Accountability is a vital aspect of responsible government leadership, and the people of Benue State had high hopes prior to the Alia/Odeh administration. The state was grappling with glaring infrastructural deficiencies, dilapidated roads, sporadic salary payments for civil servants, widespread youth unemployment, and pensioners left in the lurch with arrears spanning over 50 months.
However, it appears that the aspirations of Benue State’s residents are gradually being realised, as confirmed in a statement by the Honourable Commissioner for Finance, Michael Oglegba, shared on the Akweya Youth Mentors social media group.
During his campaign, Governor Hyacinth Alia pledged not to let down the people of Benue but to bring about an era of unparalleled development, a significant departure from the typical empty promises of seasoned politicians.
“A promise made is a promise kept,” Honourable Michael Oglegba emphasised in his publication titled “Rebuilding Benue.”
In his publication, he states, “It is well known that destruction is easier than construction, and rebuilding is even more challenging. Benue found itself in a difficult situation, partly created by its actions and suffered by the masses. Our people have endured immense hardship and a relentless assault on their well-being, resulting in a state of underdevelopment and a population mired in poverty.”
The Commissioner acknowledges the significant distrust between the people and their elected leaders due to past experiences. He asserts that the rebuilding of Benue encompasses various dimensions – physical, mental, and spiritual. It’s an arduous task, but progress has already begun.
The publication highlights the following key achievements:
- Salaries and pensions are now paid punctually on the 25th of every month.
- Ongoing work on 16 new roads within Makurdi, accompanied by a project to illuminate the city with renewable solar streetlights.
- Plans to resurface major roads in Makurdi and other major towns.
- Major repair work at the State Assembly complex and forthcoming improvements at the state secretariat.
- Connection of major landmarks to a 33 kVA power line, a first for the state.
- Reorganisation of the teaching hospital to transform it into a regional reference facility.
- Training for ten thousand youths in IT-related fields, supported by Google.
- The implementation of a 65-year retirement age for teachers.
- Hazard allowances for medical staff and special allowances for NYSC doctors.
- Procurement of 100 buses to enhance transportation services.
- Revival of state-owned companies to boost economic activities.
- A focus on increasing internally generated revenue (IGR) and reducing the cost of governance.
- Measures to reduce corruption and enhance transparency through the procurement act and fiscal responsibility framework.
- Efforts to attract new investments and revitalise dormant businesses.
In his closing remarks, the Honorable Commissioner emphasised the importance of prayers for the state’s leadership and encouraged everyone to be part of the solution.
The publication received widespread praise, with individuals like the former national chairman of Otobi Community Development Association (OCDA), Mr. Ben Richard, and Otukpo LGA Coordinator for Benue Pensioners for Alia, expressing their support. Mr Richard highlighted the remarkable achievement of paying pensioners before regular workers in October, an unprecedented feat.
This update showcases a promising transformation in Benue State, where a commitment to promises is fulfilled and meaningful progress is underway.
First published 30 October 2023. This story has been updated to include the YouTube link to AkweyaTV’s interview with Mr Oglegba.