THERE IS NO economy that thrives

in the atmosphere of insecurity, political

instability and lack of enabling incentives.

Most states of the federation, have fallen

victims of these challenges. Thus, since last

year, the new administration in Plateau

State inherited these and many other

challenges on assumption of office. To

solve the problems required some decisive

interventions.

It could be recalled that Plateau state was

crisis-ridden for over a decade before the

Simon Lalong came into office. The Fulani

and Berom in the Northern Senatorial

Zone of the state had been on each others

throat. The two groups have been locked

in a lingering violence leading to loss of

several lives, while farms and livestock

were destroyed.

Past government’s efforts towards

settling them had always ended in futility

as fresh violence often erupted sometimes

immediately after one peace agreement or

the other. However relative peace seems to

have been restored in the state in the past

11 months as there had no outbreak of

violence or attacks.

Peace, security and good governance

remains key to the success of any purposeful

governance and administration, Governor

Lalong observed saying that there was

a need for “an institutional framework

which to promote peaceful coexistence

among citizens”. To a very large extent,

this has been achieved in the past one year.

One of the major steps taken by the

state government was that it set up a 14-

man committee, seven each from the

warring Berom and Fulani communities to

reconcile their differences towards lasting

peace. Through dialogue and carrying all

tribes along in governance, he was able to

restore back peace in the state.

Similarly, civil servants in the state were

on strike before the inauguration of the

Lalong administration due to non-payment

of salaries. After series of negotiations,

the workers resumed and were paid their

salaries. Jos the state capital also benefited

from the intervention project of the governor

as the abandoned secretariat fly over bridge

has been completed. Also work has begun

on most of the abandoned projects in the

state. The governor also completed the

rehabilitation of roads within the Greater Jos

– Bukuru metropolis.

In keeping to his campaign promises

of revamping the agricultural sector, the

governor purchased and distributed 650

trucks of fertiliser on assumption of office

through a community based distribution.

The governor also said he would ensure that

accessible, affordable, high quality healthcare

is available to citizens of the state and has

pledged to build specialist hospitals in each

of the three Senatorial Zones across the state,

while upgrading facilities in all cottage and

General hospitals”.

He said public healthcare must be well

managed by doctors, nurses and healthcare

must be well managed by doctors, nurses and

healthworkers to ensure that every patient is

cared for through a decentralised area based,

people cantered primary health care system.

Efforts were being made to also replicate the

current National Health Insurance Scheme

in the state with the view to providing

affordable health cover to civil servants

and their families. For the people of the

state, revival of most moribund commercial

projects in Plateau should be a central focus

right from the inception in order to boost

the Internal Generated Revenue in the state.

The motive is to raise more money to finance

developmental projects across the state.

One year after, the people of the state have

challenged the state government to rebuild

the abandoned terminus market, just as they

are happy that the state government had

signed an agreement with Hummer Drinks

Ltd, a soft-drinks producing company to

refurbish abandoned Highland Bottling

Company in Barkin Ladi, that has been

abandoned for over 20 years.

Acting Chairman, Plateau State Internal

Revenue Service, PSIRS, Dashe Arlat, stated

that the revenue collected within the period as

“very encouraging’’ in comparison with the

N1.84 billion realized in the corresponding

period last year, 2015.

“From the amount so realised this first

quarter of the year, it is glaring that we are

improving with our revenue generation

having surpassed that of last year with N219,

506, 232.86. In fact, by what we just realized,

it’s a clear indication that we shall definitely

meet our target of N13 billion for this year.

This is because we have not yet included our

arears of tax liabilities of about N5 billion,’’

he said.

One of the benefits of peace in the state

s that “Investors are already coming to

invest in our tourism, solid minerals and

agriculture sector”, the governor said adding

the state government was ready to “create

a business friendly environment which is

favourable to all investors”, has employed

over 4,000 adhoc teachers and renovated so

many schools since last year.

Chairman of the state Universal Basic

Education Board (SUBEB) Professor

Matthew Sule told journalist in Jos that only

47 percent of the 19,155 public schools in

the state are in fairly good shape, and the

government would renovate the structures

based on a scale of preference.

“We are working towards addressing

this challenge but we are incapacitated at

the moment financially. We have paid the

N1billion counterpart funds required for

us to access resources for such projects and

are waiting for the release of these funds to

commence work. We are aware that basic

education structure especially in rural areas,

are clamouring for urgent attention and

plead for more patience to have access to the

resources required for such projects”, he said.

In a related development, speaking while

signing the 2016 budget into law at the new

Government House Little Rayfield recently,

the governor said his administration was

determined to change and rescue the current

economic situations in the state.

The peoples expectations are high that

the governor will use the 2016 budget to

Buying and selling in the market

Features

He however charged

that government

officials should

be properly

accountable to the

people because that

is the essence of

democracy

A cardinal objective of democracy is that citizens are the actual power brokers in a democratic society. It therefore

requires that leaders live up to what is expected of them in terms of meaningful policies and programmes, writes

GOLOK NANMWA.

introduce innovative governance towards

improving the lives of the citizens.

“Having now signed into law, the

budget, it is necessary to admonish

that while the execute in line with the

stipulation of the law, the legislature must

also be alert to ensure the necessary checks

and balances that behoves of it, as the

second arm of government”, said Mallam

Abdul Mustapha, a civil servant in the

state.

According to the Commissioner for

Finance in the state, Mrs Tamwakat Weli

“change administration of Governor

Simon Lalong has tagged this years budget

as Budget of Rescue and Hope and its

aimed at salvaging the people of Plateau

from deprivation, insecurity, poverty”.

Nanchang Bitrus a member of

the Peoples Democratic Party while

commending on the first year of Lalong

in office said he has done fairly well, but

called on him to do more for the people of

the state. He said more is expected from

the APC government in the state and at the

federal level.

Newly elected chairman of the PDP in

the state, Damishi Sango however said, the

party is still on ground in the state. He also

said the state is wearing a strange garment

in the current political dispensation.

“Plateau is PDP and the APC has no

business occupying the government house

in Jos as Plateau is the home of PDP.

Meanwhile some people of the state have

commended the governor for what they

described as rescue mission in the state

in the past one year in the state. Nagelu

Garba , a citizen of Plateau said people

of the state are particularly happy, with

the governor for his efforts at clearing the

backlog of salaries owed the civil servants

by the immediate past administration of

David Jang.

He also applauded governor Lalong

for his effort towards resolving the ethnic

conflict in the state and for uniting the

people of the state by carrying along all

tribes in governance. He said People of the

state craved for a change in governance

in the state and the governor is not doing

badly.

Alex Malunga another citizen of Plateau

said the people of the state are convinced

that Lalong administration will bring

change to Plateau State during its four

year tenure.

“He has done well by clearing of

backlog of salaries. He also made proper

use of the bailout funds that was sent

to the state recently. Stephen Jings the

mangement committee chairman of

Pankshin Local government who spoke

to our correspondent said the governor

has done well and would continue to do

more for the people. He also called on

people of the state to support the Lalong

led administration as the governor is

dedicated to providing the dividends of

democracy to the people of the state.

Solomon Goje, from Bassa local

government of the state said the governor

has started on a good note. He however

called on him to ensure that he meets

70 percent of his campaign promises.

He however charged that government

officials should be properly accountable to

the people because that us the essence of

democracy.


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