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2023’s Governor is Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia

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Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia epitomises the ideals of service, leadership and compassion. A distinguished personality, he assumed office as the governor of Benue State on May 29, 2023. Apart from his divine calling — a Catholic priest ordained to serve God and bring as much as his energy can to prosperity and salvation — he has brought with him a remarkable legacy of dedication to humanity, innovation, administrative prowess, and a fervent belief in the equitable treatment of all individuals before God and to the people of Benue State.

His six months in office have witnessed a downpour of commendable transformative achievements, which have ignited hope, improved livelihoods and rekindled the spirit of optimism among the Benue public.

In line with the priorities of his administration, agriculture is only next to security as enshrined in his blueprint. Fr. Alia was barely two months in office when he embarked on a programme to subsidize agriculture. The administration ordered and took delivery of 300 metric tons of fertilizers to the state, and subsidised the same at 50 per cent. Accordingly, fertilizer was made available to farmers at the rate of N12, 500 instead of over N25, 500 in the market.

Also, for the first time since the return of democracy in the state in 1999, Benue farmers got fertilizer in the month of July, the exact time it was needed on the farms. By these unprecedented approaches in empowerment of Benue farmers, Alia’s declaration that his administration would 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.

Under Alia’s visionary stewardship, the spectre 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 the 25th day 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 boost the state’s economy.

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 mould the minds of tomorrow.

Also, to cut down on government expenditure, Governor Alia has so far streamlined the government’s payroll system, eradicating the menace of ghost workers and other sharp practices like padding. The exorcism on the payroll has uncovered over 2,500 non-existent employees, leading to savings of over N1 billion monthly. These funds have now been reinvested into more vital services that the people need.

The administration approved the training of 10,000 youth of the state in ICT under the programme “Benue Go Digital”. The training is part of the strategic plans of the governor to cushion the biting effects of fuel subsidy removal on young unemployed graduates and women in the state.

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 through accountability and prudent management of government resources. These assets rightfully returned to the people represent a substantial victory over corruption and a return to transparency.

Governor Alia has, since coming into office, 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 Corps (NYSC) members and N100, 000 for NYSC doctors serving in Benue State is a gesture to the pillars of the nation’s future.

Again, the administration has flagged off or initiated the construction of 16 roads measuring no shorter than 15.39 kilometres within the Makurdi metropolis. This signifies a monumental leap for residents and businesses alike. The benefits are clear: erosion control, reduced travel times, improved commerce, and safer, more connected communities within the state capital.

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