Gov Samuel Ortom of Benue on Friday said it saddened him to discover that major industries were non-functional in the State.
Ortom, who stated this when he visited Taraku Mills Limited, Gwer Local Government Area, held that the State could only be under a spell to have allowed high level of economic decay and abandonment of all her industries.

“This is my first time of coming into the oil mill and from what we have seen, Benue is under a spell. There is no reason for this factory to be lying fallow. This factory is our gold mine that should not be joked with.

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“We have all the needed raw materials for this factory to function effectively, yet previous administrations failed to utilise the factory to create job wealth/for people.

“Government is borrowing money at all levels to pay salaries; so we must look beyond the box to enable us succeed.

“The raw materials are here and when the factory starts working, farmers will smile.

“I want to pay tribute to our legend, the late Gov. Aper Aku who had the foresight to establish this factory and I promise to build on his legacies.

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“We will create the enabling environment to ensure that our industries function again”, Ortom promised.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the factory, built in 1983, is among the numerous moribund industries owned by State Government.

NAN further reports that the company, when operational, has the capacity to provide over 600 jobs and create massive wealth for Benue farmers.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Growrich Resort Limited, Managers of Taraku Mills, Mr Ernest Jor, said the company lacked water, power supply as well as adequate funds to maintain uninterrupted production.

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He appealed to the governor to assist the company to construct an earth dam to address the water challenge in the factory.

NAN reports that the factory was built with capacity to process 72,000 tons of soya beans, 120,000 tons of maize and 172,300 tons of animal feeds annually.

NAN further reports that the complex was also designed to produce vegetable oil, groundnut oil, maize flour, cake, maize grit, livestock feeds, concentrate and diet mix, among others.