George Okoh in Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has called for an upward review of the revenue sharing formula in the country to make more money available to states and local governments for greater development.
The governor spoke yesterday at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi when the Federal Commissioner representing Benue State at the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, Chief Adaa Maagbe paid him a courtesy visit.
He said it was no longer feasible for states to cope with development realities and the new national minimum wage using the current revenue sharing.
Governor Ortom stated that states were willing to pay the N30,000 national minimum wage but would do better if the revenue sharing formula undergoes upward review.
He reaffirmed his directive to caretaker chairmen in the state and the Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to comply with the guidelines issued by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), pending the hearing and determination of the suit filed by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum challenging the constitutionality of the new regulations.
The governor expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for finding Mr. Maagbe worthy of the appointment, expressing the hope that Benue would fare better in terms of revenue sharing than the past two years when the state had no representative at the RMAFC.
Mr. Maagbe had earlier solicited the support of the governor to enable him succeed in his assignment.
Oil Firm Provides Medical Succour for 4,634 Patients in Akwa Ibom
Okon Bassey in Uyo
An indigenous oil company, Oriental Energy Resources Limited, has provided medical succour on various ailments for 4,634 patients including children, youths and elderly people in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Also 33 patients with various degrees of eye problems in the area were treated and over 100 others provided with free medicated glasses even as pregnant women went home with pregnancy kits, while schoolchildren received hygiene kits and other educational materials.
The event tagged ‘Free Medical Surgery’ took place at Enwang Health Centre and was sponsored by the Oriental Energy Resources Limited in collaboration with Faith Optical and Medical Services Limited.
The Deputy Manager, Community Relations of the Oriental Energy Resources Limited, Anslem Okere, said, “the free medical exercise is part of our corporate social responsibility to ensure a healthy populace in our host communities.
“We take host communities as major stakeholders in our operations. We have done the free medical outreach on several occasions and the turnout has always been very tremendous. “More importantly, this year, we added the free eye surgery because the people demanded for it and we ensure that their demand was met and they have appreciated the gesture so much.
“Apart from the free medical, we have also embarked on other social investments including, scholarship, skill acquisition center at Enwang, 100 units Oriental units at Enwang, teachers’ quarters at Effiat, among others.” he stated
Similarly, Community Relations Officer, Greg Okpo, an indigene of the area, said the exercise had brought joy to his people. “I have seen the happiness from the people especially in the area of free surgery. This kind of surgery cost thousands of naira in some hospitals in this state and that is why they are so elated because many of them are indigent and cannot afford the cost.
“So far, the company has shown a cordial relationship with the people and they are appealing for more of this kind of goodwill.” he said
Chairman of Mbo council, Asukwo Eyo who declared the programme open, applauded the oil company for the gesture, which he stated, would go a long way to meet the health needs of the people and complement government’s efforts at providing comprehensive health care delivery to the citizens.
The Council boss said, “This exercise is indeed a welcome development. We are happy with the organisation for this gesture. The people of Mbo are happy for having access to this comprehensive health care delivery from the firm and we urge it to continue in that stead because government alone cannot meet the needs of the citizens. I urge other firms to take cue from this company.”