Ortom opens up on reviewing open grazing law in Benue

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has said that there is no policy somersault on the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state.

The Governor spoke with journalists on Tuesday after inspecting completed and ongoing projects in Makurdi, the State capital against the backdrop of insinuations in the media that the state had reviewed it’s position against open grazing.

He said the statement credited to his Education Commissioner, Professor Dennis Ityavyar that there is land for ranching is true, stressing however that those intending to do livestock business in the state must do so according to the provisions of the law which prohibits open grazing but recognises only ranching.

Asked if the state government was part of the peace deal with the leadership of Miyetti Allah as reported in the media, the Governor denied knowledge of any such negotiations between leaders from Benue and Miyetti Allah leadership over crises between farmers and herders.

He explained that although leaders have a right to seek for peace for their people, he said even if the said peace negotiation is true, such peace initiative has not been brought to his knowledge.

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The governor, who commended the contractor that handled the construction of the 9 kilometer Apri-Tse-Poor road for a job well done also condemned a contractor with the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB for executing a shoddy job.

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The Apir-Tse-Poor road project and electrification spanning 12 Kilometres according to the Governor costs N1.4 billion to execute.

Governor Ortom directed the SUBEB Chairman to ensure that all primary schools in Makurdi metropolis and other major towns are provided with customised desks and chairs.

He announced that already, the state government has received its counterpart fund of N1.6 billion from the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC and the state is sourcing it’s own share to match for more infrastructural work in the sector where more furniture and other requirements will be provided for schools in the state.

At the old Lobi Bank complex which is now the permanent headquarters of the Board of Internal Revenue Service, BIRS, the governor directed that work be completed on the building immediately to enable the revenue generating agency move in.

The BIRS headquarters is now named as ‘Aper Aku House.’

Other projects inspected included Benue Geographic Information Service, BENGIS, under construction at the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Solid Minerals, permanent office complex for Ministry of Housing and other Government agencies.

Benue Television, renovation work on the Administrative Block of Benue Peoples House, Arabic Primary School, Central Primary School and Holy Ghost Primary School all in Wadata were also inspected.

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