If recent stakeholders effort is anything
to go by, then some of the ailing companies
in Plateau State will soon jack back to
live. For several years now, a number
of companies in the state shut down
operations due to mismanagement and
bad economic policies. This has led to mass
unemployment and increased poverty in
the state.
However, with the current development,
business activities in the state is expected to
thrive again, and Job opportunities would
be provided for the teeming youths. This is
even as indicated, some Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) have been signed in
several ministries of the state in this regard.
Recently, the state government signed a
deal with Oil and Chemical International,
for the setting up of a fertiliser blending
plant in Foron in Barkin Ladi Local
Government Area of the state. The MOU
was signed by the commissioner of
commerce, Ezekiel Daju, on behalf of the
state government.
Speaking at the occasion, Daju said
“this occasion is another milestone in the
Governor Simon Lalong-led administration.
As we all know, most citizens of our state
are farmers and fertiliser is an essential
ingredient in Agriculture. Due to the falling
price of oil, the state government has keyed
into diversification and our governor has
vowed to transform the agriculture sector
in order to boost food production and the
Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of the
state”.
Also, the Commissioner for Agriculture,
Linda Barau, who also spoke at the occasion,
said that “the unique geography of the state
makes the state suitable for the farming of a
wide range of exotic and traditional crops
for which Plateau is distinguished”.
Speaking on behalf of the coy, the director
of Operations of Oil and Chemicals
international, Michael Ekoja, said Plateau
ranks as one of the leading agrarian states
in the country with over 60 percent of its
population engaged in farming. “Today
as oil prices continue to fall and dwindle,
financial allocations from the federation
account to the state has not only shrunk,
but remain unstable with the grim economic
reality of the nation. Followed by the renewed
commitment of the present administration to
economic diversification, there is certainly no
better time to tap into the huge agricultural
potential of the state for sustainable and
equitable development than now”.
“It is a known fact that in spite of the
large number of people employed in the
agricultural sector, productively, it is low and
farmers are poor. To improve the status of
farmers, there has to be increased productivity
and for this to be achieved, farmers must have
access to critical farm inputs and support
services like improved seedlings, fertilizers,
crop protection products, and other improved
agronomic practices”, he said.
Recently, the state government also 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. The chairman of technical
committee of Plateau Investment and
Property-development Company, PIPC, Chief
Ezekiel Gomos, while commending the state
government over the laudable steps to revamp
the company, noted that the development
was in line with the industrialisation policy of
Governor Lalong’s administration.
He said, “For us in PIPC, history is being
made as the signing of this agreement is a
culmination of efforts of several years.” He
said the company had been shut since 1995,
but by the initiative of the governor, the
committee decided not to allow it remain
shut. “By this, revenue will be generated for
the state, and our youths will be employed”,
he added.
Also speaking, Mr. Joseph Umoru, the chief
executive officer of Hummer Drinks Ltd said
“it has been a very long journey to this day
after extensive feasibility studies”, adding
that Hummer company is an indigenous
company with expertise, skills, and capacity
to produce and market well tested world
brands.
Similarly, the state government recently
inaugurated a six-man committee to boost
IGR of the Jos Metropolitan Development
Board, JMDB. The government also said
the measure was taken to reduce the state’s
dependence on the monthly allocation from
the federation account.
Inagurating the committee recently in Jos,
the Commissioner for Housing and Urban
Development, Sam Galadima, said following
the fall in the prices of oil at the international
market, the state government has no choice
but to look inward in order to generate
revenue. According to him, “It became
necessary to inaugurate the committee as
our economic challenges have compelled us
to see ahead and look ahead Plateau has the
potentials of boosting it’s IGR. We have what
it takes to boost our revenue like that of Lagos
state”, he said.
Galadima charged members of the
committee to deliver and commence work
immediately. He said the committee would
develop new ways of generating revenue
in line with constitutional provision. Also
speaking at the occasion, the chairman of
the committee Mr Fabian Ntung, thanked
the state government for the privilege and
assured that they would submit reports that
would boost the IGR of the board.
It could be recalled that the state
government recently said that plans were at
their final stage to commence the rebuilding
of the Jos Main Market that was razed in 2001,
noting that government’s goal was to enhance
commercial activities in Jos and its environs.
Addressing news men, the chairman, Project
Implementation Unit for the development
of the market, Chief Ezekiel Gomos said 12
reputable transaction advisers had bided for
the job, but one was selected after thorough
and transparent evaluation.
He also added that “Because government
has opted to develop the market using Private
Public Partnership, PPP, it is only fair that we
get a Transaction Adviser who is sound in PPP
arrangement; PPP is a new concept in Nigeria
for financing projects. We are doing it in line
with Infrastructure Concession Regulatory
Commission (ICRC).”
Meanwhile the Plateau State chapter of
Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), has
commended Governor Lalong for his efforts
towards boosting the economy of the state by
diversification saying the rebuilding of Jos
Main Market would help promote trade and
commercial activities in Plateau.
State chairman of the council Hon. George
Ndu, made this known in a press statement
Mechanised farming
Features
To improve the status of farmers, there has to be
increased productivity and for this to be achieved,
farmers must have access to critical farm inputs
and support services like improved seedlings,
fertilizers and crop protection products
In this report, GOLOK NANMWA writes that one of the best ways to tackle recession is by encouraging our
people to return to agriculture and states should embrace same
made available to newsmen in Jos. He said:
“IPAC as an umbrella body of political
parties in the state, observed with keen
interest, the prudence manner in which the
Lalong’s administration is handling the
lean resources of the state and its ability to
clear the backlog of civil servants salaries
which is highly commendable.
“We appreciated government’s
commitment to rebuilding the burnt down
Jos ultra modern main market, and also the
commencement of issuance of certificate
of occupancy (C of O),in the state all in
an efforts at revamping the state economy.
We also call on state government to steer
up efforts at putting more developmental
programmes that will impact positively on
the citizens,” the statement further read.
To provide accommodation to the
citizens, the state government recently
signed an MOU with 6 developers to build
11,188 Housing units for citizens in the state.
The MOU was signed by the commissioner
of Housing and Urban Development in the
state Arch Samuel Galadima on behalf of
the state government. The developer was
expected to deliver in 60 months.
Speaking at the occasion , Galadima
said that this was the beginning of good
and people oriented projects that would
happen under the Rescue Administration
of Governor Simon Lalong.
He said “Gov Lalong is committed to
delivering affordable housing scheme to
the people of the state”.
Also, Forum of Former Members of
the Plateau State House of Assembly has
called on the state governor to continue
to focus on the diversification of the state
economy through agriculture, tourism
and solid minerals in order to improve the
revenue base of the state and create Job
opportunities for youths of the state.
The group in a statement made available
to newsmen in Jos and jointly signed
by Hon Maimako Kwanwatu, interim
chairman, and Hon Victor Samson, interim
Secretary, read that “We appreciate the
government in her efforts at completing
Moribund companies and uncompleted
projects as well as embarking on new ones.
“As a group we commend Governor
Lalong for his efforts towards revamping
the economy of the state, especially the
reconstruction of the Jos Main Market,
resuscitating the ailing industries such as
the Barc farms, Jos International Breweries,
the Britvics Bottling Company, Bokkos
fertilizer blending plant and the Panyam
Fish Farm among others”.
The group also appealed to the people
of Plateau to continue to support the
governor in order to provide dividends of
democracy to the people of the state.
An All Progressive Congress, APC,
chieftain in the state, NaGelu Garba,
commended the governor for his efforts
at revamping the economy of the state.
He appealed to the people of the state to
support the governor in order to provide
the dividends of democracy to the people
of the state.
Alex Malunga another citizen of the state
commended the state government for the
signing of the MOU to revive the Bokkos
Fertiliser Plant and that of Foron in Barkin
Ladi stressing that this would encourage
citizens of the state to go into farming

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