Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Bako Lalong, on Thursday said his administration was doing everything possible to recover the funds looted from the state treasury by previous administrations, disclosing that a commissioner in the Jonah Jang’s administration was already in EFCC net and currently being quizzed over financial misconducts.
Lalong stated this in Jos during a breakfast parley and with members of the state Correspondent Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in commemoration of the governor’s 53rd birthday.
Lalong said: “We have done a lot of investigations and a lot of arrests have been made, some past government officials are currently on bail; they were called to come and give evidence about some investigations that are going on.
“A former commissioner in the state is currently in the custody of the EFCC over N2 billion which was meant for Small and Medium scale Enterprise (SME) but was diverted during the past administration; and the case has been reported to the EFCC. Due to this, the CBN has refused to give the state additional SME funds because the state is yet to account for the earlier one given which was looted. And this has caused a setback in empowering the youths.
The governor however said the state has recovered another over N2 billion.
On his recent trip to China, the governor said it would soon bring benefits to the state. “Investors are already coming to invest in our tourism, solid minerals and agricultural sectors. We are really working on increasing the tourism potentials of the state, especially the Jos Wild Life Park, the Pandam Wild Life Park, the Wase Rocks and others.
“Our state is one of the richest states in terms of solid minerals and we are working on how to take advantage of the policies concerning revenue generation with respect to these solid minerals.
He applauded the people of the state for giving peace a chance to thrive “As part of our five pillars trusts when we came in, peace and security was number one, because without peace investors would not be able to visit the state.”
He also said his administration is committed to completing the road projects inherited from the Jang’s administration.
Lalong also said his administration would not joke with education; “we have so far employed over 4,000 ad hoc teachers and renovated so many schools since we came into power last year. And we are ready to do more. ”