Home Entertainment AGENDA SETTING FOR GOV MUTFWANG AT 59 By Ayuba Yilgak’ha

AGENDA SETTING FOR GOV MUTFWANG AT 59 By Ayuba Yilgak’ha

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While traveling for a funeral programme yesterday, March 12, 2024, I heard torrent of congratulatory messages from all the radio stations in the state honouring Plateau State governor, His Excellency, Hon. Barrister Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang. It was the governor’s 59th birthday the messages indicated. I listened to the countless goodwill messages and jingles with keen interest. It was evident the day was an ample opportunity for the people to celebrate their governor, the number one citizen in the state.

Let me join the good and hospitable people of the state to celebrate and congratulate the governor who will be one year in office on May 29, 2024. To say the least, 59 looks good on him. May his administration be eventful and transformational for the collective benefit of Plateau people.

As an objective and patriotic citizen, let me state that Governor Mutfwang has just began and, while it is too early to assess the performance of his administration, it behooves on me to share my thoughts on what can be done to augment “the time is now” blueprint towards advancing the course of sustainable development on the Plateau. For me, there is no better birthday gift than that!

Permit me to start by saying that leadership is the status symbol of a people. This implies that Governor Mutfwang and his management team are the father figures and moral compasses of the state. As far as the state is concerned today, the buck stops at the table of the governor who is the chief servant of Plateau State. Therefore, he must try to live above board; be a source of inspiration and motivation for the citizens both in speech and in action. He must live by example if making a difference is anything to go by, any day!

Within the context of the development potentials (resource base) of the state, the dynamics of the 21st century and realities of the present time, the administration of governor Mutfwang is challenged to pay close attention to four broad priority areas of development which include security, infrastructure/manpower, economy as well as tourism and sports. Within each of these strands is a specific anchor priority.

Security: Since the return of democracy in 1999, Plateau State which is reputed as the “Home of Peace and Tourism” has been unsettled by insecurity that has costs countless lives and properties. The trends in insecurity is difficult a test for the very essence (fibre) of the state. Security is the anchor of development and without it, no meaningful development can be expected anywhere. In order to restore the peace and stability of the state, therefore, it behooves on government to pursue the state policing option together with other governors Nigeria until the bill establishing this approach to security is signed, institutionalized and made to work. The full details of what can be done to help enhanced the security of Plateau will be can made available behind the scene. There is no better security strategy than to map it behind the scene!

Fiscal infrastructure and manpower development: Plateau state has huge deficit in infrastructure arising from poor maintenance culture and/or investment in this critical wheel of economic growth. For long, investment in human capital in the state is, equally, limited. The implication of physical infrastructure deficit and manpower development limitations is that the growth of the state will be stalled or stunted. The reality is that no nation or state can develop above the level of its physical infrastructure and/or human capital development threshold of its people have reached. Therefore,  the government is challenged to mobilize resource and heavily invest in these critical factors of production even if it means borrowing to do so. In addition, Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements is the way to go consideration that huge capital outlay is required and government may not have adequate resources at its disposal to meet up these deficits.

Economy: Plateau State is believed to be a dogmatic civil service service state. This orientation cannot be sustained in the 21st century where economic survival and prosperity is dependent on entrepreneurship and privately driven investments. As deliberate efforts are being made to change the orientation of people towards private sector driven economy, key priority areas of investment for economic prosperity are commercial agriculture, solid mineral development or exploration, industrialization and commerce. A good policy mix that motivates good sectoral linkages will guarantee the economic prosperity of the state. The government will tap from this prosperity through tax revenue from smiling and successful business class as it were. This will boast Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.

Tourism and sports: Aside peace, tourism is the other leg of the state’s motto. The state has huge comparative advantages in tourism and sports which is one of the current most lucrative human endeavour in the world. When the government invest in cultural tourism, entertainment and sports, their is no limit to the economy it could make out of this dynamic sector. The PPP model is also the right way to go to crack the great potentials in these sector.

It is important for the government of Barr. Caleb Mutfwang to note that leadership is measurable. One of the best measure of good leadership is to leave the people, institutions and state it inherited better that it made it. Any leadership that makes people reasonably and sustainably wished for the return of previous regimes is a pointer to that regime’s failure. This should not be.

Another means by which leadership is measured is the institutionalisation of governance policies and actions. When government actions are not institutionalised, the tendency is for such actions to be haphazard or abandoned when the regime ended. It takes policy actions that will outlast the current government to build enduring legacies. There is gain in continuity and trans-generational governance.

Since the Governor Mutfwang regime has just began, it is important for his government to keep track with the big picture. What does Plateau Project mean for this government? The government should cast a concrete vision of what the state will be in the next 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, 30 or even 50 years will be or looks like and work with it. That is what developed and emerging nations do. There is nothing political about good governance!

Good governance or leadership is reflected in the expression of sacrificial and positive actions that will benefit the present and future generations. It is a true act of service when a leader plans trees that he might not be around to benefit from their sheds or fruits!

This prose tries to shy away from the temptation of assessing the nascent regime of the governor but as a way of encouraging it (the administration), let it be on record that the on-going massive road infrastructure projects (completing and refurnishing roads initiated by previous administrations) being carried out in Jos/Bukuru metropolis is a step in the right direction and this should be reinforced and sustained far beyond metropolis. Going forward, the government is to touch the problem of acute water shortage in the metropolis and to extend its infrastructural drive to the 17 local government councils and villages including mine. Going by the disposition of this government, I am optimistic that my village will be reached even without knowing anyone in government. This will be the truest test of accessibility that “the time is now” mantra promised the state.

It is necessary to note that “The time is now” mantra of the new administration has raised the expectations of the people of Plateau State. Therefore, the people cannot wait indefinitely to harvest life-changing dividends of democracy in every parts of the state because the time to gain from the gains of good governance is now! The governor and his government cannot afford to fail either in the short or long run!

One more very critical thing that the government needs to do is deliberate project execution, monitoring and evaluation. It is bad and total waste of ideas when projects are initiated without execution. It is even a worst case scenario when projects are executed without monitoring and evaluation. It is poor quality control arising from poor monitoring and evaluation of project that, most times, shabbily executed or abandoned projects become common realities in our polity. In a society where people have the tendency to be careless or dubious, close monitoring becomes inevitable!

This piece shies away from political matters arising in the state because it is focused on governance issues or equations which politics de-emphasized politics, at least, for now. There is time for everything. This one is for governance, governance and governance!

In conclusion, the government of Barr. Caleb Mutfwang must know that the people of Plateau State chose his government over others who contested with him because they believe in his capacity to deliver. He should, also, know that the legal tussle that followed his declaration as governor is over. Therefore, the opportunity has been expressly given him the to deliver on his mandate without any excuse. His social contract with the people is to reset the button of the state and make it work. Anything other that this will robe him of the rare opportunity of becoming the lead father of new Plateau State. At 59, the governor has no better ambition. May the green cap revolution or evolution be a source of exponential smiles to the people of the state. God bless the governor, plateau state and Nigeria.

Ayuba Yilgak’ha could be reached on 08116181263

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