The Benue State Governor-elect, Hyacinth Alia, has related the situation regarding the civil service of the state, saying it needs attention as urgently as a person in ICU.
To that effect, he said his administration would make the system productive again.
Alia spoke on this with the State House Correspondents after a appreciatory visit to President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, 5th March, at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
He was ushered in to see the President by the Minister of Special Duties, George Akume, who was once a governor of the state.
The Roman Catholic Priest who turned politician won at the March 18 Benue Governorship polls as an All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate. He got a recorded 473,933 votes, beating his main opponent, Titus Uba of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
Alia explained that among the deficiencies of the state are its debts of salaries, pensions and gratuities. And he said he intends to change the story once he takes over power on May 29, 2023.
“It is sad that the life of civil service in the state is near collapse, it’s in the ICU, so I just need to get in there and infuse life in it and keep it moving.
“We have a lot of backlog of unpaid salaries, pensions, and gratuities,” he said.
He added, “So, already I have got much on the desk to keep a good focus on and I remain hopeful that I am going to do just that.”
Alia also promised to invest in agriculture in the state, saying that it had not been up-and-doing in catering for its locals, judging by its potential.
He said, “Once I’m sworn in, I know that what the good people of Benue want are progress and development and there’s so much that we need to put on track for things to work.
“Benue state is an agrarian zone and so we must focus on agriculture and upgrade it.
“Benue is capable of feeding the whole nation, so we are not just the food basket of the nation by name and I am hoping that we will up our game in agriculture and take care of the rest as well.”
When asked about his plans to douse the bloody encounters between farmers and herdsmen sparked by the existing anti-grazing law, Alia assured that there would be peace in his administration.
“One thing must remain clear, when you say that the atmosphere was quite tensed, let it be on record that Benue people are very hospital people.
“We are a very friendly people and over the ages, we’ve lived with all cultures and different people. And so, if some mishap had happened in the last eight years, thank God the eight years has expired.
“I want everyone to feel that Benue is a home for everyone. If there were some errors, I am coming to correct them,” he said.
He also gave an assurance, saying: “The Benue State Assembly is also a knowledgeable Assembly. So the 10th Assembly is going to work for the people and do the work of the people.”