Governance is said to be a process, where the fortunes of the masses is entrusted in the hands of an elected few to drive the course of development and to pilot the affairs of states for a period of time. If governance is a process, then the process is supposed to be marked with continuity at all level.
Unfortunately, over the years Nigeria has been bedeviled with neglect of projects by previous administrations at all levels. This trend of initiation and reinitiating projects has resulted in littering of fragmentary projects in states and local governments a�?the hallmark of democratic dividendsa�? since the resurfacing of democracy in 1999 to the Nigerian political sphere. Hence, democracy which is thought to be a system of governance that leads to social equity has become the machinery for not just disparity but planting seeds of discord and clannish repugnance.
Governor Simon Bako Lalong on assumption of office in May 2015 inherited myriad of projects from his predecessors, with the paucity of funds that greeted his administration from inception and the recession that clout the country, one would have thought the norm of project desertion will be the order of the day, however, Gov. Simon Bako Lalong diligently concentrated on not just continuing inherited projects but guaranteeing the completion of all abandoned project before initiating new ones.
Gov. Lalong appreciating the support and good will he enjoyed from the masses during and after his election focused on clearing Eleven months of salary and pension arrears owed workers and pensioners by previous administration. Knowing well that workers remuneration is the key to productivity and major economic fulcrum in the state, he has ensured steady payment of workersa�� salaries which has endeared him to workers and earning him the nickname (Mr. Alert). One cannot but appreciate the fact that this steady payment of workersa�� salaries with its undulation effect has given commercial activities on the Plateau a face lift.
In order to put Plateau on track and to set the pace for industrial revolution, Gov. Lalong knowing well the Agricultural potentials of Plateau state and the ability of the state to become the food capital of Nigeria took to reawaken the hitherto moribund Fertilizer blending Plant in Bokkos Local Government that is today producing in its full capacity, revitalizing the JOS International Breweries (JIB), the Highland bottling company in Barkin Ladi was also given appropriate attention which is now providing both direct and indirect jobs.
Subsequently, the Panyam Fish Farm in Mangu Local Government area believed to be one of the biggest fish farms in West Africa that had little or no attention from previous administration was given appropriate consideration to start operations and to once again be a source of wealth creation to the good people of Plateau State.
It can be said that His Excellency, Rt Hon. Simon Bako Lalong knows the need for economic growth, youth inclusiveness in democratic processes and the effect such will have on the generality of the masses hence he took out time to focus on areas that positively reflects on the wellbeing of the people no wonder his support for the state owned football club led to them performing exploit in the 2016/2017 Nigerian Professional Football League and finally lifting the highest club medal in Nigeria as they were crowned the winners of the 2016/2017 NPFL Season, his support and constant morale boasting to the team again earned him the honor of the team being called LALONG BOYS.
It can thus be said that Lalonga��s Love for Plateau on one hand is the reason he deemed it fit to complete inherited projects before initiating new projects that are currently at different stages of completion however, one can also opine that his previous experience and exposure has made him appreciate the need for state funds to be used judiciously hence project abandonment is not in his character. Whatever be the case, the hard truth is that the era of littering uncompleted projects in Plateau state has come to an end under the watchful eyes of Governor Simon Bako Lalong.
In Part B, we will take a look at infrastructures both newly initiated, completed and inherited/completed projects by the Lalong led Administration and analyze their importance to the development of Plateau State.
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (opinions)