From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has stressed the need for government at all levels to consider engaging local contractors and engineers to execute their projects in order to avoid capital flight.
The Governor stated this on Wednesday while laying the foundation for the construction of an ultramodern Palace for the Paramount Ruler of Idoma Nation, Och’Idoma in Otukpo, Benue State.
Ortom while performing the ceremony amidst cheers from the people of Benue South Senatorial District, expressed his administration’s determination to provide a conducive environment for the traditional institution in the state.
He posited that with a competent contractor, they were hopeful that the project would be executed according to specifications.
The Governor who expressed the hope that the project would be completed within the stipulated time promised that the state government would support the Bureau of Local Governent and Chieftaincy Affairs in terms of funding.
On his part, Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Governent and Chieftaincy Affairs, Barr Ken Achabo said he was optimistic that the project would be given the needed attention for speedy completion.
The Och’Idoma, Agabaidu Elias Ekoyi Obekpa in a remark, said Governor Ortom could have ignored his Palace after constructing that of the Tor Tiv but that coming to replicate what his administration had done in the Traditional home of the Tiv Nation, showed a high level of love for the Idoma nation.
Also, the contractor handling the project, Engineer Agaba Ikwue, promised to complete the work before the end of this year and commended the state government for awarding the contract to his company.
Chairman of Otukpo Local Government Council, George Ali who thanked the Governor for coming to lay foundation for the building of the Och’Idoma’s Palace, said the moved confirmed the seriousness his administration attached to the project.
Governor Ortom also inspected the 20 kilometre Otukp’Icho-Aondona road under construction where he expressed hope that it would also be completed soon to boost socio-economic development of people in the benefiting communities.