It is with pleasure that we welcome you all to this very important State function where you have just witnessed the swearing-in of four new Commissioners and three Special Advisers who have become Members of the Benue State Executive Council.
2. Let me to formally congratulate Dr. Joseph Terlumun Utsev, Mrs Ajene Ladi Isegbe, Bernard Aondoaver Unenge and Comrade Joseph Iornenge Shimaor as well as Mr. Igbarumun Igbudu, Dr. Sunday Edor and Oko Achegbulu as new Commissioners and new Special Advisers respectively who have been carefully selected to join the State’s Executive Council. This is an opportunity for them to contribute their quota to national development in general and Benue State in particular.
3. These appointments became necessary to fill the gaps that were created when we dropped some Commissioners and Special Advisers a few weeks ago. It became necessary to fill other vacant positions in the State Executive Council. These new appointments have also become imperative as a deliberate effort to inject new blood, quicken the pace of service delivery and sustain the ideals we have set for ourselves in the service of Benue people.
4. For the new appointees, you should note that you are coming into governance at a time challenges are numerous and expectations are high. Therefore, you must strive to deploy your experience to bear on our collective determination to respond to these challenges and expectations. These include the imperative to meet our obligations as Government as well as enhance our capacity to respond effectively even with lean expenditure.
5. With this swearing-in, we appeal to you to settle down quickly by acquainting yourselves with our policy document, “Our Collective Vision for a New Benue,” as well as the manifesto of our party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.
6. Ladies and Gentlemen, the five main pillars of our Administration remain good governance and revenue security, agriculture-driven industrialization, STEAM-based education and health services, investment in critical infrastructure and promotion of gender, empowerment of women, youth, sports and persons with disabilities.
7. The philosophy of our Administration is anchored on the fear of God and the entrenchment of core values that reflect our commitment. These include transparency, accountability, justice, fairness, selflessness, humility, discipline, integration, forgiveness and restitution, reconciliation, peace and unity which shall make development inevitable.
8. I wish to emphasise our earlier charge to other appointees and all public servants that no one under this Administration should dare to convert public funds meant for the execution of public projects for the people’s welfare and wellbeing into private pockets. This is unacceptable and contrary to public fiscal responsibility and we shall not hesitate to use the big stick against such conduct.
9. As you may be aware, the Federal Allocation to States continues to dwindle making the payment of salaries and the discharge of other Government responsibilities a major challenge. This makes the need to look inwards imperative and underscores the fact that sacrifices must be made. This also calls for utmost frugality in handling the State’s finances.
10. We appeal to Commissioners, Special Advisers and other members of the State Executive Council and all those with whom the new EXCO Members would be working to cooperate with them and give them the support to perform maximally. Our appeal also goes to family members, friends and associates to refrain from mounting undue financial and other pressures that would distract them from serving the State well.
11. May I once again congratulate the new EXCO members and charge them to offer meritorious service to Benue people and the State.
12. Thank you and God bless.
13. In God we trust.