Flags off Digital Aerial Photography and Survey component of project
Says over N3billion released for project already
By Peter Duru – Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has promised to complete the ongoing N6 billion Benue Geographic Information System, BENGIS, project before the middle of the year.
He made the pledge Saturday in Makurdi shortly after flagging off the Digital Aerial Photography and Survey component of the project at the Makurdi Airport as well as inspecting ongoing construction work at the project site at the Benue State Ministry of Lands and Solid Minerals.
The Governor explained that the aerial photography and survey would cover all the Local Government Headquarters in the state and mini urban areas “to ensure that they are captured in our system.
“And our intention is to also fast tract this project and try to qualify it for the World Bank Grant which is estimated at $5million. We have paid more than half of the money that is required for the project which is a total sum of N6billion and we have paid more than N3billion.
“Our intention is that by April of before the next Democracy Day celebration this project should be commissioned and operational.
“And because of the very important attachment that this government has on completing this project, which includes the benefit of having $5million, we will not for any reason delay it. So for me, anything that will add more to what we have is appreciated.
“The second one is that once the project is completed we would have succeeded in computerizing the entire land mass of Benue state and then, the administration of land in the state becomes much more easier.
“With this you can sit in your office and be able to do every other thing; and this issue of duplication of Certificate of Occupancy will be eliminated completely. There are several advantages that we will derive from this. Above all, revenue generation and collection will become easier for us. So we believe that we should be making billions of Naira every year once this project is completed.
“That is why even with the paucity of funds, we are doing the project because we feel that this is a revenue yielding programme.
“So from what I have seen, I must say that the contractor has done well. And if Government had been able to fulfilled its obligation by giving them their certificate and all the money that was required, I am sure that by now we should be talking about the roofing of the project.
“That not withstanding, while we are still working with the bank, because the project is being sponsored by a bank and we are working with them to get the remaining fund. I have just told the Commissioner in charge of the Ministry that within a week we should be able to make available another N500million for the project so that it will continue non-stop. We believe that we shall meet our target.”