July 04, (THEWILL) – Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has once again declared that there will be no policy somersault on the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state.
The governor spoke with journalists after inspecting completed and ongoing projects in Makurdi, the state capital, against the backdrop of insinuations in the mass media that the state had reviewed its position against open grazing.
Ortom said a statement credited to the Commissioner of Education, Prof Dennis Ityavyar, on the availability of land for ranching was true. He stressed that those intending to do livestock business in the state must do so according to the provisions of the law, which prohibits open grazing and recognises only ranching.
Asked if the state government had a hand in an alleged peace deal with the leadership of Miyetti Allah, as reported in the media, the governor denied knowledge of any such negotiation between leaders from Benue and Miyetti Allah.
Commending the contractor that handled the construction of the 9-kilometre Apri-Tse-Poor Road for a job well done, Ortom also condemned a contractor with the State Universal Basic Education Board for executing a shoddy job.
According to him, the Apir-Tse-Poor Road project and electrification spanning 12 Kilometres cost N1.4 billion to execute.
Directing the Chairman of SUBEB to ensure that all primary schools in the Makurdi metropolis and other major towns were provided with customised desks and chairs, the governor also announced that the state government had received its counterpart fund of N1.6 billion from the Universal Basic Education Commission.
He said the state had started sourcing its own share to match for more infrastructural work in the sector.
At the old Lobi Bank complex which is now the permanent headquarters of the Board of Internal Revenue Service, BIRS, the governor directed that work be completed on the building immediately to enable the revenue generating agency move in.
The BIRS headquarters is now named as ‘Aper Aku House.’
Other projects inspected included the Benue Geographic Information Service (BENGIS) under construction at the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Solid Minerals, permanent office complex for Ministry of Housing and other Government agencies.