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Projects
There is a popular saying that health is wealth and that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation. The import of this saying lies in that the people of a nation to engage in productive activities and generate wealth, they must first have good physical and mental health.
This perhaps explains while conscientious and well-intentioned leaders and governments treat the health of citizens with utmost seriousness and as a priority. In Benue State for instance, there are various landmarks to show that since its creation in 1976, the various administrations left their signatures, to varying degrees, on the health sector. The Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, the College of Health Technology, Agasha, as well as the College of Health Sciences, Benue State University, stand out because of their roles in the training of personnel for the Health Sector. The Schools of Nursing and Midwifery particularly used to be known for producing quality nurses and midwives who filled the staffing needs of health facilities not only in Benue State but Nigeria and beyond. However, by the time the Samuel Ortom administration was inaugurated in May last year, the Schools of Nursing and Midwifery as well as College of Health Technology, Agasha had lost their accreditation for upwards of three years and were no longer admitting students. The loss of the accreditation status of the three schools was due to lack of adequate staff and infrastructure, dilapidated state of the few existing ones and absence of modern teaching facilities and other requirements as laid down by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and other supervising authorities. For the College of Health Sciences, by the time the Ortom administration came on board, it had not received full accreditation, with the result that several sets of the students had stagnated for upwards of more than a decade without graduating. This was a worrisome situation when one appreciates the contributions the medical doctors from the College could have been making to the health delivery system of the state if they were graduating regularly. Not satisfied with the state in which he met the health training institutions, Governor Samuel Ortom immediately got down to work to change their fortunes for the better. The Governor wasted no time in providing the necessary funding for the College to meet the accreditation requirements set by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to enable it commence the graduation of its students. Barely five months after taking the oath of office, Governor Ortom, on September 14, 2015 happily announced at an Executive Council Retreat held at the New Banquet Hall of the Benue People’s House, that the College had received its accreditation for five years. Indeed, he displayed the letter which the Registrar of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Dr Abdulmumini Ibrahim wrote to the Vice Chancellor of Benue State University conveying the approval. On 28 October, last year, the first set of students of the College completed their graduation examinations after twelve years. Some of the first set of graduating students including Moses Asue from Vandeikya, John Odejo from Otukpo, Abigail Ngaji from Ukum and Usha Anenga from Katsina-Ala, who spoke after their final examination were full of praises for the Governor. They commended him for matching his words with action and breaking the jinx that had held them back for so long. On November 20, last year, through the instrumentality of the Ortom administration, 27 of the 40 pioneer students of the College of Health Sciences, Benue State University, took their Hippocratic Oath as medical doctors. Speaking at the ceremony, the Registrar of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Dr Ibrahim expressed satisfaction with the high academic performance of the students noting that for 27 out of the fourty in the first set of the medical trainees to have passed their professional examinations was testimony of the quality training they had received. Since then, the College has graduated three other sets of medical students, bringing the total to about 100. After successfully setting the College of Health Sciences, Benue State University on proper footing to effectively execute its mandate, the Ortom administration turned its attention to the Schools of Nursing and Midwifery as well as College of Health Technology, Agasha in its determination to ensure that the schools had their accreditation restored. Towards this end, the administration renovated old structures and constructed new ones such as laboratories, classrooms, auditoriums, offices, libraries, hostels and sports facilities in addition to supplying them with state of the art equipment. The Governor also directed the conversion of the casual appointment of 86 temporary staff of the Schools of Nursing and Midwifery to a permanent one, a directive which was immediately complied with. After the Government had provided the required facilities and prepared the stage for the re-accreditation of the two schools, members of the accreditation team from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria came to the State in the first week of this last month to evaluate the situation. After the visit, the Council was satisfied with what is on ground and has granted the re-accreditation of two of the schools, a status they had lost since 2013. Work is also at an advanced state to secure reaccreditation for the College of Health Technology, Agasha. The Governor also intervened in the accreditation aspiration of the NKST School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mkar by making a donation of the sum of N10 million for the upgrading of the School to enable it meet the requirements. Following that intervention, the School has also been granted accreditation. The full accreditation granted to the College of Health Sciences, Benue State University, the Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, Makurdi and that in Mkar, is practical testimony of the Ortom administration’s commitment to the promotion of high standard in the quality of health care services rendered in the State. It is our hope and prayer that the direct beneficiaries of these efforts, the teachers and students, will put in their best to contribute to the building of a healthier and richer Benue.   Mr Ogbole is Director, News and Current Affairs of Radio Benue, Makurdi.
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Projects
“Together, we can transform the rural landscape, create more jobs, wealth and opportunities as well as improve rural habitats and livelihoods” – Governor Samuel Ortom in his inaugural address on May 29, 2015.
The People’s Governor has kept the promise. Communities of the state are already benefitting from electrification, roads and bridges with most of the projects completed and others at various stages of execution. Take a look: Rural Roads and Electrification @ Extension of electricity from Tavachan to Aba Mbahav in Katsina-Ala LGA @ Electrification of Jato Daula Community in Gwer East LGA @ Electrification of Atsaga Anemba Village near Ikobo in Ushongo LGA @ Extension of electricity from Nagi to Tse Awuna village, Gwer West LGA @ Electrification of Dajo Pottery road, Makurdi @ Rehabilitation of Uni-Agric-Gbajimba power transmission line @ Purchase and Supply of transformers for different parts of the state @ Extension of electricity from Mkovur Jagela to Anvambe @ Extension of electricity from Anvambe to Ako in Buruku @ Electrification of Awajir-Gungul-Tse Agberagba in Konshisha @ Electrification of Government Science and Technical College Otukpo @ Electrification of Government Science and Technical College Garagboul, Buruku @ Electrification at Andyar Gemade Village, Konshisha @ Extension of electricity from Tse-Agberagba to Wuese (Relocation to Ansgagba-Amua), Konshisha @ Uavande-Jov Kyundan electrification project @ Construction of a two span reinforced concrete bridge across Ogoli Stream on Ogobia-Unwaba Oju feeder road in Otukpo LGA @ Construction of bridges and culverts in Ushongo LGA @ Construction of a two span reinforced concrete bridge across Utem stream in Ugbe community, Katsina-Ala @ Purchase and installation of transformers at Aumazwa and Ikpenger villages in Gboko West and construction of culvert at Ikpa Agure and Mbadim @ Construction of culverts, bridges and drainages in Kwande LGA @ Electrification project for Camp Garba in Makurdi LGA. @ Bureau of Cooperatives and Rural Development has successfully registered 1,067 cooperative societies which now benefit from government programmes. Source: Bureau of Cooperatives and Rural Development.
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Projects
Governor Samuel Ortom today performed the ground breaking ceremony of the N38 billion Cargopolis Makurdi Airport at kilometer 28 Makurdi – Lafia road with a call on the community to cooperate with those involved in the construction.
He said the project was being executed under the Public Private Partnership that would generate numerous jobs, wealth and opportunities at minimum cost to the state government. According to the Governor the project which is expected to be completed in 2020 would place Benue on the aviation map of the world, make it the hub for West Africa, improve transportation and transform the host rural community. Other benefits, he said, include establishment of industries in the vicinity, provision of capacity building in several areas including training of pilots and aviation engineers as well as hosting of aviation tank farm and power plant. Governor Ortom said the airport would offer both cargo and passenger transport services. All Progressives Congress, APC, leader in Benue State and Senator representing Benue North West, Senator George Akume, endorsed the project while pledging the support of the Senate Aviation committee. Others who spoke included House of Representatives member for Makurdi/Guma Federal Constituency, Hon Dickson Tarkighir, representative of the Speaker of the State Assembly, Hon Avine Agbom, and that of the Acting Tor Tiv and Ter Makurdi Chief Sule Abenga all expressed appreciation and support for the project. Representatives of the consortium assured of delivery of quality job according to specification.
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Projects
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has directed the Commissioner for Health, Dr Cecilia Ojabo, to ensure that the renovation and provision of facilities at the state’s Schools of Nursing and Midwifery were completed early for accreditation to take place.
Ortom who gave the directive while inspecting ongoing projects at the institution today also directed that all finished jobs should be paid for because money for the entire project had been provided. He expressed satisfaction with the level of work done on the renovation and added that drainages should be provided within the premises to guarantee outflow of water when it rained. The Governor also inspected the Mobile Barracks Junction-Welfare Quarters road where he said the contractor handling the project, Triacta Nigeria Limited, had done a lot of work even without being paid the initial mobilization fee. He explained that he invited the contractor and gave him the job when he saw the quality of jobs which the company executed in Lafia, Nasarawa state. Governor Ortom said he was happier with the projects he inspected today than the ones he inspected yesterday, insisting that if the Mobile Junction-Welfare Quarters road project impressed him, he was more impressed with that of Welfare Quarters-Achusa. He said he embarked on the completion of the Achusa road initiated by his predecessor as a priority because the media village located in the area occupied a central place in the project and assured that in less than four weeks, the project would be completed. The Governor also inpected the renovation of structures at the state-owned newspaper, The Voice, where he said the contractor had already mobilized to site. After inspecting the digital printing machines at the organization’s ware house, he said he was anxious to see their installation so that the paper could regain its lost glory. He also visited the Teaching Service Board, TSB, , and inspected two blocks of offices which the Executive Secretary of the board, Mr. James Pine said he executed by direct labor at the cost of N11 million. Mr Pine said the money used for the work was generated internally and expressed regret that the structures had not been renovated since they were provided many years ago. Governor Ortom commended him and urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies to emulate the Executive Secretary. Governor Ortom also visited the site of the Skills Acquisition Center being constructed with funds from the Sustainable Development Goals, and the premises of the Primary Health Care Board.
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Projects
Governor Samuel Ortom has assured the Igumale community that the cement factory in the area will be complete soon. He gave the assurance after an inspection visit today.
According to him all the remaining machinery for the plant have been fabricated and will soon be shipped to site adding that the state government was already fulfilling its obligations to ensure the factory’s take off.These, he said, included the provision of the access road, mining lease and expartriate quota which he said were already being tackled. The Governor regretted that the factory which was started before similar ones in Zambia and Ethiopia had not commenced production like those ones but expressed happiness that the court case which stalled activities on site was over. He appealed to the community to domesticate the factory by protecting it against vandalism pointing out that when operational it would offer employment and create opportunities as well as wealth for them. At the Skills Acquisition Center, Igumale, he charged the contractor, Ado Sunshine Nigeria Limited to engage more hands and equipment so as to accelerate the pace of work. Inspecting the Otukpo – Utonkon – Igumale road, Governor Ortom directed the Commissioner of Works, Transport and Energy,out Mr Emmanuel Manger, to ensure that the contractor, Rockbridge Construction Company, was paid the N131 million outstanding on their certificate.
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Projects
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has directed the Benue State Water Board to ensure steady water supply in the state capital using the old pipe network while waiting for new reticulation.
Governor Ortom who gave the directive shortly after the inspection of the Greater Makurdi Water Works said faulty pipes in the network should be replaced to allow water to flow in the old network. He said the people of the state had waited too long for public water supply. “A lot of money has been spent on this water project and there has to be justification for such spending. Our people deserve to feel the impact of this project. They can’t wait any longer”, he stated. Governor Ortom also visited the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Makurdi where renovation work is at 90% completion. The Governor disclosed that furnishing of the school will commence as soon as the renovation is completed. He said he had already directed that public water supply be extended to the school to make the learning environment conducive. “I am in a hurry to see the School of Nursing and Midwifery reopen as soon as possible so that the students can resume. Once we are through with structures in the school, we will move to ensure that it is reaccredited,” Governor Ortom stated. The Governor was accompanied on the inspection by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Cecilia Ojabo, the Commissioner for Works, Transport and Energy, Emmanuel Manger, the Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, John Otokpa Onoja, as well as Nick Wende of Water Resources and Environment. … EXPLAINS WHY HE WENT OUT TO INSPECT PROJECTS By Nelson Ogbu After inspecting some projects in the state capital today, Governor Ortom spoke with journalists about the inspection. Below are excerpts: I went out this morning to see the level of work going on at the School of Nursing and Midwifery. I’m in a hurry to see the school reopen and admit students. I have seen the level of work. I was there with my technical team and commissioners. I’ve given them instruction to ensure that the work is completed in record time so that we can apply for the reaccreditation of the institution. So far I’m satisfied with the level of work and have directed the Commissioner of Health to present a budget for the furnishing of the school. I also directed Ministry of Water Resources to ensure that public water supply is linked to the school. I’ve also been to Water Works and I’ve seen things for myself and have also directed them that while we are waiting for the final process of reticulation in Makurdi town, they should use the old pipes; the old reticulation should be supplied with water and where there are damages they should ensure that they are repaired. I believe like they said, “half a loaf is better than none”. So we can start from somewhere. We are spending a lot of money buying chemicals every six months and this must be justified by us feeling the impact, not just a handful of people trading with water. The average man on the street of Makurdi should feel the impact of what we are doing in water works. We have also looked at the road we are trying to open up around the Mobile Barracks road down to Welfare Quarters. We believe that if that road is opened, it will clear some of the security challenges we have been having and also allow the people from there real access to wherever they want to go and come back at their convenient time. We’ve looked at that with the aim of trying to award the contract on that road as soon as possible. We’re also looking at the possibility of constructing a layout because opening up of that Mobile Barracks road will give us the opportunity to do a new layout and the place will be open up for more people to access land and then build houses. We’ve also looked at government facilities and buildings at the Ministry of Works, Transport and Energy. We are looking at how to revive the Ministry of Works’ Electrical and Mechanical workshops, the equipment are there, they just need some value addition that will make them work and we will open it, commercialize it and open it for the public to use. We have looked at the progress of work at the new complex of the Benue State House of Assembly and we’ve been assured that within the next two months work would be completed. We have as well looked at the security challenges we have around Government House occasioned by the short perimeter fence that is abandoned around the Governor’s residence. I have directed the Ministry of Housing to ensure that work is completed and we have directed that money should be released to that effect immediately.
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