Service delivery can take us out of recession, says Lalong
Nigerians must rise above the distraction of trading blames for the country’s present predicament and focus more on the urgent task of qualitative service delivery, according to Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong.
Speaking yesterday at a Policy Design Session (PDS) organised for the All Progressives Congress (APC) Secretaries to State Governments in Jos, at which he was represented by Deputy Governor, Professor Sonni Tyoden, he said that the nation would not have been in the present state of affairs if the last administration had spared a thought about the economy, adding that the excesses of that era and the implications for national development were enormous.
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 rewrite history, particularly by those who profited from the profligacy of the past.”
He said that 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 that 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 that 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,” he added.
The Country Director, Plan International, Abuja, Dr. Hussaini Abdu, said that all Nigerians must join hands together to reflate the dwindling economy, especially the state governments.
Abdu said 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.
“Same if you look at the economy in Osun, as close as it may be to Lagos, it may not necessarily be the same: So, what can we do, in terms of having the strong structural understanding of the different dynamics and expressions of the economies of our states.’’
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