In a remarkable display of leadership virtues, Governor Hyacinth Iormem Alia has embarked on a dynamic journey of governance since assuming office as the helmsman of Benue State. A look at his centenary day will convince any doubting Thomas that it has been eventful.
As a matter of fact, the state has seen quite an astounding exhibition of accomplishments that resonate deeply with the aspirations of the Benue people.
His barely three months in office has brought with it a downpour of commendable transformative achievements, which have ignited hope, improved livelihoods, and rekindled the spirit of optimism among the Benue public.
The administration’s remarkable achievements so far could be seen in:
In line with the priorities of his administration which Agriculture is only next to security as enshrined in his blueprint, Fr. Alia barely two months in office embarked on a subsidy program in agriculture. The administration ordered and took delivery of 300 metric tons of fertilizers to the state, subsidizing same at 50%. This simply means that fertilizer was made available to farmers at the affordable rate of N12, 500 instead of the over N25, 500 in the market.
It should be noted that for the first time since the final resurgence of democracy in the country, Benue farmers got fertilizer in the month of July at the exact time it was needed in the farms. By these unprecedented approaches in empowerment of Benue farmers, Alia’s declaration that his administration will ensure food security, increased yields, and a thriving agricultural sector has properly kicked off. This agricultural intervention not only stimulates food production but also empowers rural communities, creating a ripple effect of prosperity.
Prompt Salary and Pension Payments:
Under Alia’s visionary stewardship, the specter of unpaid salaries and pension arrears has been exorcised. Like clockwork, workers and pensioners alike have been granted a reprieve, receiving their dues punctually from 25th of every month. This timely financial sustenance is not just a gesture of responsiveness but a lifeline that ensures that the wheels of daily life continue to turn smoothly for countless families and economic boost of the state.
Swift Action on Retirement Age:
In a move that has far-reaching implications for the future, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia without hesitation, approved the implementation of a new retirement age and length of service for primary and secondary school teachers. This visionary move ensures job security, career progression, and ultimately, a brighter future for those who mold the minds of tomorrow. Teachers in the state are in high spirit. This excitement undoubtedly will metamorphose into the output in the classes.
Ghost Workers Exorcised:
The payroll sanitation exercise conducted by this administration within its 100 days in office has streamlined the government’s payroll system, eradicating the menace of ghost workers and other sharp or corrupt practices like padding. The exorcism on the payroll has uncovered over 2,500 non-existent employees, leading to savings of over one billion naira. These funds have now been reinvested into more vital services that the people need.
The administration has approved the training of 10,000 youth of the state in ICT under the title, ‘Benue Go Digital’. The training is part of the strategic plans of the Governor to cushion the biting effect of Fuel Subsidy Removal that has adverse on young unemployed graduates and female gender in the state. At the end of the training, the youth will be equipped with certification ranging from Digital Marketing and E-Commerce, Advanced Data analytics, UI/UX programming, frontend and backend programming, infographics and smart videography to mention but a few.
The administration’s commitment to justice was fortified with the swearing-in of three High Court Judges and one Customary Court of Appeal Judge within the first 100 days in office. This move has already begun to strengthen the justice delivery system in the state. Citizens can now trust in the swiftness and fairness of the legal processes, knowing that justice will be served promptly.
The recovery of numerous looted vehicles, tens of hectares of lands and numerous landed properties from the previous administration is a testament to Fr. Alia’s unwavering commitment to eradicating corruption, and returning discipline to governance viz accountability and prudent management of government resources. This remarkable stride falls within his first 100 days on the seat of governance. These assets rightfully returned to the people represent a substantial victory against corruption and a return to transparency.
Empowering the Youth and Medical Professionals:
Gov. Alia since coming into office has clearly demonstrated exceptional acknowledgment of the importance of the youth and medical professionals in building a thriving state. The announcement of improved monthly allowances of N15, 000 for National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) members and N100, 000 for NYSC doctors serving in Benue State is a salute to the pillars of our future – the youth and healthcare professionals. This recognition not only motivates but also retains the best talents to the state.
Also, according to Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at the Benue state University Teaching Hospital, Gov. Alia is the first Governor in the country that has implemented the Revised Medical Training Fund (MRTF) 2023 at the revised rate. It is believed that this will go a long way to serve as motivation and to inspire resident doctors to be more committed to their training and service delivery to the people of the state.
The administration of Gov. Alia within its 100 days in office has embarked on the reconstruction of the Benue State House of Assembly Complex that was an eyesore when the administration took over the reins of the state.
This revitalization at the legislative chambers symbolizes a new era in governance, providing relaxed environment for legislative activities that will shape the future of the state.
Again, the administration within its 100 days in office has flagged off and initiated the construction of 16 roads, measuring no shorter than 15.39 kilometers within the Makurdi metropolis. This signifies a monumental leap for residents and businesses alike. The benefits are clear – control erosion, reduced travel times, improved commerce, and safer, more connected communities within the state capital.
The roads undergoing construction include:
(A). NEW GRA PART OF MAKURDI(i) Odeh-Ageh – John Feese Street with spur to Kuma Abanyam and Othaniel Taangahar Street.(ii) Orkuma Akunda Street(iii) Lush Street(iv) Augustinian Community Road
(B) ADEKE/ACHUSA PART OF MAKURDI(i) Nigerian Navy Barracks road(ii) Keghem Malu Street
(C) WURUKUM PART OF MAKURDI(i) David Jebe Street(ii) Kornya City Guest House – Akpeme (iii) Tyagher Gbaa Street(iv) Victoria Aende Street(v) KEKE NAPEP Street
(D) NORTH BANK PART OF MAKURDI (i) Ghandi Street (ii) Federal Low-Coast Housing Road
(E) HIGH LEVEL PART OF MAKURDI (i) Eight Avenue (ii) Iorkyaa Ako Street (Extension)
(F) WADATA PART OF MAKURDI (i) Ikeja – Sokoto Street.
Vigilance in Public Oversight:
Gov. Alia’s unwavering commitment to oversight is evident in his unscheduled visits to Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs). This vigilance ensures that the claims and reports submitted to his table are authentic and that the people’s resources are safeguarded and appropriately utilized.
Computerized Vehicle Inspection Service (BECVIS):
The establishment of BECVIS at North Bank, Makurdi, within the first 100 days is a technological spring in ensuring road safety. This initiative guarantees safer roads for all Benue residents by meticulously inspecting vehicles, reducing accidents, and saving the lives of citizens. The establishment will also help in scooping good revenue for the state.
Abolition of Illegal Checkpoints and Multiple Taxation:
The administration of Rev. Fr. Alia has within its first 100 days in office set in motion the wheels of eliminating these obstacles to commerce and trade. Through this, the Governor has breathed new life into Benue’s markets. This bold move has reinvigorated the economy, paving the way for businesses to thrive and reducing the burden on ordinary citizens.
Approval for Purchase of 100 Hummer Buses for Benue Links Company:
The Benue state government has made approval for the procurement of these buses to enhance the efficiency and accessibility of public transportation in the state. Commuters will get a chance to enjoy more affordable, safer and more convenient travel options, fostering economic activity across Benue.
Payment of WACE and NECO Fees for Benue Students:
The Governor’s commitment to education shines through in this action as he has committed to offset the fees for Benue students in public schools who are taking the WAEC and NECO exams for the 2023/2024 academic session. By covering examination fees for Benue students, the gesture ensures that their access to quality education remains unhampered, even in the face of present complications occasioned by fuel subsidy removal.
Energy (Light up Benue):
In order that the state capital is properly eliminated at night, the Governor has approved a contract for solar lights to be mounted on very many major streets in the state capital. Already, work is ongoing and progressing speedily. The Governor has stated that the project will soon hit other metropolis in the state.
Inauguration of Various Committees for Good Governance:
The administration within its first 100 days in office set committees to oil the wheels of good governance. These committees, comprising mostly of technocrats and professionals are engines of transparency and accountability, dedicated to fostering good governance. Recommendations from their report will properly guide the administration in taking informed decisions that will ensure that the government is people oriented by remaining in touch with the people, and effectively addressing their needs and concerns.
And above all, the administration of His Excellency has within this period proven that it is a government for all, this transcends political divides, ethnicity, and religion. It is a beacon of unity, forging a common destiny for all the people of Benue State, irrespective of their affiliations.
In conclusion, Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem’s first 100 days in office have been reforming. His strategic decisions and unwavering commitment to the well-being of Benue State’s citizens have already begun to manifest in real and substantial ways, promising a brighter future for all. The good people of Benue State can undoubtedly look forward to a more prosperous, just, and inclusive tomorrow under his leadership.
Sir Tersoo Kula
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Benue state