By Isaac Ikpa
Dr. Mathias Oyigeya, medical practitioner, on the first and primary instance, and by symbiotic extension, a community
builder and life enhancer, a visionary leader, a pioneer and technocrat of the pure breed of pristine humanity.
Dr. Mathias Oyigeya is fast occupying the mind space of Benue State as phenomenon worthy of careful scrutiny and very significant placement on the social-political trajectory. Enigmatic, charismatic, precious, phenomenon and the entire armada of synonym say still fail to convey description of this young man.
The humble and gentle Mathias Oyigeya was born on 5th may 1963 in the family of Oyigeya Egba of Efekwo-Otukpa, Ogbadibo LGA of Benue State. He is the 4th child among the family of nine (9) children
Dr. Oyigeya started his educational career quite early in 1970 at the St. Agustine primary school, Otukpo for his first school leaving certificate (FSLC) in 1976, after which he proceeded to Mt. St. Gabriel’s secondary school, Makurdi where he obtained his General Certificate of Education (GCE) o’level in 1981. With the desire of Dr. Oyigeya to acquire higher education he proceeded to then school of Basic Studies, Makurdi and obtained his IJMB certificate in 1983. He did not relent but proceeded to the famous University of Calabar, and obtained his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MB.BCH.) in 1988. He also attended the West African postgraduate medical College Yaba, Lagos in 1999 for his FWACP(Psy). In order to acquire managerial competence Dr. Oyigeya also attended Benue State University Makurdi, and obtained his postgraduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) and master of Business Administration in 2001 and 2006.
FELLOW/MEMBER OF LEARNED INSTITUTIONS AND PROFESSIONAL CORPORATE ORGANIZATIONS.
- Fellow, west African College of Physicians (Psychiatry) (FWACP(Psy)
- Fellow, Institute of Industrialist and corporate Administration (FIICA
- Fellow institute of corporate Administration of Nigeria (FCAI )
MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE EXPERIENCE WITH DATES
- Medical, Director Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi-July, 2008 –June 2012 then July 2012
- Member, Board of Management, Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi. 2008-Date
- Member, Governing Board, Federal Medical Centre, Keffi. Served on appointment, promotion and discipline as well as clinical services committees of the Board.
ACHIEVEMENTS AS MEDICAL DIRECTOR FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTRE MAKURDI FROM 2008 TO DATE.
- Under the present management, in the area of capacity building we have produced from within, 40 medical consultants, 21 senior registrars and 50 registrars
- Sustenance of residency training programme in surgery, family medicine and obstetrics and gynecology
- Expansion of the internship programme to include radiology, optometry and physiotherapy.
- Completion and installation of oxygen plant
- Procurement of intensive care unit beds with multi-parameter monitors
- Procurement and installation of complete laparoscopic set
- Procurement and installation o electroencephalogram (ECG) machine
Dr Oyigeya is presently working at the federal medical centre makurdi as the medical director. He is aspiring to Government house makurdi come 2015, because of some identified problems he believes he has the capacity to solve. Some of these problems are inadequate youth development and empowerment, difficulty in payment of salaries to civil servants, difficulty in payment of gratuity and pension to civil servants, failing public companies, high rate of unemployment, inadequate rural infrastructural development, shortage of water supplies especially in urban centres, absence of social welfare package for the aged and the less privileged individuals and a host of others.
He also identified the need to improve on education, health, road infrastructures both within urban areas and inter-urban centres, power supply and inter-ethnic and inter-religious relationship. Of all these problems identified he believes the serious one that needs urgent attention is the high rate of unemployment problem amongst youths. Solving this unemployment requires tackling a lot of other problems at the same time. He believes too that solving the unemployment in Benue State hinges on stimulating the private sector which necessarily means attracting and motivating both local and foreign investors into the state. This is because he believes the traditional system of employment into federal, state and local Government systems is not enough to take up to 10% of the youths needing employment in the state. He also asserted that private sector; the largest employers of labour are the small businesses. He believes too that if the private sector is sufficiently stimulated, a lot of young people will be engaged productively and this will impact positively on the economy of the state. Again because these investors are likely to set up in rural communities there will be a massive urban-rural drift of young people and this is going to help a lot in the areas of security in the urban centers. Because the companies are mostly going to establish in rural areas, by social responsibility principle, these companies will help the immediate communities in the areas of improving on primary schools, rural electrification and rural water scheme. This, to some extent will help to develop the rural areas of he state. He therefore wants to adopt the following major strategies to solve the youth unemployment problem:
- Development of Agriculture
- Exploration and Exploitation of solid minerals in the State.
- Revamping failed and failing government companies
- Attracting more of Federal Government presence into the State
- Developing sporting activities
- Solving pension and gratuity problems
- Development of Agriculture:
Benue State has a population of about 5 million people and occupying a land mass of over 34000 square kilometers, transverse by two rivers ; River Benue and River Katsina-Ala and their tributaries. There are also natural springs and streams in all the local government areas of the state. These potentials make it possible for irrigation farming and fish farming. The soil type is sandy loamy and fertile for growth of citrus, vegetables, cereals and tubers. Because of the vegetation and availability of water in all the local government areas as well as land mass, the State can be green twelve months in a year given sufficient investment. Foods can be grown produced from Benue State, large enough to feed the whole nation and there would still be enough for export. All that is required is to attract and motivate prospective investors who are interested in agricultural business to invest in Benue State. Waivers will be awarded wherever possible, all with the central focus of ensuring that the investors create employment for our teaming population of Benue Youths. If we are able to attract investors to invest in agricultural production we are by implication mechanizing our agriculture because foreign investors will not want to continue with our peasant farming methods. The stream of benefits attached to these are enormous and the extent to which it will help to develop the economy of the State cannot be predicted now but through this pathway alone we are certain that hundreds of thousands of youths will be gainfully employed in the next ten to twenty years. The other obvious benefit is the revenue accruable to the state from PAYE and other sources which will certainly be large. This by extension will reduce our over reliance in federation account making us more confident and assertive during the course of our national discourse. The promotion of the operations of the Produce Marketing Board encourages a lot of peasant farmers to increase farming activities. This is because with ready- made market, the farmers are sure that there will be no wastage of their produce since Government is always ready to pick off them whatever they bring to the Board.
Exploration and Exploitation of solid minerals in the State: to be able to attract investors, an awareness if the state potentials must be created within Nigeria and the international community. Benue State is richly endowed with a rich agricultural land as well as solid mineral deposits. A look at the solid mineral deposits in Benue State indicates that Limestone is found in Ado, Apa, Gboko, Guma, Gwer west, Katsina-Ala, Makurdi, Oju and Ushongo. Glaa sand is found in Guma, Gboko, katsina-Ala and Makurdi while Barite is found in Guma, Gboko, Gwer, Makurdi and Ushongo. Gypsum is found in Apa, Gwer West, Konshisha, Otukpo, and Ushongo with Fluorspar deposit available in Katsina-Ala. Kaolin is found in Apa, Obbadibo, Okpokwu and Vandiekya while Ball Clay is found in Katsina-Ala and Otukpo. Calcium Sulphate is available in Apa and Brine available in Ado, Gboko, Guma, Gwer, Katsina-Ala, Ukum, Ogbadibo, and Ushongo Local Goernment Areas. Lead and Zinc Ore are found in Guma, Ado, Gboko, Katsina-Ala and Ushongo while Coal is found in Ogbadibo and Okpokwu. Iron Ore is fond in Gwer, Oju, and Vandiekya; Gemstones in Katsina-Ala and Kwande, Rock Salt in Guma; Gas (Shale) in Guma aand Otukpo while Magnesium Oxide and Dolomite are available in Gboko and Ushongo Local Government Areas respectively. Besides, Benue State is densely populated which makes labour relatively cheap and provides for any company that is interested in producing goods whose markets are based on volume sales.
Revamping and failing Government Companies: there are so many failed and failing government companies that can be revamped. This can be done either by government solely rehabilitating and refurbishing them or by partnering with interested private partnership (PPP) system. Through this pathway a lot of jobs can be created for the young people.
Attracting Federal Government presence into the State: Given the population of Benue State and the placement of Benue state as the ninth most populous state in Nigeria coupled with our natural endowments, a lot of federal government establishments that are expected to be in Benue State may not have been yet attracted. This fact will be sufficiently explored and cases made to establish such institutions or organizations in the state which will further create employment for the young people
Developing Sporting facilities: there are so many talented young people in sports in Benue State, but because of inadequate sporting facilities, most of these youths have not been identified yet. By developing sports facilities in the state, these young people can be identified in various games as they freely expressed themselves and can then be sold to foreign employments.
Solving pension and gratuity problems: The payment of gratuity in particular has been a problem in Benue State. A lot of retirees are not able to receive their gratuity en-bloc. We can consciously solve this by paying the retirees gratuity en-bloc. A lot or retirees will thereafter be able to set up small businesses with this amount and this will definitely create employment at the family level even beyond in some circumstances.
Such is the personality profile and cutting edge quality of a man, Dr Matthias Oyigeya, as it is rapidly pushing him into the mind-view and reckoning of the people of Benue State as the most suitable material for the highest responsibility of the time. Dr. Matthias Oyigeya stands out distinctly and unblemished, as a brand-new product on political shelf of the state, where most, if not all of the products being brought to the shelf have already being in the market, yet did not satisfy the needs of the people.
Dr. Matthias Oyigeya for Higher Responsibility is the new and fast-rising swan song in Benue political theatre. In every sense, it is emerging to be a chart topping song; one that is looking set to morph into a song for a victory dance for a people who have desired an inspiring leadership. This is the dawn, a new era, a new experience, a new paradigm.