The Plateau State Government says it has spent a total of N38,168,470,667.00 on 32 projects inherited from past administrations.
The projects within the “main Ministries” exclude those from Agencies, Commissions and Parastatals, the State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong said, Wednesday.
In the next four years, the State hopes to further complete all inherited infrastructure projects across key sectors, Lalong said at a Democracy Day town hall meeting in Jos the State capital.
It also hopes to prioritize new projects that have “significant multiplier potential”, said the Governor.
“These projects are expected to not only enhance and lubricate the economy of the state, but upgrade the quality of human capital.
“They include, but not limited to Education, Health, Tourism, Commerce, Roads, Water, Agriculture and Food Security, etc.,” Lalong stated.
The projects according to the second term Governor are to be categorized into Short, Medium and Long Terms of the next six months, two years and entire four years, respectively.
The state was able to increase its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N6.9billion per annum in 2015 to N12.7billion per annuum in 2018, but still lacks adequate funds to meet infrastructural goals, Gov. Lalong said.
However, the State in the next four years aims to generate a minimum of N2.5 biilion per month (N50 billion per annum), he said.
In addition, the Governor said the state will develop its Agricultural, Mineral, Tourism and Human Capital resources through “strategic approaches.”
In his words, “Going forward, the Rescue administration phase II will take concrete steps to encourage commercial agriculture and Food Processing, Livestock And Dairy Development.
“In specific terms, government will pay special attention to those crops that are unique to Plateau State in which we have competitive advantage like Apples, Coffee, Strawberries, Rose Flowers, Irish Potatoes, Acha, etc.
“The ASTC and the PADP will be revamped and repositioned to achieve their goals, while the Government will complete the purchase of BARC farms to serve as a vehicle for joint partnership with reputable commercial agricultural firms.
“Provision of critical inputs like seedlings and fertilizers will be a top priority, in addition to upgrading the Extension Advisory Services.
“Lamentably, the huge mineral resource endowments of our state have remained mere potentials without adding value to our people. In the next four years Government will adopt a new approach; given our newly promulgated Policy on Mineral Development.
“In preparation for this, the State Government has revived its Mineral Development Company (PMDC Ltd) and will adequately recapitalize it to serve as our vehicle for any joint partnership with serious minded investors.
“Similarly, the State Government has entered into partnership with PW Ltd to produce relevant geo-technical data and survey maps that would facilitate and fast track the investment in the mining sector
“In addition, we have set in motion machinery for working relationship between relevant State agencies and the Federal Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to ensure that mining activities in the State are effectively monitored and the interest of our people protected.
“In the tourism sector, the state Government recently declared a State of Emergency and also launched the state Tourism Policy. This implies paying special attention in terms of upgrading our tourist facilities and creating the conducive environment for both domestic and international tourism to grow.
“In appreciation of contributions of the private sector in partnering with us to drive the economy of the State, government will continue to place emphasis in creating more conducive and enabling environment for business to thrive.
“Government will ensure that the necessary incentives like easier access to land titles are implemented and the State One-Stop-Shop Initiative is completed so that all obstacles to doing business are removed.
“Plateau State is blessed with huge human capital. Our bulging youth population is a very special asset that will be aggressively harnessed especially in areas of entrepreneurship and ICT so as to tackle unemployment. Government will maximally utilize the enormous potentials that abound with the creation of the Plateau ICT Development Agency (PICTDA).
“The PLASMIDA will be specially empowered to undertake entrepreneurship and skills training for youth and women across the State as a deliberate strategy for boosting self-reliance. A special Enterprise Fund of N2billion Naira in partnership between PLASMIDA and the Bank of Industry will soon take off to provide loans and capacity building for Entrepreneurs across the State.”