APC suspends 12 members in Benue State

Ortom. Photo; thesheet

Ortom. Photo; thesheet

Ortom seeks partnership with SMEDAN to tackle poverty, unemployment 

A FORTNIGHT after the inauguration of All Progressive Congress, APC administration in Benue State, the party has suspended twelve of its members for anti-party activities and for refusing to withdraw their cases against candidates of the party that won the elections.

This decision was taken yesterday in Makurdi by the state executive council meeting of the party held at the party’s secretariat. APC in a statement signed by its state chairman, Comrade Abba Yaro named those suspended to include, Mr. Emmanuel Jime, Sen. Joseph Kennedy Waku, Mrs. Dorathy Mato, Sunny Odugbo, Justice Augustine Utsaha and John Usaka.

Others affected are: Enayi Onaji, Mathew Nezan, Frank Utoo, Linda Ogbeche, Avine Agbum and Ojogbane Adoyi.

The party went further to warn that those under suspension would be closely watch and if they fail to refrain from activities capable of denting the image of the party would attract other disciplinary measures.

The APC in the state had earlier before inauguration into office asked its members that felt injurious at the result of the primaries and election to withdraw all cases against the party’s candidates before the inauguration on May, 29 2015 or face sanctions. Meanwhile, the state Governor Samuel Ortom has solicited partnership with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, SMEDAN, to enable him empower the citizens of the state economically.

Ortom made the request when the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of SMEDAN, Alhaji Bature Umar Masari led directors of the agency to pay him a courtesy call at the Governor’s lodge in Abuja.

The governor, in a statement by his Adviser on Media and ICT, Tahav Agerzua in Makurdi, maintained that times of the day demands that leaders should think outside the box to create employment, wealth and opportunities for the people.

“It is only when the private sector comes in form of micro, small and medium enterprises that we can surmount challenges of poverty and unemployment because government at all levels cannot provide the needed jobs.”

“My administration will be working closely with your agency so as to be able to tap the opportunities that we have in SMEDAN to be able to support our people to empower themselves economically,” the governor stressed.

In another development, the state Deputy Governor Benson Abounu has criticised the slow pace of work at the Igumale Cement Company and called on the firm handling the construction work, He Wan Sure-Bright Heavy Industry Limited to expedite action towards completing the project.

Abounu who expressed dissatisfaction while inspecting the project, which is located in Ado LGA of the state, lamented that only skeletal work has been done at the factory site.

He lamented that the factory, which was started 14 years ago had no laboratory, certificate of company incorporation and has not completed geological survey, even as he blamed the slow pace of work on lack of commitment by past administrations and the firm handling the project. Director-General of SMEDAN assured that the agency would launch its programmes in Benue State.

“We’re willing and ready to partner with you so that we can help your government attain its target of poverty reduction and developing its economy.

Benue is a state that is hugely blessed and we’re willing to tap the resources and talents in transforming the potentials into economic benefits,” Alhaji Masari maintained.

He expressed the confidence that with Ortom’s background and experience he would steer the state in the right direction. Alhaji Masari presented copies of the Federal government’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises policy to Governor Ortom.

Chairman of the Chinese Company handling the project, W U Yuognang, had said the company had challenges of getting certificate of occupancy and work permit to enable workers travel from China to Nigeria.

He promised that the project would be completed in February 2016 if the challenges reduce and asked Engr Abounu to intervene. One-time commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Alex Adum, explained that white cement, which would be the product of the company would be popular for the construction of bridges ad highways.

He said the project was initiated by the Akume administration in 2000 at the cost of $2.5 million and reviewed to $6.5 million by the Suswam administration in 2011 on build, operate and transfer, BOT, arrangement.

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