Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau, on Tuesday, expressed delight at the Second Corruption Survey Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which placed the state as the second least corrupt state in Nigeria.
Lalong, who spoke through his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham, in Jos, said the development had validated the efforts of his administration towards entrenching good governance, accountability and transparency in the management of public funds.
“On assumption of office, I declared my administration’s zero tolerance for corruption and our determination to ensure that public funds are used strictly for the benefit of the people of Plateau.
“Based on this, we established various mechanisms for checking corruption and enhancing transparency in public service.
“We were among the first states of the federation to adopt the Treasury Single Account (TSA), where we made sure all monies accruing to government went into a TSA for easy oversight and monitoring.
“We also established the Efficiency Unit that is saddled with the duty of checking all proposals and requests to ensure that they are in line with the vision of the government and offer value for the people.
“We also put in place the Bureau for Public Procurement, which has the mandate of vetting all procurements to ensure that there are no wasteful and exaggerated costs,” he said.
Lalong stated that he had recently set up the Project Monitoring and Result Delivery Unit (PMRDU) in the office of the Chief of Staff.
He said the unit had a clear mandate of ensuring diligent tracking of projects and programmes implementation by all the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
According to him, the state has greatly improved the ease of doing business through the creation of ‘One-Stop-Shop’.
He added that land transactions were enhanced through the strengthening of the Plateau Geographic Information Systems (PLAGIS) to operate electronically.
“All these have contributed to an increase in revenue generation, as most transactions of the state are done electronically, thereby removing the incentives for corruption.
“This declaration by the NBS of Plateau as the second least corrupt state in Nigeria is great news to us.
“It explains why domestic and foreign investors, as well as foreign envoys, are pouring into our state to do business and partner with us for various development efforts.
“In the last two weeks, I received the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, investors from Switzerland, Austria and Germany, and on Tuesday morning, the Political Counsellor at the US Embassy was in my office.
“We shall continue to make sure that we sustain this tempo and by the grace of God, Plateau will be the least corrupt state in Nigeria when this survey is conducted next year,” he stated.
The governor expressed gratitude to the people of the state for their cooperation and support to his administration in ensuring that there were peace and tranquillity, thus making development possible.