The local governments in Nigeria are combinations of the ward levels just as the local governments make up the States while the States are the federating units which make up the nation called – Nigeria. It is apt therefore to draw the conclusion and affirm that the local governments are the bedrock of the development of the nation and as such, the importance attached to it cannot be over emphasised in all ramifications.
Nigeria consists of 774 local governments as stipulated in the constitution and several local government development area councils established out of the constitution by different states governments in Nigeria to carter for the immediate needs of their respective development peculiar to their states and locality. Otukpo Local Government is one of the substantive local governments in Nigeria that has been delivering dividends of democracy to the inhabitants and residents of the local government since her inception.
Rt.Hon. George Alli is a grassroots politician who was the elected Chairman of Otukpo Local Government for two years and now the Chairman Caretaker of the same local government. George was educated at Benue State University Makurdi where he obtained a Master Degree in Public administration. He is a fellow of Professional Managers and Administrators of Nigeria. Before venturing into politics, Alli was in the private sector where he worked with the first indigenous Cables and Wires Limited, Lagos in 1993 and he rose to the position of Sales Manager in charge of West Africa and served meritoriously for a decade before joining politics.
In active politics, George was voted as a member of Benue State House of Assembly representing the people of Otukpo/Akpa Constituency. He was also the Chairman House Committee on Commerce and Industries where he brought his wealth of experience in private sector effectively into play. It was this wealth of experience that metamorphosis into even developments spread across the local government during his tenure as the Sole Administrator of Otukpo Local Government in 2016 under the able leadership and mentor of the State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom of Benue state.
The development of Otukpo local government in recent time has been based on the cognizance experience of the administrators, strict adherence to the laid down blueprints, the effective management of the limited but scarce res available; dogged determination and persistence patience with the supports of the governor of the state, Dr. Samuel Ortom and Almighty God, which has brought the vision of the local government to reality. These include improvement on the security network of the local government, adequate primary health care delivery, youth empowerment, environmental sanitation, agricultural development, trade learning schemes, creation of enabling environment and delivery of other dividends of democracy to the residence of the local government to mention but a few.
The first priority which the local government was keen on was the security issue. Security was beefed up in and around Otukpo Local council due to the recent developments in the body polity because without security, sustenance of the wonderful projects embarked upon would have been a mirage. A society free of crime will attract investors and life will become meaningful and productive to the residence. The achievement of security balance was attained by carrying along all the stakeholders and the locals by ensuring and encouraging them to report promptly to the police any security breaches in and around them. The slogan is – say what you see! This method and approach has helped in no small measures in reducing crime rate in and around Otukpo town and the entire local government in general.
Youth empowerment is a major focus of the Otukpo local government because youth restlessness and unemployment are the ingredients to committing crime. The local government has taken the youth empowerment to the next level by ensuring that unemployed youths learn at least a trade such as leader shoe making, sewing, tailoring, baking, hairdressing and barbing salon business in addition to repair works and other petty businesses.
Health care delivery is a necessity and requirement that the local government places a major priority on. Several health care facilities have be refurbished, built and upgraded in the last two years with specific and special reference to the health clinic in Otobi Akpa completed late last year and currently in use.
Agriculture was the main focus of Otukpo LGA agenda being an agrarian local government with very fertile soil. It is in this regard that the local government encouraged agriculture with provision of cassava stems for planting which in turn serve as a bye products for piggery farming and other animal husbandry system of farming. With the support of Benue State government, the Otukpo Local government was able to open up 100 hectares of land for people going into agriculture and land for multipurpose in rice production for both individuals and corporate bodies for rice milling.
Environmental sanitation exercise in Otukpo is a focal point resulting in green city and green environment because ‘we believe that cleanliness is next to Godliness’ the Chairman affirmed in one of his encounters with the media. Trees were planted in major streets in Otukpo to beautify the environment, create a serene structure and provide the necessary oxygen to reduce the effects of the ozone layers.
The revolving schemes put in place in Otukpo Local government under the watch of Rt. Hon. George Alli has generated employment and guaranteed the required and necessary security to make life meaningful to all the residence in the local government. These achievements thus far are credited to the unending supports morally and financially to Otukpo Local government by the state governor, Samuel Ortom in the past four years of his administration. It is also as a result of the dedication, hard work, resilience and the capacity coupled with experience and exposure of the veteran caretaker chairman, that more developments are coming on board in Otukpo. The full cooperation of the residence of Otukpo has always been a catalyst to monumental success in achieving greatness and development.
– Fasipe wrote in from Otukpo