Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, Thursday charged the contractor handling the construction of the Aliade-Obarike-Ito road to resume work within two weeks or risk being handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
He gave the charge at the New Banquet Hall of the Benue Peoples House when major stakeholders from Oju and Obi local government areas, which make up the Igede nation visited him.
Governor Ortom said contract for the construction of the road was awarded by the previous administration and that up to N800 million was paid but that the money was diverted, resulting in non-performance of the contractor.
According to him, he had directed the contractor to find a way of retrieving the money from those who diverted it and use it to resume work on the road or face being handed over to EFCC.
He announced that his administration has released N500 million to the contractor handling the Oju-Utonkon road and similar amounts from the N10 billion infrastructure loan to several others for them to resume work on abandoned roads.
The Governor restated the commitment of his administration to complete ongoing roads, electricity and water projects across the state, adding that those not captured in this year’s budget would be taken subsequently.
Governor Ortom expressed appreciation to the Igede nation for their support before, during and after the last general elections and promised to carry them along all the time.
On request that he should facilitate the necessary processes for the establishment of First Class Stool in the area, he said an amendment to that effect had been sent to the State Assembly.
He was optimistic that the request would be granted in due time.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Professor Johnson Onah said they were in the Governor’s office to express their appreciation to him for the good things done to them so far, particularly the appointment of some of their people into key positions of government.
Professor Onah among other things, appealed to the Governor to help facilitate the process for the establishment of First Class Stool in Igede Land, pledging continued loyalty to the administration.
He also requested the provision of critical infrastructure for the people of the area.