Friday, 24 July 2015

#UNHCR Commends #Benue Governor's Illegal Arms Recovery Initiative

 Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom's illegal arms recovery initiative has received commendation from the United Nation's High Commission for Refugees, UNHRC.

Country Representative of the Commission, Angelle Atangana, who expressed the excitement when she visited the Governor at the Benue Peoples House in Makurdi, stated that if the initiative succeeds, it would curb the incidents of communal violence and reduce cases of internally displaced persons IDPs and refugees.

Meanwhile, Governor Ortom has presented a supplementary budget of over N12 billion to the Benue state House of Assembly for consideration and possible passage.

In another development, wife of the governor, Mrs. Eunice Ortom has called for the strengthening of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms of immunization programs by all stakeholders in the health sector so as to achieve 100 percent coverage of immunization days.

Atangana commended the people of Benue State for hosting refugees from Cameroon and taking care of them until they returned to their country.

Mrs. Atangana had told the Governor that they built over 200 houses for the IDPs in the state, provided relief materials to them along with victims of floods and sued for a more robust collaboration with the state government to achieve more.

In his response Governor Ortom expressed the commitment of his administration to sustain partnership with donor agencies and development partners.

He stated that as a demonstration of this commitment, he included N5 billion in a supplementary budget he submitted to the House of Assembly for approval to enable him pay counterpart funding demanded by the partners.

Ortom who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Ruth Ijir laid the supplementary appropriation bill before the state lawmakers.

Leading debate during the Second reading of the Benue State Supplementary Finance and Appropriation bill, 2015, the Majority Leader, Barr. Benjamin Adanyi, who was represented by the member representing Katsina Ala East Constituency, Mr. Iiana Jato explained that the proposed supplementary budget of N12, 940,350,511.50, seeks to increase the sum of N97, 952,126,303.00, earlier approved by the immediate past administration to N110, 892,476,815.00.

Mr. Jato explained that the increase budget is informed by the need to match the urgent economic realities with the aspirations of the present administration as well as to improve the overall welfare of the people of the state.

The governor's wife made the call at the flag off of the 2015 maternal, new born and child health week held in Daudu in Guma Local Government Area of the state.

She said it is only through this that government can increase commitment towards the eradication of preventable diseases.

While noting that great success has been recorded in the past by the state ministry of health in that direction, Mrs. Ortom assured continuous partnership with the ministry on all its programmes to achieve desired goals.

"I shall play the role of an advocate in chief to ensure adequate budgetary provisions and funding of health programmes during the tenure of Governor Samuel Ortom," she promised.

The Governor, while restating his administration's commitment to ensure peace and stability in the state, maintained that it was in the light of this that he had granted amnesty to those willing to submit illegal arms as well as held meetings with relevant security operatives among others.

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