Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Ortom Gives Reason For Work Free Days As NURTW Pays Him Visit At Benue People’s House

Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, has said decline in federal allocation occasioned by fall in oil prices in the international market necessitated the declaration of Fridays  as work free days for the months of June and July.

Governor Ortom who gave the explanation while receiving executive members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Benue state branch, at the Benue People’s House on Tuesday, said such a measures would reduce the effect of economic crunch on the workers.

He called on members of  NURTW to intensify farming activities, stressing that farming pays more than any other business in Nigeria.

The governor said the problem of militants in the Niger Delta region has reduced Nigeria’s oil production capacity from 2.3 million barrels a day to less than 1 million and expressed the fear that it may reduce to less than 800,000 barrels a day.

He said prices of rice, soya bean, beni-seed, groundnut, maize and other food crops have skyrocketed and urged NURTW members to take advantage of the situation.

He said he would return to the farm after leaving office, adding that as a former Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, he is advising Benue people to invest in agriculture.

Governor Ortom said  as a member of the union, he would always identify with the rest of the members, emphasizing that some people thought he would not become governor because he used to work  at the motor park.

While saying that he still visits Gboko motor park from where he acquired more education and finally became a PhD holder, the governor said his doctorate degree was not disputable.

Governor Ortom expressed worries over the proliferation of motor parks in the state and promised to ensure that orderliness was restored.

He directed the Special Adviser on Politics, Mr Sarwuan Tarnongo, to liaise with the chairman of Konshisha local government with  a view to resolving the disagreement between the council and NURTW and warned that no one should see himself as being above the law .

The governor said he would provide the union with a utility vehicle when the situation improves, explaining that local government and state workers were being owed salaries for five and four months respectively because of the difficult economic situation.

He said he was in support of  a scheme that would enable members of the union to own vehicles through a soft loan scheme, pointing that such a scheme would be viable because they have good knowledge of driving.

He urged members of the union to regard the administration as their own, stressing that if he fails, they would share in he blame.

Earlier, the state Chairman of NURTW, Comrade John Shom, who spoke through the National Assistant Secretary of the Union, Comrade Boga Abul,  said Governor Ortom’s administration  was labour friendly

Shom also said the governor has been able to use scientific approach to water down the issues that would have led to labour unrest and commended him for the amnesty programme which he described as a huge success especially in the Sankera geopolitical axis.

He expressed joy over the governor’s efforts in completing some projects abandoned by the immediate past administration and maintained that the renovation of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Makurdi, was equally commendable.

Comrade Shom praised Governor Ortom for facilitating the accreditation of the School of Medical Sciences and ensuring that medical students graduated and declared support for the APC led government .

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