Monday 14 June 2021



  1. My dear citizens of Plateau State, it is with joy and gratitude to God that I address you on this special occasion, which is the 2021 Democracy Day commemoration to mark 22 years since Nigeria returned to democratic rule. This day calls for thanksgiving to God for His guidance and protection during these years of uninterrupted civil rule.
  2. Coming about a week since marking the 6 years of this administration in office, the day therefore gives us the opportunity for sober reflection and assessment of our democratic journey. While we relish in the successes that we have achieved so far, we need to also look at the challenges we face in the journey towards nation building.
  3. You are all aware of the successful elections that returned us into office in 2019 under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) when you unanimously renewed our mandate based on the scorecard of our achievements in the first term. I shall also use this commemoration to highlight some of our achievements in the first two years of our final term in office and also share the aspirations going forward.
  4. Fellow citizens, shortly after re-electing us into office in 2019, we recast the vision of the APC-led Rescue Administration from a 5-pillar mandate to a three-pillar mandate. Our concentration since then has been on Peace, Security and Good Governance; Infrastructural Development; and Sustainable Economic Rebirth.
  5. To fine-tune our implementation plan, we engaged the famous Boston Consulting Group to develop a Strategic Development Plan to guide the programmes and projects of the Government. The report submitted reaffirmed the need for us to focus on key areas of comparative advantage such as Agriculture, Tourism and Mining among others for rapid development of the State. Let me therefore highlight some of our efforts in the last two years.


  1. Peace and security has remained the key priority of the Rescue Administration for the simple fact that it is the baseline for attaining development in any society. Upon assuming office, we inherited a State that was fractured by litany of crises that led to the loss of lives and properties. To bring this to an end, we adopted a new approach including creating the Plateau Peace Building Agency to foster dialogue; forgiveness; the dismantling of barriers to peaceful coexistence; as well as swift and decisive response to crimes and criminals.
  2. In the past two years, we have taken several measures to consolidate on the substantial peace and security that have returned to the State. Apart from strengthening the Plateau Peace Building Agency, we inaugurated the Plateau State Inter-Religious Council, consisting of respected leaders of the two dominant faiths and respected traditional rulers to wade into any area of potential crises for prevention and reconciliation.
  3. In line with the yearnings of the people, we restored Chiefdoms and Districts that were erroneously scrapped by the previous administration, in order to restore people’s confidence through justice, equity and peaceful coexistence. To date, the Rescue Administration has restored 2 First Class; 6 Second class; and 10 Third Class Chieftancy Stools.
  4. We also adopted the Community Policing Initiative after a thorough engagement with key stakeholders who agreed with Government that grassroots approach to security is the best way to stop crimes and identify criminals. Consequently, we trained and deployed 529 Community Police Constables to the 17 Local Governments of the State.
  5. We also initiated the Security Surveillance System that is also grassroots-oriented and commissioned the first Surveillance Centre at Dutse Uku, Jos-Jarawa. Work is ongoing on the next one in Bauchi Road which we hope to complete and deploy sooner than later.
  6. To further strengthen the Operation Rainbow and support other security agencies, we purchased 50 security patrol vehicles and 200 security motorcycles to boost their capacity for effective response to crimes and distress calls. They will soon be commissioned and deployed. We also signed into law the Anti-Land Grabbing, Kidnapping and Cultism Bill which was passed by the State House of Assembly.
  7. This law takes care of criminals who want to use force, intimidation or clandestine means to take over lands that do not belong to them. It also prescribes stiff penalties including the death sentence for those who engage in kidnapping and other violent crimes and cultism in the State.
  8. The State also secured the approval of the President for the takeover of the Pandam Game Reserve as a National Park to be run by the National Park Service. This will also enhance the security and economic fortunes of the Reserve which has become a hideout for criminals. Let me emphasise that contrary to insinuations, this takeover is not a loss to Plateau State, but an attraction of investment in billions to develop and manage the Park for tourism and other economic activities.
  9. Despite our efforts, we have recorded sad developments of isolated killing of innocent citizens in various parts of the State. in the last two years, such cases were recorded in Kulben, Mangu LGA; Kwatas in Bokkos LGA; Foron in Barkin Ladi LGA; Kwall in Bassa LGA; and recently in Dong in Jos North and Kwi in Riyom LGA among others. Some of the perpetrators have been arrested while the manhunt for others is continuing. We shall not rest until they are brought to justice.


  1. Within the last two years, we have extended the frontiers of good governance in the State with more prudence in the management of the scarce resources. We have improved the Budgeting Process in line with best global practices and adopted the State Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme for Results. This has enhanced Citizenship Participation in the Budgeting Processes.
  2. The Project Monitoring and Result Delivery Office (PMRDO) was also established to track, monitor and evaluate the implementation of Government programmes and projects in line with timelines and set targets. So far it has performed well in ensuring that public resources deployed, achieve the outcomes envisaged and give value to the people.
  3. We also continued the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) to aggregate the inflow and outflow of public resources for easy management and accountability.

With the re-invigoration of the Efficiency Unit and the Liquidity Management Committee, we have also done a lot to ensure that wasteful spending is eliminated while all resources are channeled towards areas that will yield profit for the State. The efficiency unit has so far saved the State about 3 billion naira annually.

  1. At the State Executive Council, we have pooled the MDAs into Clusters for ease of administration, synergy and effective performance. This has resulted in greater peer review, aggregation of collective strengths, identification of weaknesses, timely service delivery and response to governance issues.
  2. Greater accountability and transparency is also being pursued in the civil service through the BVN to track those who are shortchanging Government. Already, about 532 names have been removed from Government payroll after an initial investigation, which revealed inconsistencies in their records. Some had falsified their age or tampered with their records. Others could not appear to answer queries on such records.

Further verification is being carried out by the high powered Committee under the leadership of former Head of Service, Nde John Gobak.

  1. All these efforts have given us recognition nationally and internationally as a Government that cherishes good governance. In 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics named Plateau State as the second least corrupt State in the country. We are not relenting in consolidating on this positive testimony.
  2. Through our Plateau State Information and Communication Technology Development Agency (PICTDA), we have also deployed Information and Communication Technology in all Government businesses which have helped us to improve efficiency, transparency, accountability and compliance to global standards. ICT has indeed become a major feature in e-governance, procurement, training, tracking, monitoring and evaluating Government programmes and projects.


  1. Right from our first tenure, the passion to build a solid economic base for Plateau State has remained very paramount. In the last two years, we have continued on the path to building a viable economy through various engagements with the private sector.
  2. In a bid to encourage the ease of doing business in Plateau State, we established the One Stop Investment Centre in Jos with the assistance of the GIZ to remove obstacles in the path of investors that are willing to bring their monies to the State. This has brought various agencies of Government under one roof and facilitated the inflow of new businesses to the State.
  3. To further boost the economy, we facilitated the introduction of a shuttle flight from Jos to Abuja to provide an alternative to businessmen, tourists and visitors who wish to easily connect to the State from the nation’s capital. The flight operated by Max Air has been very successful and continues to bring in more investors to the State.
  4. To further boost our economic fortunes, Government has continued to pay greater attention to revenue generation. This is more so when the resources accruing to the State have fallen sharply due to many factors including the Corona Virus Pandemic. This development puts us in a very precarious position, making it difficult to muster resources for development.
  5. Therefore, we took bold steps towards radically changing our revenue profile. We unbundled the then Revenue Board and signed into law the Plateau State Revenue (Consolidation) Bill 2020 leading to the creation of an Integrated Revenue Administration System. This led to the establishment of the Revenue Council as well as the inauguration of a new Board for the Plateau Internal Revenue Service.
  6. In addition, we have commenced partnership with Compliance Professionals PLC, a tax consulting firm which is assisting us to increase our revenue collection and block leakages.

Our target is that our revenues which have grown from about 600 million Naira when we came into office to an average of 1 billion currently, will rise to over 3 billion Naira monthly.

  1. In terms of empowering our citizens to create jobs and embrace entrepreneurship, the Plateau Small and Microfinance Development Agency (PLASMIDA) has so far in conjunction with the Industrial Training Fund and other partners trained more than 50 thousand youths in various skills and supported them to start businesses which are thriving today.
  2. We have equally built the capacity of our citizens to participate and benefit from various social investment programmes of the Federal Government. At the moment, over 60 thousand citizens of Plateau State will benefit from the 20 million dollars Covid-19 Action Economic Stimulus Program for Result (CARES) that will soon take off.


  1. In terms of physical infrastructure, we continued with our determination to complete many inherited and abandoned projects as well as those initiated by this administration. So far, we have intervened in 19 out of the 28 inherited road projects. We have also continued work on the 26 new roads awarded by our administration covering a distance of about 800 kilometres linking various towns and villages across the State.
  2. Some of the roads that have witnessed substantial work include the Mararaban Demshin– Shimankar Road and Demshin-Angwan Dadi–Kalong –Nyak, Angwan Rina–Shargang Road. Substantial portions of the first phase of the Longvel–Yelwa–Mato Junction–Taraba Border Road have been constructed while the Ajikamai road networks have been completed.
  3. Similarly, the construction of Dokan Tofa-Dokan Kasuwa-Ba’ap-Kurgwi with spur to Bwall and Dokan Kasuwa–Lardang–Kwa Road is ongoing. A substantial portion of the road from Kwalla to Kurgwi has been done.

The Rehabilitation of the Langtang–Garkawa– Yelwa Shendam–Longvel Road Project with spur to Laling has also gone far.

  1. Other road projects were captured in the “Operation Zero Potholes” initiative where over 20 internal roads within the Jos-Bukuru Metropolis were reconstructed or rehabilitated covering over 40 kilometres. The roads which were completed on schedule have been in use. Some of them were commissioned in the last two days.
  2. The street lighting project tagged “Operation Light up Plateau” has also been on-going. So far, we have covered a distance of 80 kilometres across the Jos-Bukuru Metropolis with integrated solar powered street lights that have illuminated the city. We intend to continue with other areas once we get more resources.
  3. In terms of water provision, we have intensified efforts to ensure that we give our people access to portable water.

Apart from signing into law the Plateau State Water Sector Bill which gave rise to four agencies for effective management, monitoring and utilization of the water sector, we have constructed and rehabilitated various water treatment facilities and also provided hundreds of hand pumps across the State.

  1. These include the Yelwa Water Treatment Plant; the rehabilitation of Langtang North Water Treatment Plant which was hitherto grounded but now able to supply water to Langtang North; Pankshin Water Treatment Plant; and ongoing construction of a new Treatment Plant and Water Reticulation in Riyom among several others.
  2. In order to ensure that the Judiciary is comfortable to carry out its duties, the High Court Complex in Jos is about 80 percent completed while the Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists has also been reconstructed to give the media in Plateau State a befitting place to practice.


  1. Education remains a key priority of our administration because we believe that it opens the doors to economic prosperity and productivity. That is why we have focused on providing infrastructure, manpower and training for all our educational institutions across the State.
  2. Within the last two years, we have established and constructed over 200 Primary and Junior Secondary Schools as well as rehabilitated many others. We also procured and distributed over six thousand chairs, tables and other furniture to various schools. School enrollment in public schools has increased while we embarked on strong enforcement of substandard private schools among the over 1,300 operating in the State.
  3. Work is ongoing on two new Technical Schools in Shendam (Southern Zone) and Pankshin (Central Zone) to further compliment the Technical School Bukuru in the Northern Zone all in a bid to boost our capacity for skill development and entrepreneurship in the State.

This quest for a paradigm shift to technical and vocational education is further boosted by Government’s investment at the Plateau State Polytechnic Barkin Ladi.

  1. The Government has paid greater attention in the development of other tertiary institutions in the State. For instance, many projects have been executed at the Plateau State University Bokkos by the State Government while the TetFund has been gracious to approve some projects that are either ongoing or completed. In addition, we have established three new faculties of Law, Environmental and Health Sciences which will soon take off.
  2. The College of Education Gindiri is also receiving significant attention with the repositioning of the institution to effectively carry out its mandate as a hub for training teachers in the State. Accreditation of most courses was achieved while a Combined Convocation for six sets spanning over 15 years was held.

Similarly, Diploma programmes which were earlier suspended at the College of Arts, Science, and Technology Kurgwi, were restored because of the improved infrastructure and manpower put in place.

  1. To further increase access to education in Plateau State, our combined efforts yielded positive results as the President and Commander in Chief, Muhammadu Buhari approved the establishment of Federal Polytechnic Nyak, Shendam LGA; Karl Kumm University Vom, owned by COCIN; and ANAN University Kwall, established by the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria. This is a great development for which we specially thank Mr. President, the National Assembly, the Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu and others who played active roles.


  1. The Legacy Projects are primarily focused on the health and education sectors across the 17 Local Government Areas.
  2. There are 20 projects made up of 8 Model Primary Schools, 6 Model Secondary Schools, and 6 Model Hospitals which have attained advanced stages of completion.

Government is determined to complete the construction of these world class primary and secondary schools as well as hospitals.

  1. However, owing to some disagreements between the Government and the contractor, there has been a temporary setback which we hope will be resolved soon. Let me however reassure the citizens of Plateau State that by the grace of God, the projects will be completed as the funds have been sourced from the capital market and are safely warehoused.


  1. The Rescue Administration has sustained its commitment to develop infrastructure in the health sector and provide quality health services to the citizens.
  2. We established and launched the Plateau State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (PLASCHEMA) which has since commenced enrolment of registered citizens to access affordable and qualitative healthcare.
  3. After being abandoned for about 13 years, the Riyom General Hospital was completed and equipped by this administration with additional scope as a Trauma Centre. It is already in use and will be commissioned soon. Similarly, General Hospital Mabudi in Langtang South Local Government abandoned at foundation level is almost completed with additional infrastructure such as the dental clinic and patience relations unit.
  4. Same goes for the General Hospital, Kwall, in Kanke Local Government which was equally abandoned at foundation level, but is nearing completion. All the hospitals will soon be equipped and put to use. We have equally built and equipped several Primary Healthcare Centers across the State.
  5. Following the upgrade of facilities in many tertiary health institutions, we recruited over 412 doctors and other health professionals to provide health services at the various facilities across the State. The efforts of our health professionals have enabled us tackle various diseases such as COVID-19 Pandemic and Cholera among others.

I pay special tribute to these selfless experts, some of whom have paid the supreme prize.

  1. Our health training institutions such as the School of Midwifery Vom and College of Health Technology Zawan have continued to be upgraded to produce the needed manpower for the health sector. They have performed well with Plateau State being rated one of the best in Basic Nursing Training. In fact, its students have consistently maintained 100 percent in Nursing Council Qualifying Examinations. HND programmes have also been approved and will commence soon.
  2. In managing COVID-19, the State was proactive in constituting a Task Force to drive the response to the pandemic.

We succeeded in establishing three testing centres; and creating isolation, quarantine and treatment centres. We also set up a Research Team to find solutions to the disease using local remedies. We have also conducted vaccination using the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines.

  1. So far, we have confirmed nine thousand and sixty-three (9,063) cases. Out of these, nine thousand and five (9,005) were treated and discharged. Sadly, we lost 57 persons to illnesses related to the pandemic. It is however heart-warming to note that because of our robust intervention and commitment, Plateau State has been adjudged the 3rd best in response to COVID-19 in Nigeria. Given that the disease is not over yet, I urge all citizens to continue observing all protocols towards overcoming the pandemic.
  2. At this point, I wish to pay special tribute to the late Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health Dr. Martin Polycarp Azzuwut who died recently in his sleep of conditions not related to COVID.

He was a key player in our fight against the pandemic and gave his best to save many lives. May his soul, and the souls of all departed rest in peace.


  1. Realising that agriculture is one of our areas of comparative advantage as a State, we have devoted significant attention to expanding the horizon of our farmers and providing them with farm inputs, quality seedlings, agro-chemicals and markets for their produce.
  2. In providing fertilizers to our farmers, the Bokkos Fertilizer Blending Plant which was revived and concessioned to Bajefta Group is up and running and providing the product to our farmers. Government has also consistently subsidized seedlings and other farm inputs to farmers.
  3. The BARC farm in Zallaki was re-acquired while the Agricultural Services and Training Centre Ltd. (ASTC) was re-invigorated. We have also gone far with plans to implement Ranching in Plateau State through our participation in the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP).

To this end, we established the Plateau State Livestock Transformation Programme and sent an Executive Bill to the House of Assembly, which when passed into law will end open grazing in Plateau State and promote better Livestock production and other economic value chains.

  1. About 400 extension workers were recruited and deployed to the 17 Local Government Areas. More than 3,000 rice farmers and 5,000 farmers were successfully assisted to enroll into the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme. In addition, Plateau State was declared as a Wheat and Barley Centre of Excellence after research by the Lake Chad Research Institute showed that 18 varieties of wheat can be cultivated in the State.
  2. Under the Potato Value Chain Programme being implemented in partnership with the African Development Bank, we have completed the Tissue Culture Laboratory in Mangu and several market stalls, storage and processing centres in Bokkos, Mangu, Barkin Ladi, and Bassa LGAs.

We have equally increased farmers’ capacity and yield, by providing quality seeds and teaching them modern production methods. Together with the private sector, Plateau State will soon resume the export of exotic flowers to the world.


  1. In recent times, the issue of autonomy for the Judiciary, Legislature and Local Government has been on the front burner in the country. For us in Plateau, we have gone far in the implementation of various aspects of autonomy for all tiers and arms of Government. Even before the negotiations and strikes, we have implemented full autonomy for Local Governments in Plateau State. They now fully handle their affairs including payment of staff salaries.
  2. The Judiciary and Legislature have also been enjoying some aspects of autonomy pending full implementation arising from recent negotiations with members of the Nigerian Governors Forum who have all signed to implement the Memorandum of Understanding.

Once the modalities are worked out, we shall complete the full implementation in Plateau State.

  1. As for Local Government Elections, the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) has rolled out the time table and guidelines for the conduct of elections later this year. I urge our citizens to be ready to participate in the exercise and also abide by the guidelines to ensure the process is free of violence or irregularities.
  2. On its part, Government will give PLASIEC and security agencies all the needed support to ensure that no one threatens the peace and unity of the State under the guise of Local Government Elections. Those who choose to resort to violence rather than approach the courts and legitimate structures to express their grievances before, during and after the elections will not be tolerated.
  3. My dear citizens, we are determined to ensure that we leave behind a legacy of hope, prosperity and peace for this generation and generations to come.

That is why we continue to solicit the cooperation of all citizens irrespective of any differences in the journey towards building a greater Plateau.

  1. At a time when we are contending with the Corona Virus pandemic, there is need for us to work together in forging ahead in order to overcome all the setbacks caused to both the people and the economy by the disease.
  2. Let me reiterate my call to all citizens to abide by the guidelines for preventing the disease and also take personal responsibility for their health, as experts have indicated that we may have to live with the virus for a while. Let us make ourselves available for the vaccine which is free and voluntary. My family and I as well as other Government officials have taken the vaccine without any negative impact.
  3. As we commemorate the 2021 Democracy Day which marks 22 years of the return to democratic governance, I wish to appeal to all citizens of Plateau State to put the interest of the peace and stability of our land above personal, religious and political sentiments.

We have to build a society that promotes freedom, justice, tolerance and reconciliation.

  1. We all have to bear in mind that we have a role to play in not only sustaining the democratic culture, but also standing up for good governance and politics that seeks to serve rather than be served. Those of us in one position of authority or the other must serve with the fear of God and accountability to the people we serve.
  2. Our nation is passing through a difficult moment, which we must not allow to diminish our hope and faith. We shall emerge stronger if we work together in overcoming poverty, insecurity, religious fanatism, ethnic bigotry, intolerance, lawlessness, political rascality and corruption which are major threats to our democracy and national cohesion.


  1. Finally, in the spirit of the 2021 Democracy Day and in thanksgiving to God for guiding us through the last six years, and in exercise of the powers conferred on me as Governor in Section 212 of the Constitution of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended), after due consultation with The State Advisory Council On Prerogative Of Mercy, I have granted various categories of pardon to seven (7) Prisoners for their good conduct.
  2. All these pardons are granted for reasons of good conduct, with effect from the different dates of sentences. The concerned persons are:
  3. NANFA GWANTUR (Death Sentence commuted to life imprisonment)
  4. TIMKUR LAVEN (Death Sentence commuted to life imprisonment)
  5. PONZING NANSHE (Death Sentence commuted to life imprisonment)
  6. DAUDA JOSHUA (Death Sentence commuted to life imprisonment)
  7. WASA ZACHARIAH (Death Sentence commuted to life imprisonment)
  8. DAVOU DALYOP MANCHA (Absolute Pardon), and
  9. CLETUS AUGUSTINE (Absolute Pardon).
  10. May God bless Plateau State and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  11. Thank you and God bless us all.

Rt. Hon. (Dr) Simon Bako Lalong, KSGG,

Executive Governor.

Saturday, 12th June 2021.

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