Home Politics TEXT OF A BROADCAST BY THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE, HIS...

TEXT OF A BROADCAST BY THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, BARR. CALEB MANASSEH MUTFWANG TO MARK ONE YEAR IN OFFICE ON 29TH MAY 2024

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My beloved citizens of Plateau State,
Exactly one year ago, I stood before you, taking the oath of office as your chosen Governor, entrusted with the honor and responsibility of leading our beloved state.

On that occasion, I made a solemn pledge to work tirelessly, with God’s guidance, to deliver the qualitative leadership and governance that you deserve. Today, as we mark this significant milestone, I am deeply humbled by the sucesses we have recorded since embarked on this journey together.

Our first year in office was met with formidable challenges. From the persistent threat of insecurity in several of our Local Government Areas, to the legal battles questioning the legitimacy of our mandate, and the crippling effects of a prolonged civil service strike. Indeed, we faced trials on multiple fronts.

Moreover, the weight of a staggering debt burden loomed over us, while critical sectors such as healthcare and education cried out for urgent attention.

Yet, in the face of adversity, we refused to falter. Looking back, we must give glory to the Lord Almighty who has been our guide and our guard. Indeed, we can say if it had not been the Lord, we would not have reach here. Therfore, we say thank you Lord.

We engaged with key stakeholders, including President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, security Chiefs, and National Emergency Management Agency, to confront the security challenges head-on.

In our commitment to enhancing the state’s security framework, the administration has reactivated the previously dormant state-owned security outfit—Operation Rainbow with the retraining of over 600 personnel, meticulously chosen across the state.

Such measures have rendered the state security outfit highly responsive and proactive in addressing community-level security challenges. Furthermore, the administration has unveiled the State Security and Information Center, where citizens can report security concerns via a toll-free line.

This center enables the government to receive timely information on pressing security issues from different communities, both urban and rural in order to ensure swift action. It is in the light of these measures that we have initiated the home return of our Internally Displaced Persons, ensuring they return to lands that await their toil and harvest without hitches.

The landmark Supreme Court judgment validating our mandate was not just a legal victory; it was a testament to the unwavering support and love you, the people, have shown for our administration. Furthermore, we have successfully cleared the backlog of salaries and allowances owed to our diligent civil servants, fostering a more harmonious relationship through the first ever constructive dialogue with labor leaders.

In the midst of these challenges, we have made significant strides across various sectors. Our commitment to transparent and accountable leadership has paved the way for tangible progress in infrastructure development, healthcare provision, educational reform, agricultural enhancement, and power generation.

We have thus, constructed and rehabilitated quite a number of road networks within Jos-Bukuru metropolis and beyong, transforming them into conduits of commerce, connectivity, and community cohesion.

Notable among them are the Farin Gada-Gada Biyu-Polo Roundabout-Police Headquarters road, Gold and Base Roundabout-Rayfield, JUTH-Laminga-Tina Junction-Legislative Quarters; Plateau Hospital Roundabout-Hill Station Roundabout-Central Bank Road; Maternity-Moonshine Hotel-Chobe Junction; Liberty Boulevard- Maternity-Masallacin Juma’a-Zololo Junction; Ahmadu Bello Way- Kashim Ibrahim-West of Mines; Dadin Kowa Road Network; Yelwa Club Junction-Rahol Kanang-Du Junction and Sabon Barki Road among several others.

In the same vein, work is ongoing on the 5.65km Utonkon-Nunku-Keana link road with the extension to the Akila Machunga road. The construction of the 9km span flyover bridge handled by PW Nig. Ltd will soon wear it asphalt coat thus bring to an end a tortuous wait of over 10 years.

The inauguration of the Tin City Metro initiative which introduces 15 modern MAN-Diesel buses and the expansion of the fleet of the Plateau Express Service represent our dedication to modernizing urban transportation for the benefit of all citizens.

In the same vein, the revitalization of the rail transport system in collaboration with the Nigerian Railway Corporation is part of the administration’s deliberate move to ease the transportation challenges of commuters.

Similarly, our focus on education has seen the revitalization of public schools and the reduction of tuition fees for state indigenes enrolled in tertiary institutions by 50%. We have paid the counterpart fund of the 3rd-4rd Quarters of 2021and the 1st -4th Quarters of 2022 leading to the release of the marching Grant from the Universal Basic Education Commission and awarded 148 contracts for the construction and renovation of classrooms as well as the Drilling of boreholes in various schools across the 17 Local Government Areas in the state.

Also, concerted efforts have been made to ensure the accreditation of courses to enable our institutions to confer recognized certificates. This initiative has encompassed a range of state-owned tertiary institutions, including Plateau State University, Bokkos, College of Health Technology, Pankshin, College of Nursing and Midwifery, Vom, College of Agriculture, Garkawa, and College of Education, Gindiri.

We have similarly facilitated the payment of IJMB Examination fees for the years 2022, 2023, and 2024 for the College of Arts, Science, and Technology, Kurgwi, and settled the Law School fees for Plateau State students for 2023 and 2024. Additionally, there has been a substantial 300% increase in scholarship funding for Plateau State students pursuing higher education across Nigeria.

Through my visits to the United States and the United Kingdom, the state has secured several PhD and MSc Engineering scholarships from Liberty University, USA. We have also entered into partnerships with some foreign Universities where our lecturers, particularly from the Plateau State University, Bokkos can go for their PhD programs.

In agriculture, we have procured over 200 trucks of fertilizers for our farmers while efforts are on to purchase more. We have equally trained 340 vibrant youths and equipped them with modern agricultural techniques. The initiative was to launch the state into commercial agriculture and ensure efficient contribution to national food security.

We have mapped out plans to develop 4,000 hectares of land in each of the five principal crop zones of the state. These zones are designated for rice cultivation in Wase, Shendam, Langtang North, Langtang South, and Qua’an Pan LGAs; maize in Mangu, Bokkos, and Barkin Ladi LGAs; wheat in Bassa and Jos North LGAs; potatoes in Mangu, Bokkos, Barkin Ladi, and Riyom LGAs; and vegetables in Jos North, Jos South, and Riyom Local Government Areas respectively.

Additionally, our collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has bolstered our efforts to strengthen the agricultural value chains of maize, rice, and wheat.
Our commitment to open the state for industrialization is further evidenced by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Shimankar Valley Limited for the construction of over 300 Megawatts power plants in selected communities in the state.

We have equally signed into law the bill for the establishment of Plateau State Energy Corporation and Plateau state electricity market. These laws are designed to facilitate the generation of adequate electricity, including renewable energy sources to meet the high need for the industrialization in our dear state and to sell to neighboring states for revenue generation.

The health sector under my watch has received a lot of attention. We have revitalized the previously dormant Plateau State Drugs and Medical Commodities Agency (PS-DMCMA). This central body is now responsible for the procurement, storage, distribution, and oversight of drugs and medical supplies in state-run hospitals and clinics, ensuring that essential medications are available, accessible, and affordable.

At the Plateau State Specialist hospital, we have completed the construction of an abandoned Laboratory Complex and awarded a contract to equip the Laboratory with modern state-of –the arts equipment. We have also completed the construction of an abandoned Administrative building and emergency Paediatric unit. These among other giant strides are in fulfilment of our promises to make Plateau state a medical tourism destination.

Also, since we came into office, we have extended support to MDAs for accessing Government Cash Counterpart Contributions (GCCC) to facilitate the implementation of various programs and projects.

In the Civil Service, we are steadfast in our mission to revitalize the system to achieve exemplary service delivery. Through constructive dialogue with labor unions, we have successfully resolved prolonged strikes, setting the stage for enhanced productivity and progress. While the timely payment of salaries is a fundamental responsibility rather than an achievement, we reaffirm our commitment to the welfare of our workers. Efforts to address outstanding gratuities, death benefits, and pension backlogs dating back to 1986 commenced in December 2023. We pledge to continue these endeavors within the scope of our available resources.

Our investment in the professional growth of our public servants through extensive training programs is a testament to our aspiration to cultivate a workforce that excels both nationally and internationally. In recognition of the invaluable contributions of our workers, we have implemented hazard allowances for healthcare professionals, adjusted salaries, facilitated promotions, and maintained transparent communication with union representatives across the state and at the Local Government level.

Also, in anticipation of the adjustment in the national minimum wage, we proactively provided a monthly fuel subsidy of N12,000 to each state employee from September 2023 to March 2024. Additionally, we have conducted an upward review of repatriation allowances, burial expenses, pensions, and have implemented promotions, all aimed at motivating and appreciating our dedicated workforce.

As we pause to reflect on the journey thus far, let us remain united in our resolve to build a better, more prosperous Plateau. Together, we will restore our state to its rightful place of prominence and ensure a future filled with opportunities for all.

I extend my deepest gratitude to you, the people of Plateau State, for your unwavering support and trust in our vision. I particularly want to thank our traders for their cooperation with the state government in our determination to restructure some of our markets to enhance their cleanliness and facilitate smoother business operations and vehicular traffic.

This initiative was undertaken for the collective safety of all, without targeting any specific individuals and groups. Let me once again thank you for believing in us, we will never take your unwavering support for granted. The time has come and the Time Is Now to set aside our ethnic and religious differences and bond together as a people with one destiny in building a peaceful and harmonious state for all. May God continue to bless Plateau State, and may He guide us as we strive for a brighter tomorrow.

Thank you and God bless.

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