Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong, has blamed the current economic recession on the last administration, noting that Nigeria would not have been in this crunch if the last administration had spared a thought for the future of country.
He added that the excesses of that era and the implications for national development were enormous, but however admonished citizens to rise above the distraction of trading blames and focus on the more urgent task of qualitative service delivery.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Professor Sonny Tyoden, spoke yesterday at the Policy Design Session (PDS) organised for the All Progressives Congress (APC) Secretaries to State Governments (SSGs) which held at the Silk Suites, Rayfield-Zarmaganda Road, Jos.
According to Lalong: “I am also happy because even when the change that we proclaim comes with its difficulties given the years of locust that preceded our advent, we are encouraged by the faith and resilience of patriotic Nigerians who share in our vision and the genuine concern of our friends and well-wishers all over the world. Of course, this is our source of strength in the face of cynical impatience and shameless attempt to re-write history, particularly by those who profited from the profligacy of the past.”
He said there is no gainsaying that the APC vision emerged from the rubble of the last administration, adding that in that valley of despair was born the desire to break with the harrowing experiences of the past.
For Lalong, “APC, a new party for new Nigeria as captured in our party’s manifesto became the battle cry. Today, we can say with confidence that we have demonstrated in unmistakable ways in the states we govern that we listen, we promise and we deliver.
“Where critical areas of need have not received the attention they required in the past, the APC government, today counts on the leadership and moral authority of its vision carrier, President Muhammadu Buhari, supported by our progressive governors, to meet those needs.”
He said the challenge they faced today was not only in rebuilding the institutions that failed under a degenerate system, “it is also in regaining the trust of a people taken for granted by their leaders. This is no easy task especially where ingrained habits clash daily with the urgency for renewal.”
Reflecting that change has come to Plateau and is being institutionalised, Lalong said the prevailing peace in the state is one of the achievements, adding that before now, the forum could not have held in Jos because of the prevailing threat to peace and security.
He said the Plateau State University, Bokkos, had the dubious distinction of having had four Vice Chancellors in its 10 – year existence without graduating even a single student. “Since our coming, we have taken several remedial measures, resulting in the first set of graduates being mobilised for the compulsory National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC) programme with the university’s first convocation scheduled for November this year.”
In his welcome remarks, Country Director, Plan International, Abuja, Dr. Hussaini Abdu, said all Nigerians must join hands together to reflate the dwindling economy, especially the state governments.
Abdu added that he was concerned about the emphasis being placed on what can be done at the larger macro-economy level in terms of policy interventions at the national level.
According to him, the economy has different characterisations at different levels. “So, if you look at the structure of the economy, for instance, in Kaduna as close as it is to Kano, it may not necessarily be the same.”