Benue Boosts Agricultural Sector With N6.2Bn

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Benue state government is set to prioritize agriculture with emphasis on farm mechanization, land development, rehabilitation of Agro-service Centers and Colleges of agriculture with the allocation of N6.2 billion for 2016 as against N725 million in the 2015 approved budget.
Governor Samuel Ortom during presentation of the 2016 Budget Appropriation Bill at the Benue State House of Assembly Complex, Makurdi which was tagged “Trust, Confidence and Credibility Budget” explained that the proposal was in line with key pillar of agriculture driven industrialization with a view to generate wealth as well as providing employment for Benue’s teeming youth.
He said on the whole, an aggregate sum of N58,382,302,240.00 representing 43.77% is proposed for economic sector in the budget estimate; staying that is encouraging all public and civil servants in the state to own farms and gardens and assured of his administration to provide incentives to ensure that farming is jot drudgery but actually an enjoyable vacation.
“I direct the Ministries of Education, Agriculture and Environment to collaborate and ensure that every student in Benue state plants one economic tree each year. When this is fully carried out, Benue will have at least 800,000 additional economic trees by students beginning from 2016. Moreover, our objectives in this sector include the encouragement of micro, small scale enterprises, commercial and investment activities that creat massive jobs, wealth and opportunities”, he said.
An Economist, Dr. Maurice Tersoo Bemgba who spoke on the 2016 Benue budget estimate of N133, 394, 92,610.00 billion said given the sharp fall in the sale of crude oil in the international market, only the sustenance of agriculture in the country and Benue in particular will make government to fund proposed projects for the benefit of the electorates and call for strict monitoring of appointees to ensure compliance with the lay down policy of APC government in the state.
While commending the Ortom administration for pledging continued institutional strengthening of internally generated revenue collection in collaboration with the local government councils with adequate recognition for Tax Clearance Certificates as instrument of compliance for accessing public services, Dr. Bemgba therefore, challenged the administration to put in place a monitoring mechanism to check possible diversion of such funds to private Pucket.