•There’s nothing to celebrate — PDP
By Marie-Therese Nanlong
TO change the fortunes of Plateau State citizenry, Governor Simon Lalong, had on assumption of office in May, 2015 unveiled his ‘’rescue mission’’ agenda anchored on five policy pillars.
Specifically, the All Progressives Congress, APC, governor identified the five issues as tackling the issues of peace, security and good governance; human capital development and social welfare; entrepreneurship and industrialization; physical infrastructure and environment.
And to remain on track, he charged his commissioners to come up with ideas that will keep citizens informed about government programmes and policies so that they will key into them and actively participate in the task of transforming the state for the better.
To execute the mandate, the State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Ahmad Nazif initiated a monthly press briefing and coordinated his counterparts in other ministries to present their monthly scorecards to the people.
Explaining the various projects that the state recently executed, Nazif said that the Office of the Head of Service had restructured the civil service to help actualise the vision of the state government and also facilitated the promotion of over 7,000 senior staff who had been promoted for many years due to the embargo placed on such exercise by the last administration.
Apart from rehabilitation and construction of roads, many projects were executed in the last 30 days.
In the Justice Ministry, the Commissioner stated that “82 criminal cases were received from different justice sectors of which legal advice has been proffered, 75 criminal cases were filed within the period, 150 cases have been disposed of and 40 convictions obtained and in the area of civil litigation, 38 cases have been disposed of and 778 are pending in various courts.”
Acknowledging that the traditional institution is a key part of peace process in the State, the government ensured that vacant traditional stools are filled.
In the area of Commerce and Industry, the administration has entered into agreements and partnership with various firms to “resuscitate the burnt Jos main market, the Jos International Breweries, JIB, the Kabong market, Highland Bottling Company and the Inland Container Depot.’’
To rectify the chronic water shortages in towns and villages, the State Ministry of Water Resources and Energy had resuscitated three water treatment plants in Shendam, Pankshin and Bokkos even as several kilometres of old water pipelines are being replaced/repaired within the Jos/Bukuru metropolis. Also, 340 boreholes have been drilled in Riyom and Shendam and this is being supported by the EU-UNICEF Project through the Plateau Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency.
The Housing and Urban Development sub-sector is not left behind as the administration is completing projects inherited from the last administration even as it has remodelled the Plateau State Governor’s Lodge at Asokoro, Abuja which has been furnished and occupied.
Government has acquired five hectares of land at Lamingo, Jos for the new national housing project. Compensation has been paid and title issued to the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing preparatory to the commencement of the project.
And to promote public health, the administration procured five ambulances and distributed to General Hospitals in Barkin Ladi, Mangu, Pankshin, Langtang and Shendam, funds have been released to offset surgery expenses for 10 children with heart defects.
Lalong’s efforts to in sports development is also yielding dividends as the state-owned football club, Plateau United is on top of the Nigeria Premier League after five matches.
No cause for cheer yet —PDP
Reacting to the stated achievements of the government, Plateau State Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Amos Gombi said: “Is there anything true about this government? We are watching as events unfold and we will respond to everything at the appropriate time.”
Another chieftain of the party, Nde Alexander Mwolwus, said: “I don’t know of any achievement in any ministry, paying salaries is not an achievement in any state. In fact, I feel ashamed when I hear the issue of salaries being cleared as an achievement, it is not an achievement. In the history of Plateau State, there has been no Governor since late Solomon Lar to Jonah Jang who had not paid salaries in the first tenure.
“It is a must expenditure for any Government or organization, payment of salaries in the first tenure has never been a problem. They usually have problem in the second quarter and the jinx has not been broken. Apart from the bail-out, we have not graduated to self-sufficiency that will sustain the feat. So, it is not an achievement.