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Lalong urges lobbyists to steer clear of Government House

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Simon Bako Lalong

‘Plateau to benefit from $300 million Afri-Japan investment’
Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State has warned professional government lobbyists to steer clear of issues of the list of incoming commissioners as he is holding their list very close to his chest.

Lalong, who spoke during the swearing in of the new Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Danladi Abok Atu and the Chief of Staff (CoS), Noel Kuryil Dongjur, yesterday at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, Little Rayfield, Jos, stressed that he had independently compiled the list of the commissioners without succumbing to any internal or external pressure.

He said that even when that lobbying comes, the lobbyists would be greatly disappointed, as he had already compiled the list, which would not be altered.

“Whatever was missing in the first tenure, I am making my own choice and appointments unlike in the immediate past administration of mine where requests for appointments came from different directions. The list has been compiled already since. I am only taking my time to release the final list.

“Many people who are lobbying should save their breath. The list has already been compiled. I have already finished it. I am no longer a child. I did the appointment of the SSG and CoS single-handedly,” he said.

In another development, Lalong said that the state would benefit from the $300 million Afri-Japan investment fund to finance development projects, stressing that discussions to that effect were initiated during the recent Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Yakohoma, Japan.

He said that the projects to be financed with the drawdown on the Afri-Japan facility were specifically those that would have direct impact on the citizens, especially the rural dwellers.

Lalong, while dismissing insinuations that his attendance at the TICAD7 was a jamboree, said that his visit enabled him to hold talks with Mrs. Rose Oyedele of Afri-Japan.

He said that Oyedele outlined the mandate of the organisation in assisting countries and states to source funds to improve the livelihood of rural dwellers and assured him that Plateau State qualified for such funding.

The governor, therefore, asserted that his administration would swing into action immediately towards meeting all the requirements to facilitate the funding of the many critical projects initiated in all parts of the state.

He also disclosed that the funds, which are given under a three-year moratorium with repayment period of 15 years in the first instance, could eventually translate to a grant subject to satisfactory application and utilization.


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