Oduma Richard Oduma
Welfarism is an ideology that asserts that it is the responsibility of individuals to pay taxes and fulfill their civic and civil responsibilities, while the government is responsible for meeting the fundamental requirements of its citizens. It is a well-known and noteworthy fact that the primary reason why governments are established is for the purpose of formulating policies, governing, and providing services to the general populace for their own ultimate benefit. Even though the majority of governments across the globe, particularly in developing countries, have failed in a variety of ways in this regard, the fact that it is the responsibility of the government to provide for the fundamental needs of the people has not been diminished by this fact. In the majority of situations, people wait for the government to provide almost everything for them, including food stamps for those who are poor and shelters for those who are homeless. The rationality of welfarism, or lack thereof, is debatable; however, what is important at this material moment is the fact that the current BIPC board led by its chairman, astute and experienced elder statesman Hon Mike Mku, in keeping with the dreams of founding fathers, has extended welfarism beyond the traditional conventions to an entirely new level that is an envy of modern day capitalism.
Benue Property Investment Company (BIPC) is a holding investment company for the Benue State Government. It was established in 1979, a few years after the creation of Benue State from the defunct Benue-Plateau by the Aper Aku administration. Since then, BIPC has developed into one of the only surviving companies established by the visionary leadership of Governor Aper Aku. BIPC was originally established as a holding investment company for the Benue State Government. Even though there were a great number of companies founded in this manner, the vast majority of them have either gone out of business or been sold as a result of diminishing returns on investment (ROI) and increasingly inept management.That the BIPC has survived different phases of challenges that often confronted state-owned commercial ventures and has rather prospered beyond expectations under the administration of Governor Samuel Ortom is not just a matter of luck or coincidence but rather a direct product of the determination, purposefulness, and direction given by the company’s board led by Hon. Mike Mku coupled with the sheer managerial tenacity of the incumbent MD, Barr Alex Adum PhD led management.Stability and accountability have been institutionalized throughout the company thanks to the efforts of the board of directors, which is chaired by Hon. Mike Mku. We are moving away from the culture of pointless competition that permeates the majority of government institutions, which is the norm. Because of this, the day-to-day operations of the company have gained an incredible amount of stability. In point of fact, the board as a whole should be commended for its strong sense of direction and its unwavering dedication to the company’s long-term goals. Because of the harmonious cooperation between the board of directors and the management team, BIPC has transformed from a typical company into a world-class conglomerate with assets worth billions of naira and the ability to compete with multinational corporations located anywhere in the world.
It was previously believed that the Benue State government would be responsible for the management of a small number of guest houses and other properties across the federation. However, the Benue Investment and Property Company (BIPC), in its current form and under the administration of Governor Ortom, has grown into a significant player in the real estate industry and is now providing affordable housing and apartments of a world-class standard not only to the people of Benue but also to people from all over the country. For example, the Nyorigungu estate in Makurdi and the Consgrove estate in Mabushi Abuja are two housing intervention projects that have launched and ranked the company as a major player with the ability to deliver on its vision while solving basic housing needs of the people. Both of these estates are located in Makurdi, and Nyorigungu estate in Makurdi has been fully completed. Consgrove estate is located in Mabushi Abuja. The company’s dedication to maintaining standards can easily be seen in the high quality of these housing units, which meet or exceed industry norms. People from both inside and outside of the state have, without a shadow of a doubt, been moved to praise and adulation by this.
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Governor Ortom has once again demonstrated to the people of Benue that he is the people’s Governor and that he has prioritized the welfare of Benue people over mere party politics by reducing the housing deficit in Benue and elsewhere with the futuristic estates that have thus far been completed. This was done by bridging the housing deficit in Benue and elsewhere with the futuristic estates that have thus far been completed. Ortom, like Aper Aku, will be remembered for having the foresight to craft policies and legacies that were focused on the welfare of the people even as the final days of their respective administrations draw to a close. In the same way that the administration of Aper Aku was responsible for establishing the BIPC and other forward-thinking projects, the administration of Ortom will be remembered for transforming the company from a simple holding company into a massive conglomerate with a wide range of interests, including Energy, Equities, Bonds, Real Estate, Hospitality, and Tourism to name just a few. This achievement will be remembered. There are signs that for this project, the people will remain in perpetual awe of the Ortom administration for doing what even the Federal Mortgage Bank has failed to do over the years. As the prospects of middle income earners becoming landlords improve, there are signs that for this project, the people will remain in awe of the Ortom administration.
It is in fact ethically required to rally support for the company, and at the same time, it is not unreasonable to ask for the patronage of the good people of Benue and beyond so that the company can concentrate on providing more benefits for the greater good of the masses. It is especially important to make this call in order to bring the attention of the citizens to the evolving opportunities that are being made available by the company for the benefit of everyone.
Although it is a commonly held belief that the government should not be involved in commercial activity, the Benue State Government, acting through her flagship holding company BIPC, has maintained commercial activity with consistent growth in portfolio, assets, and profits for over four decades and counting. This trend is expected to continue. This resiliency ought to ordinarily place the BIPC on par with other flourishing multi-national companies, but unfortunately enough, the pace at which good news spreads is the norm rather than the exception. The Business and Innovation Policy Committee (BIPC) has shown sufficient resiliency and earned her place as a one-of-a-kind organization that is worthy of support by accumulating an extremely large portfolio that is sufficient to support her own projects and policies as they do. In a short amount of time, the company will be able to compete favorably with multi-national corporations and other leading Nigerian corporate enterprises thanks to the concerted and ongoing efforts of the board of directors and management, which are currently being experienced.
The Benue Investment and Property Company has been very successful in giving its competitors a difficult time, not only in the realm of real estate, but also in the hospitality industry, where it has quietly become a dominant player. Benue Guest house, a proud flagship of BIPC, has not tipped the balance but has become a major player in the hospitality sector in Kaduna State. In Kaduna State, the likes of Durbar Hotel, Hamdalla Hotel, Arewa Suites, ASA Pyramid, and other new entrants dominated the hospitality and hotel business. Benue Guest house, however, has not tipped the balance but has become a major player. The Benue State guest house, which is located in the tranquil neighborhood of Ungwan Sarki on Rabah road and is close to the location of the once-famous NAF Club, has become a toast to most of Kaduna’s socialites. The Ortom administration, working in conjunction with the current leadership of BIPC, has rebranded and repositioned the company with the goal of increasing profits, and the results of their efforts have been nothing short of impressive.
Naturally, progress of this nature cannot be made without painstaking efforts to sanitize the system, block all leakages, and flush bad eggs out of the way. This is something that simply cannot be done. The reorganization of the Business Investment Promotion Commission (BIPC) is possibly one of the most astute tasks that Barr. Alex Adum and his team accomplished upon assumption of office. If the overall success of the BIPC is credited to this internal audit and in-house cleaning, then the person attributing the success will not be too far from the truth. In point of fact, the management of BIPC affairs over the course of the past few years has not been conducted as usual. It is difficult to discuss the purges in the BIPC without also discussing the high-quality accounting and bookkeeping procedures that are on par with those of any successful business anywhere in the world.
As the company’s assets continue to expand and the coffers continue to fill up, the company has become even more deeply involved in making a difference in the lives of the people of Benue through audacious Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) schemes. The organization has made commendable contributions to the fields of education and health, supported numerous medical missions to underserved areas of the state, and presented scholarships to deserving students. If this is not the first time that this has ever happened in the history of the company, then whoever is keeping track of the historical events surrounding the company has neglected to mention a crucial stage.
Aside from engaging in complex and lucrative ventures such as equities, the oil and gas sector through the acquisition of an oil lifting license and the establishment of gasoline filling stations with excellent service delivery, as well as joint ventures and partnerships, the Benue Investment and Promotion Commission (BIPC) under its current leadership has taken it a step further to fund and operate a licensed microfinance bank in addition to other very lucrative ventures that will soon put Benue on the map of financially self-sufficient states in Nigeria Along with the many other initiatives that have been taken, this has contributed to a decrease in the rate of unemployment. The renegotiation of financial liabilities inherited from previous generations in order to ensure stability is another point that one must not ignore. All of this is made possible because of the harmonious working relationship that exists between the management team, which is led by Barr Alex Adum PhD, and the Board of the corporation, which is led by Hon Mike Mku. Hon Mike Mku is a senior statesman who has contributed his extensive wealth of experience to the company’s historical trajectory.
The BIPC has also made significant investments in human resource development and capacity building. These investments have taken the form of manpower development, training, and various programs for the acquisition of skills and the development of staff. It has been established beyond a reasonable doubt that the Benue State Industrial Production Corporation (BIPC) is currently one of the largest employers of labor and the largest contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the state of Benue. It would be irresponsible to overlook in a hurry, given the state’s agricultural focus, the numerous employment opportunities made available by the company’s extensive range of programs and activities, along with the multiplier effect those activities bring. Because of the efforts of the current leadership of BIPC, the Benue people will be eternally indebted to them for mitigating the chronic effects of unemployment in Benue State.
Whoever is given a lot should anticipate getting a lot back. The people of Benue have a great deal of faith in the company, and their expectations are extremely high in light of the promising future that lies ahead and the advantages that have been obtained up to this point. The Board of Directors and management need to be aware that there are no acceptable excuses for not providing more for the people. Because it is the only thriving company that is owned by the state and because it is one of the legacies of the legendary Aper Aku that is still going strong, they are obligated to continue the mission and vision of the company and ensure that it is maintained. It is my hope that the incoming administration will also be sure proud of the overall development at BIPC and will in fact vote for consolidation in order to ensure the continued existence of the company and more positive prospects for the general populace. Therefore, every effort should be made to transform Benue from a predominantly agricultural state into an industrial and service-based economy, capitalizing on the state’s vast agricultural potentials as well as other areas in which it has a comparative advantage. First and foremost, it is imperative that the company maintain its autonomy in order to ensure the continuity of its operations and the smooth growth of the business for the benefit of all.
As Governor Ortom gets ready to leave office, BIPC is getting ready to deliver yet another shopping mall of world-class caliber, all thanks to the innovative leadership of BIPC. We pray that the hopes and aspirations of our ancestors will be realized, just as BIPC has been able to do under Governor Samuel Ortom’s administration.