Plateau Still Pressured By Inherited Challenges, Says Lalong

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As the new administrations across the federation struggle to show their stewardship for the first 100 days in office, Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong said that the period have been characterized by efforts to fix challenges in the state.

The state before May 29 faced the challenges of unpaid workers’ salaries, an educational sector that is totally grounded from the primary to the tertiary level with all the lingering challenge of unstructured governance in that sector, awards of road and other infrastructure contracts without funds to complete them and very low morale of Civil Service setting where the bureaucratic parameters and career development potentials have been abused.

Others are security challenges that have threatened lives and the means of livelihood in the Northern Senatorial District, virtually empty State treasury and a deplorable condition of limited potential for revenue earning, a dwindling inflow from Federation Account and a society that is disillusioned, people watching those who have primitively amassed wealth through the privatization of governance and the common wealth of the citizenry move freely in society”.

To address these challenges, Lalong said the state would implement recommendation the Transition Committee and the recovery of funds and all government properties annexed or carted away.

“These include fraudulently monies siphoned through the instrumentality of State Agencies for which works have not been done or have not reached the level of payments”.

The governor emphasized that the setting up of Technical and Professional Audit Committees is to sustain the tracking and recovery process of funds and the application of funds to certain projects, programs and institutions.

“In all these, the desire of government is not to witch hunt but to ensure that through probity, accountability and transparency, value for money is obtained in all on-going projects”.

Some of these efforts to address the challenges confronting the government Lalong said will be “the restructuring of Governance with the merger of some Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as the implementation of a civil service reform that addresses the injustices in promotions, appointments and postings”.

According to him priority will be given  to completion of on-going projects with emphasis on completing those that address the five policy thrust of this administration which are Peace, Security and Good Governance, Human Capital Development and Social Welfare, Agriculture and Rural Development, Entrepreneurship and Industrialization and Physical Infrastructure and Environment.

Some of the achievement of the present administration as enumerated by Lalong is “Payment of workers salary arrears for five months as well as three months pension arrears, resumed road construction on 18 on-going metropolitan roads, almost completed Federal Low cost Housing network of roads, purchase and distribution 650 trucks of fertilizer on assumption of office through a community based distribution, effected Payment of the Community Social Development Agency (CSDA) World Bank Assisted Projects counterpart funds for intervention in ten rural communities and completion of the House of Assembly Complex Legislative Chamber”.

He however said beyond expending on physical public infrastructure his administration is committed to finding lasting solution to any threat to peace.

Lalong who promised that his administration will be fair to all therefore assured citizens that “inspite of the several odds against us, I will ensure that bridges of reconciliation and peace are built so that we forge a new social and economic order anchored on the principle of social justice, rule of law and equal opportunity”.

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