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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, today received a vote of confidence from the Tongov community of Katsina-Ala local government area.
Leaders of the community visited Governor Ortom at the Benue Peoples House to express appreciation for the appointment of their son, Mr. Richard Gbaden, into the state executive council.
The delegation included the district head of Iwar, Chief Kur Kyuran and his Tiir counterpart, Chief Boi Johnson Mngueorga, as well as prominent sons and daughters from the community.
But a retired Permanent Secretary, Mr Iyorwuese Ligom, read a written address for the visitors.
"We wish to commend you for the milestones recorded within the first year of your administration in the areas of security, health, education, agriculture, workers' welfare and infrastructure, to mention but a few areas," he stated.
"Your administration has resumed work on the abandoned electricity project which cuts across the Tongov community and which has been on our minds for sometime now - that is the Mbaton-Wombo-Gbor-Amaafu-Ayua-Ikowe electricity project."
Mr Ligom also expressed the community's appreciation for the appointment of several indigenes into prominent positions such as the former Special Adviser, Tsenongo Abancha, his successor, Mr Gbaden, clerk of the State House of Assembly, Dr Torese Agena, as well as Permanent Secretary, Aungwa Makurdi.
"We hereby pass a vote of confidence in your administration," the former permanent secretary stressed.
Responding Governor Ortom thanked the community for the support they gave him during and after the electioneering campaign.
"I'm encouraged with your honor, solidarity as well as the confidence reposed in me which will spur me to do more for your community and the entire people of the state," he said.
He urged the people to invest more in agriculture particularly the cultivation of cash crops such as rice, soyabeans, groundnuts, beniseed and cassava to boost the economy of the state.
According to him he identified with the community's aspirations for several reasons including the fact that he himself came from a minority area just like them.
The recent statement by Dr Gabriel Suswam, former Governor of Benue State celebrating his "achievements" in the security sector and denigrating the efforts of the current Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, is yet another infantile tantrum aimed at rewriting the history of the state to glorify a painful era in the history of the state.
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has directed the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to pay the October and November 2011 salary arrears of some local government staff who were not paid at that time.
He gave the directive during the on-going town hall meetings.
Governor Ortom stated that even though the arrears were not captured in the initial bailout loan that was obtained it could be paid from the savings of N1.4 billion made from the prudent management of the N15.5 billion facility for payment of local government salary arrears.
According to him, he gave the directive because at the end of June, 2016, all matters concerning the local government bailout would be concluded pointing out that since the money was for payment of salary arrears those affected in 2011 should be paid.
The Governor explained that the difficulty in the payment of salaries was a consequence of dwindling allocation from the Federal allocation arising from falling oil prices and pipeline vandalism.
He said 27 states in the country have difficulty in salary payment and said efforts were being made to raise internally generated revenue in the state to tackle the challenge while further efforts to verify the staff on the payroll were on-going using the Bank Verification Number.
Governor Ortom stated that his administration has embarked on cost saving measures by reducing the size of government machinery, travels and trimming of his allowances and those of his deputy.
The meetings have already been held with stakeholders in Katsina-Ala, Ukum, Logo, Buruku, Tarka, Gboko, Ushongo, Kwande, Vandeikya and Konshisha.