Executive Summary

Benue State was created on February 3rd, 1976, under the military regime of General Murtala Ramat Mohammed, during the state creation exercise that increased the number of states in Nigeria from twelve (12) to nineteen (19). From its creation in 1976 to date, the state has grown significantly from the four (4) local government areas of Katsina-Ala, Gboko, Makurdi, and Otukpo to twenty-three (23) local government areas comprising Vandeikya, Gwer, Kwande, Oju, and Okpokwu (created in 1976); Konshisha, Ushongo, and Ado (created in 1989); Buruku, Gwer-West, Ukum, Ogbadibo, and Apa (created in 1991); Tarka, Logo, Obi, Ohimini, and Agatu (created in 1996). The state takes its name after the River Benue, the second longest river in Nigeria, with Makurdi as the state capital. Located in Nigeria’s North Central geo-political zone, Benue state has an estimated population of over 7,000,000 people (forecast from 4,253,641 in the 2006 population census figures using a 3.23% growth rate). The resourcefulness and resilience of this population have significantly added impetus to the extant human capital resources for development. This human capital is consistently produced and refined through the numerous primary, secondary, and tertiary educational institutions in the state.
Food Basket of the Nation
The state is blessed with abundant agricultural resources of high quality and multiple varieties, which makes Benue State known and acknowledged as the “Food Basket of the Nation.” The existence of the Benue Trough holds the potential for gas and oil exploration and eventual exploitation when the accumulation reaches the required commercial quantity. Other mineral resources such as limestone, gold, lead, kaolin, baryte, gypsum, feldspar, wolframite, mineral salts, gemstones, river sand, and granite that can propel the needed mining and industrialization are in abundance. Additionally, there are rivers and fadama land that can boost irrigated agriculture. The state can also boast of enormous economic potential in tourism and hospitality, to name a few examples. Since it was created over forty-five (45) years ago, Benue State has been ruled by both military and civilian regimes. It is pertinent to acknowledge that the political and economic vision of Aper Aku, the first civilian governor, who laid the foundation for the sustainable development of Benue State, was subsequently abandoned. For instance, all his industrial establishments, such as Taraku Mills, Benue Breweries, Otukpo Burnt Bricks, and partly Benue Cement Company, were abandoned and, in some cases, privatized. Today, about 50% of the popular Makurdi Modern Market is burned. In the same vein, most public primary, secondary, and tertiary educational institutions have been poorly funded. This has allowed for the proliferation of private schools, putting a significant financial burden on Benue parents.

The Benue Civil Service, which was the pride of governance in implementing government policies and programmes, has suffered from intensive decay, neglect, and unnecessary political incursions. The Benue State Secretariat Complex, which was adjudged one of the best on the entire African continent, has been neglected to the extent that there have been incursions on the land. Since its construction, the complex has never received the needed renovation or expansion. Again, it has not been properly equipped with befitting facilities. The Board of Internal Revenue (BIRS) was established with an enabling law. However, it has all along been operated as a contractual revenue organization, with abysmal performance in terms of revenue generation and remittances. Meanwhile, internally generated revenue in other states has improved exponentially. To further compound the problems of our people, the state government is unable to determine with certainty the wage bill of civil servants in the state. Another problem is the irregular payment of pensions as well as the “ghost worker” syndrome in the civil service. There is also the issue of outstanding salary arrears for state and local government civil servants in the state.
Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia and Sam Ode
At this juncture, a very genuine and proactive intervention to rescue Benue State has become a necessity. This, no doubt, requires a unique, reputable, and sincere personality with the capabilities of harnessing and transforming the state’s economic potentials into a robust reality for the common good of all the people of Benue State. It is on this premise that the choice of Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia has become increasingly justifiable for an immediate rescue of the lost fortunes of Benue State. Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia is a priest in the Order of Melchizedek, a spiritualist and healer, a builder and manager, a technocrat, an administrator par excellence, and an educator of national and international repute. He is poised with a genuine desire to protect, stabilize, and propel the wheels of Benue State onto the path of sustainable economic growth and development.

The Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia’s Strategic Development Team undertook a comprehensive review of some past and on-going international, national, and state economic policy documents. They include the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Seven-Point Agenda, the Benue Advance Plan, the Benue State Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (SEEDS), Our Benue, Our Future, and Our Collective Vision for a New Benue, vis-à[1]vis the security and economic realities of the time. These have formed the basis for this policy document: A Strategic Development Plan for a Greater Benue.

The document is structured around seven priority pillars, with the acronym SACHIIP, which are as follows:

i. Security of Lives and Property
ii. Agriculture and Rural Development
iii. Commerce and Industry
iv. Human Capital and Social Development
v. Infrastructure and Environment
vi. Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
vii. Political and Economic Governance

Every sector of the Benue State economy requires a peculiar intervention, but the selected sectors are prioritized based on their relative importance and overbearing influence on other economic sectors.

Our primary motivation for running for office is to provide solutions to public policy issues that have been plaguing the state unnecessarily. As a result, we’ve decided to intervene in a number of strategic areas, including agriculture, education, healthcare, empowerment, transportation, infrastructure, economy, and security, in order to make a significant difference in the lives of Benue state citizens and residents in the shortest time possible.

Father. Alia

Add Your Comment

    By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.