Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom says the attacks on some Benue communities by suspected herdsmen has prevented Chinese investors from doing business in Benue state.
Suspected herdsmen had attacked villages in Guma and Logo local governments in Benue state killing dozens and destroying properties.
Before these attacks, Governor Ortom, who is seeking a second term in office, embarked on business trips to China to woo investors to the state.
With few weeks to the 2019 governorship election, residents of Makurdi, have expressed concerns about the impact of those trips as “there are no businesses established in the state”.
In an exclusive interview with Pulse in Makurdi on Sunday, January 20, 2019, Ortom blamed this on the security challenge in the state.
“Several delegations of Chinese firms came to Benue and were interested in Taraku Mills ad establishing new industries because Benue state is endowed with agricultural produce and the value addition is very little,” Ortom began.
“As someone with the background in the public sector and haven served as a minister in the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry, Trade and Investment, I believe that if we go into processing of agricultural produce, they will add value by providing jobs, creating opportunities and wealth.
“For me, I looked forward that there should be processing industries in the state but the challenge I have is that all the investors that we were able to woo into the state, the security problem sent them away. I think they are waiting for an improvement in the security situation so that they can come back.
“No one would want to bring his investment to where Fulani herdsmen would come and destroy it or be killed. That is a big challenge. The security challenge has brought a setback to the programmers and plans that we had for Benue state right from the inception of this administration.
“It is a great concern to me that when I go out, I see most of our youths moving around and asking for peanuts. I feel very sad because we should provide leadership that would create jobs for our young men to keep them busy,” he declared.
Lamenting the attack on his farm by suspected herdsmen few weeks ago, the governor said his administration would ensure the safety of lives and properties of Benue people.
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