the state.
”Today, I can tell you that despite the limited resources available to us, we have completed some of the roads while others are at various stages of completion.
”In the next couple of days, I will be leading the State Executive Council to commission the ones that are completed,” he said.
Ortom stated that contracts had been awarded for the rehabilitation, construction and furnishing of 740 primary schools in the 23 LGAs of the state.
”Over 400 of such projects have been completed while 2691 youths were trained on digital marketing in collaboration with Google Nigeria,” he said.
The governor disclosed that the state executive council had approved the procurement of 50 tractors with a facility granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He said that when procured, the tractors would to be distributed to the 23 LGAs of the state, to facilitate the 2018 farming activities to aid bumper harvest.
He said that his administration had the challenge of nonpayment of workers’ salaries as when due, but added that it had been paying salaries every month since January.
”I promised you in my New Year message that from January this year, we will commence regular payment of workers’ salaries at all levels.
”I am happy to state that we have kept that promise and are committed to continue with salary payment as at when due.
“Challenges of omissions and other irregularities in this regard are also being addressed,” the governor added.
Ortom lamented that Benue faced a huge humanitarian problem as about 180,000 people in the state were currently living in eight Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.
”The challenge now is how to get the displaced persons back to their homes.
“The situation is also a major threat to food security as we are already in another cropping season and farmers are still in camps.
”In addition, the education of the future generation is also under threat due to the destruction of educational facilities.
“The situation is also affecting maternal and child health as most of the primary healthcare centres in the affected places had been destroyed by rampaging herdsmen.
”I wish to restate my resolve to serve Benue people with all my heart and I know that the remaining period of our time in office will be greater than the years past,” he said. (NAN)