The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday signed into law the 2021 budget of N134.4 billion into law. He also carried out a minor cabinet shake up to strengthen his administration.
The governor had last month presented a proposed budget of N132, 592, 041, 310.00 billion to the House of Assembly for approval. The budget had a recurrent expenditure of N91.6 billion and a capital expenditure of N42.9 billion.
New Telegraph Correspondent, who had been following the budget proposal, observed a sharp difference in the manipulation of figures as the recurrent expenditure earlier captured in the proposed budget showed that it stood at N90.8 billion representing 68 per cent of the total budget; while the capital expenditure was N41.7 billion or 31per cent of the budget as initially captured.
Performing the ceremony at the Government House, Makurdi, Governor Ortom acknowledged the speedy passage of the budget by the Assembly.
He noted that with the support of the Assembly, his administration had enacted laws that had direct impact on the lives of Benue people, stressing that the ranching law of the state was now being accepted nationwide.
The governor also gave assent to a law to amend the Urban Development Law, CAP 169 laws of Benue State, 2004, a law to provide for the prevention and management of highly infectious diseases and purposes connected therewith,
among other laws. He also carried out a minor cabinet shake reshuffle to inject fresh blood into the life of his administration in order to strengthen it. Under the new arrangement, a newly sworn-in commissioner,
Ojotu Ojema, was to oversee the Ministry of Youths and Sports; while Mrs. Ladi Ajene Ishegbe, who was heading the ministry had been redeployed to the Ministry ofTrade and Investment.
Another newly swornin Commissioner, Dr. Joseph Ngbea, took over the Ministry of Health and Human Services from Dr. Goodwin Emmanuel Oyiwona, who was overseeing the ministry following the demise of Dr. Emmanuel Ikwulono, after a surgery operation. Governor Ortom briefed journalists that a new ministry, Ministry of Industry and Cooperatives, had been created with Merga Kachina, taking charge as commissioner.
The governor also announced that cooperatives had been removed from rural development to make up the Ministry of Industry and Cooperatives.
Newly sworn-in Special Adviser, Hon. David Demenongo Orshi, the governor said would be in charge of Project Monitoring and Evaluation.