Saturday 17 July 2021


By: Valentine Adese (JP),

Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong has visited the widow and children of the former Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Mr. Barnabas Bala, to comfort them and register his deep regrets over the sad incident.

The Governor who visited the deceased’s residence in Abuja on Friday, according to a Plateau State Government’s press statement signed by Dr. Makut Simon Macham, Governor Lalong’s Director of Press, dated, 16th July, 2021, said the death of Late Barnabas Bala popularly known as Bantex is a personal loss to him and the people of Plateau State.

He said, “He is one person that I don’t know whether to call a Kaduna or Plateau son. He spent a lot of his time in Plateau and considered it home. Even as Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, he was always passionate about happenings in Plateau State and contributed to finding solutions to many of our challenges. The same way he also came to us to see that we also collaborated with Kaduna State whenever there are challenges. I have lost a brother but I will not query God on what He has done. Bala lived a good life and I received the news with great shock”.


The deceased’s son, Mr. Banta Bala thanked the Governor for his visit and the friendship he had with his father, saying he personally saw their close relationship and also knew how the Governor supported his late father and also showed true friendship even during this difficult time.

Special prayers were conducted for the family and the soul of the deceased.

Similarly, the Governor was at the residence of the Late Executive Director Legal of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Mohammed Mahmood in Abuja to condole with the family.

The Governor described the death of Mahmood as shocking and painful.

However, he said the deceased lived a life of compassion, hard work, sincerity and commitment. He prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.

The Plateau State Governor, earlier, on Wednesday 14th July 2021 signed 4 Bills passed by the Plateau State House of Assembly into Law at the New Government House, Little Rayfield Jos .

The Bills signed into Law include, the Plateau State Legislative Funds Management Law, Plateau State Judiciary Funds Management Law; Plateau State Property and Land Use Charge Law; and the Plateau Geographic Services Law.

While signing the Bills into Law, Governor Lalong said, the new Funds Management Law for the Judiciary and Legislature would guide the implementation of the recently granted autonomy for the two arms of Government particularly in terms of financial management.

According to Governor Lalong, “the Laws will guide the Judiciary and Legislature on the implementation of autonomy with regards to funds disbursement, approvals and expenditure in line with extant financial regulations.

“These laws will further strengthen the two institutions by ensuring that, funds are judiciously applied to the various needs of the Judiciary and Legislature. It will also assist the two arms to work within the framework of the MOU for the autonomy which was arrived at after thorough engagement between the three arms”.

On the new Property and Land Use Charge and the Plateau Geographic Information Services (PLAGIS) Laws, Governor Lalong said they are significant in improving land administration in the State, as well as, boosting revenue generation.

He said “as we sign the law on autonomy, there is greater demand for resources, which must be sourced locally. One of the things that will give us financial freedom as a State is for people to pay charges on their properties, which hitherto have not been collected. That way, we can get resources to develop the State and provide services. This Law will also enable us to enumerate all properties as well as name streets and number houses across the State”.

The Governor said the new laws are not meant to burden the citizens, but to enable each property owner contribute to the development of the State. He said the PLAGIS Law would make land administration more secure, flexible and reliable as well as ensure that all land data is captured, transformed and maintained in electronic format.

Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Barr Chrysanthus Ahmadu said, the 4 laws are crucial for the good governance and economic development of the State particularly as they border on revenue generation and land management.

He said with the new Property and Land Charge Law, all owners of developed landed properties whether with titles, building plan approvals or not, will be required to comply with all stipulated charges, while failure will attract sanctions, compliance will attract incentives

Ahmadu said the Law harmonizes the collection of all land charges including tenement rates that, Local Governments are empowered to enforce. This he said is captured in the new collection and sharing arrangement between the State and Local Governments, which was done in line with the provisions of the Constitution that empowers such arrangement. He assured that all tenement rates will be centrally collected and shared in line with the formula agreed upon.


He also said the issues of delay, missing files, corruption and other leakages will be blocked once the implementation of the new PLAGIS law commences.

The PLAGIS Law provides for a Director General, Company Secretary and other supporting staff, who will manage the agency.

The Governor thereafter presided over the State Revenue Council’s Meeting.

As Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his determination to transform the economy of the country through the entrenchment of rail transportation as a major means of moving people and goods.

Governor Lalong was speaking on behalf of his colleagues in Kano, during the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the third segment of Lagos Kano railway modernization project performed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to the Governor, the Kaduna-Kano segment of the railway line is crucial to the development of Nigeria and particularly the Northern Region, which has a lot of economic activities and a large population.

He said the vision of reconnecting all parts of the country by rail is a great legacy for the Buhari Administration, which must be supported by all Nigerians. He assured the President of the support of all Northern Governors in the process of constructing, managing and safeguarding the rail infrastructure within the region.

In another development, Governor Simon Bako Lalong has vowed to continue the overhaul of the State Civil Service in order to make it more efficient and responsive to the demands of current challenges.

Governor Lalong stated this, while swearing in some members of Statutory Boards and Commissions at the New Government House Rayfield Jos.

Among those sworn in are the Chairman and Members of the State Civil Service Commission, Disability Rights Commission, Plateau Independent Electoral Commission, and State House of Assembly Service Commission among others.

Lalong said, the State Civil Service remains the engine of governance which must be constantly upgraded to perform effectively. According to him, this has led to current audit to remove ghost workers and those who have tampered with their records to remain in office perpetually.

According to a statement signed by Dr. Makut, Governor Lalong said “as experienced technocrats, Plateau State will be relying on you to deploy the best of your skills, techniques, and experiences to track down ghost workers, and other fraudulent staff who have over the years tampered with their records to perpetually remain in service.

“This is the only way we can save cost and open up doors for the younger ones to be engaged in service and bring in fresh ideas about governance. Moreover, this is a generation that is driven by Information and Communication Technologies that are at the tip of the fingers of our children. Why then would someone continue to tamper with records to block the younger ones from having an opportunity to serve the State and the nation?”.

While admonishing the members of the Disability Rights Commission to be up and doing, the Governor said he would continue to fight for the rights of people living with disability and ensure their welfare is given priority.

On revenue generation, the Governor said the target is to raise the internally generated revenue of the State to over 3 billion naira monthly. He charged the Chairman of the PSIRS to drive the process and ensure that the new revenue vision comes to pass.

Lalong also harped on the issue of transparency and accountability by charging the Auditor General of the State; the Director General of Procurement; and the Member of the State House of Assembly Commission; to be up and doing particularly as they were coming into office when the State has already commenced implementing Full Autonomy for the Legislature and Judiciary.

He said there is greater need for transparency, accountability and due diligence across the three arms to ensure that, resources are used judiciously and for the benefit of the people.

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