Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue has been urged to use his experience as Minister of Trade and Investment to boost the industrial growth of the State.
Bishop Yiman Orkwar, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in the state, made the call in Makurdi on Wednesday.
Orkwar said the state needed processing plants to harness its abundant raw materials into finished products.
He said such industries would not only harness produce into finished products but also create employment and give farmers value for their efforts.
The cleric stated that the few industries in the state were moribund while middlemen were taking advantage of the situation to exploit farmers.
According to him, the middlemen buy yams, grains and fruits cheaply from the farmers because there are no industries to utilise them.
He contended that processing plants were needed to process yams into flour, while fruits could be processed into concentrates and sold to hotels to generate income for the state.
He, however, acknowledged the lean finances of the state and commended Ortom’s efforts at attracting foreign investments into the state.
He said such foreign investments were needed to expand the economy and convert excess raw materials into economic gains for the state.
The cleric, therefore, appealed to litigant-politicians to withdraw cases against the governor from the election tribunal so as to have the time to concentrate efforts on executing his programmes for the people.
He attributed the inability of CAN in the state to mediate in the litigations on the faction in the association.
According to him, “all the parties in tribunal are from a bloc that withdrew from CAN after our elections and we cannot persuade their leaders to call them to order because they are not with us.’’
He reminded politicians that politics was about service to the people and not the pursuit of personal aggrandizement.