The Benue State Executive Council has approved that Friday every week would be made a work free day to enable workers in the state to work on their farms.
Governor Samuel Ortom, who chaired the 16th session of the meeting at which the decision was taken, explained that the objective was to enable as many workers as possible to produce food to feed their families in the current economic downturn which has made the regular payment of salaries a major challenge.
He announced that the work free day would commence from Friday, 10th June, and would last till the end of July, 2016.
A statement by the state commissioner of Information, Odeh Ageh, on Thursday, said Mr. Ortom also announced that he would take a two-week vacation which was part of his annual leave from Monday, June 13th to work on his farm while the Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, would act on his behalf during the period.
“The council also approved the interdiction of the Special Adviser on Special Duties, Architect Joseph Kyaagba, who is being investigated in connection with the murder of the Senior Special Assistant on Special Security, the late Denen Igbana.
“It directed the Special Adviser on Economic Matters, Dr. Bem Mellabu, to oversee the office of Special Duties in addition to his portfolio,” the statement said.
It also said the meeting approved the appointment of the wife of the deceased aide, Martha Igbana, as a Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Relations.
The Exco directed Ministries, Departments and Agencies to submit reports on their achievements and challenges in the last one year to the council secretariat.
“The Exco also approved that the purchase of vehicles be moved from the Ministry of Finance to the Ministry of Works, Transport and Energy.
“It approved that the committee charged with the planned movement of the Wurukum Market to new Markudi International Market should continue with its work and fashion a roadmap for implementation.
“The Exco mandated the Commissioners for Education, Science and Technology and that of Women Affairs to carry out detailed survey of all the schools for the physically challenged in the State and present a comprehensive report on same to the council.
“It approved the construction of an International Cargo Airport in Makurdi by Aerotropolis Development International Company Limited and directed that it should mobilize to site within 90 days”.
The construction of the airport, the release said, is to be done on Public Private Partnership basis.
The meeting also approved the award of contract for the electrification of Ushongo – Manor-Hiitom-Sati-Tse-Ikyange at the cost of N205. 8 million.
The Exco approved the Bill for the Prohibition of Open Grazing of Livestock in the state and Establishment of Ranches and directed the Attorney-General to forward it to the state House of Assembly.
It approved a proposal to manage state-owned markets including the Modern and International Markets under a limited company and directed the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to liaise with the Benue Investment and Property Company to work out the modalities and submit to the council for further necessary action.