PROSPECTS FOR THE FUTUREPost Comment PROSPECTS FOR THE FUTURE Nigeria
The Action Plan for Development summarised below is based on the desire of the state government to move Benue State forward as quickly as possible, by harnessing the available human and natural resources. The strategy is to provide an enabling environment for individuals, organisations and communities to contribute towards the realisation of rapid growth rate which can be monitored through the following:
(i) improvement in income generation; (ii) massive selfemployment; (iii) increased profitable investment. Infrastructure: Government is to improve/provide facilities such as telecommunications, electricity, potable water and rural roads. Electricity: The State Government will lobby the Federal government to hook the state to the 330KVA National Grid, encourage private investment in commercial oower Generation and strenathen the existing Benue Electricity and Rural Development Agency (BERDA) to electrify at least five towns/villages in each LGA by the year 2004.
All abandoned water projects in the state are to be completed. In addition, 210 boreholes are to be drilled in each LGA by the year 2004, and earth dams are to be constructed where feasible. Each LGA headquarters is to be provided with potable water by December 2000
A total of 50 kilometres of rural roads are to be opened up annually in each LGA over a fouryear period. In addition, the state government will lobby the Federal Government to construct more federal roads in the state.
Commerce, Industries and Solid Minerals:
Ailing/stalled industries such as Taraku Mills, Benue Burnt Bricks and Benco Roof Tiles are to be privatised. New industries to be established in partnership with private/foreign investors include yam flour, fruit juice, salt, baryte, gypsum, kaolin, coal carbonation, glass, calcium and plastics.
To promote agriculture, a fertiliser blending/manufacturing plant will be established. In addition, farming equipment/machinery will be procured for loan or sale to farmers, formation of farming cooperatives, tree crop agriculture and livestock/fishing farming will be promoted.
Science and Technical Education will be given special attention. In addition, tertiary institutions will be expanded, given greater funding and infrastructure and more students will enjoy government scholarship.
Government hopes to establish a teaching hospital and a general hospital in Makurdi and rehabilitate existing health institutions in the state. It also wishes to strengthen cooperation with the private sector and international agencies for more assistance.
Government plans to strengthen Benue State Environmental Protection Agency (BESEPA), in order to control soil degradation, pests and diseases, urban slums and congestion, floods, floral and faunal depletion, environmental pollution and losses from extreme events of nature. Patches of marshy terrain in Makurdi township will be drained.
Government plans to establish a tourist board which, apart from identifying and developing tourist sites, infrastructure and information, will compile data on cultural tourist resources. Such data will be on the internet.
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