Ortom bows to will of the people, suspends privatization

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The Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has bowed to the will of the people by suspending plans to privatization of some government enterprises.

In a statement in Makurdi on Friday signed by his media aide, Terve Akase, the governor said the decision was in keeping with his character. “In his style of leading according to the wishes and aspirations of the people, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has directed the suspension of the proposed privatisation of government enterprises.”

Governor Ortom said the decision to suspend the privatisation process is in respect of the concerns expressed by the people of the state regarding the development.
The Governor is to make further consultants with stakeholders before deciding on the next line of action in the best interest of the state.

The governor had weeks earlier declared his intention to privaise 11 enterprises that he said had become unprofitable to the state.

The Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Prof. Tersoo Kpelai, said on at a press conference in in Makurdi, that the companies included Benue Links Transport Company Ltd., Makurdi Modern Market, Taraku Mills, Mega Foods and Beverages Processing Company Ltd., Benfruit Nig. Ltd. and Benkims Plastic Nig. Ltd.

Others mentioned were Katsina Ala Yam Flour Factory, Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) Ltd., Fertilizer Blending Company Ltd., Otukpo Burnt Bricks and Benue Roof Tiles Ltd.

He said that the privatisation decision was taken by the Benue State Council on Privatisation and Commercialisation of Public Enterprises in order to revive the moribund and unprofitable companies. “Even the ones that are operating sparingly do so by incurring losses without making any profit. Privatisation has, therefore, become the only option since government currently has developmental challenges with slim resources.”

According to him, privatising the enterprises would bring efficiency as investors will bring capital, new technology, skills and better management. “These enterprises, if run profitably, will provide job opportunities for our teeming youths, create wealth, boost internally-generated revenue and create value chain across the diverse sectors of the Benue economy.”