Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue has directed each of the state’s 23 local government areas to come up with four exportable farm produce within the first half of next year.
The governor said that the directive was in an effort to reposition agriculture in Benue.
Ortom, who gave the order while launching the Benue Development Plan for 2016 – 2025, on Tuesday in Makurdi, said that due to fall in oil revenue, the state would no longer pay lip service to agriculture.
Represented by the Acting Secretary to the State Government, Dr Bem Melladu, the governor also declared open the First Benue Business Roundtable at the same venue.
He said that his administration would reposition agriculture to ensure production of raw materials and to tackle unemployment.
“The state government has entered into an alliance with the private sector to promote Public Private Partnership (PPP) and the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangements in the various sectors.”
Ortom said that his administration would continue to provide enabling environment for industrialisation, adding that it had decided to divest from direct participation in the development of industries.
He said that the government would continue to explore and develop the state’s potential, adding that it would give the solid minerals sector the desired attention.
The governor described as apt, the theme of the roundtable: ‘Improving Private Sector Output in Benue by Leveraging the Diversification Agenda of the State and Federal Government.’
He urged participants to endeavour to step into the world of business.
Earlier, the state Commissioner for Trade, Industry and Investment, Dr Tersoor Kpelai, said that the forum was organised to enable the private sector to participate more in the development of business in Benue.
The Chairman of the Benue Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, BECCIMA, Mr Asema Achadu, said that the Benue Business Roundtable was a collaborative effort between the state government and BECCIMA.
He said that the objective was to curb unemployment and promote the potential of each local government area in the state.
•Photo shows Governor Ortom.