The Governor of Benue State, Rev Fr. Hyacinth Alia (PhD) has announced the establishment of a new unit- Benue State International Cooperation and Developments Coordinating unit- BSIC and DC to support his vision of a developed Benue.
He announced this during a meeting with the International NGO Forum in Abuja where he said the new unit embodies accountability and efficiency and entails deploying experts to work alongside the appointed technical lead whom he immediately announced in the person of Leonard-Angelo Viashima.
At the event which was lauded as the first of its kind by most of the INGO country directors, the governor said “Tonight, our collective vision for Benue State takes tangible form. We stand on the brink of a future filled with promise—a future where our beloved state flourishes with prosperity, innovation, and limitless opportunities.
“While our journey thus far has seen notable achievements, it is crucial to acknowledge that our expedition continues, driven by our shared responsibility, a responsibility that spans diverse sectors, grounded in data that calls for urgent attention and potential realization.
The challenges confronting Benue State, including issues such as internally displaced persons (IDPs), poverty, inadequate access to quality healthcare and education, climate change, farmer-herder conflicts, water and sanitation, and gender justice, among others, can be overcome through the collaborative efforts of the government, the people of Benue, experts and capable individuals present here who possess the capacity to deliver on our shared objectives”.
While facilitating the return of IDPs to their homes Alia said “It is a paramount concern for my administration, the issue of securing these communities upon their return remains equally crucial. We firmly believe that community security necessitates more than just federal government efforts to secure the nation at large. Achieving effective security demands a profound level of community involvement and accountability. To this end, Benue State is committed to not only initiating dialogues but also activating Community Policing Committees by Section 113 of the Police Act (2020). This approach ensures that communities play an active role in safeguarding themselves. We acknowledge the challenges this Endeavor entails, including the need for capacity building for these committees, such as the establishment of Early Warning and Early Response (EWER) mechanisms across Benue State”.
“The plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) tugs at our collective conscience. With approximately 400,000 displaced individuals seeking refuge, our commitment to ensuring their safe return and seamless reintegration remains unswerving. We also recognize the challenges inherent in this situation and remain dedicated to addressing their needs comprehensively” the governor added.
The Governor expressed his profound gratitude to the Nigerian INGO Forum, led by Camilla Coradin, whose organization put together the event not only to showcase remarkable organizational skills but also to underscore the genuine concern for the well-being of the Benue people.
“Your presence tonight is a testament to our shared mission to foster sustainable development and empower the people of our esteemed state.”
Edited by Alu Azege
Written by: Elizabeth David