Outgone Plateau Gov ‘Inherited’ N104bn Debt — He ‘left More Than That’ for Successor

In 2015, Simon Bako Lalong, the immediate past governor of Plateau State, lamented the debt stock he inherited from his predecessor Senator David Jonah Jang.

Lalong said N104 billion debt was left by Jang’s administration. He said the erstwhile governor refused to accept the fact and subsequently resorted to hiring media consultants to do his image laundering.

Like his predecessor, Lalong also left an indebted state to his successor, Caleb Mutfwang.

Mutfwang said he inherited a debt burden of over N200 billion from Lalong.

He stated this after his inaugural speech on Monday, at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium in Jos, the capital of the state.

He lamented that the healthcare sector in the state is in need of urgent attention, while the educational system requires a comprehensive overhaul, adding the infrastructure and many other sectors require urgent redress.

“I understand clearly the enormity of the task before me and I have no illusions that it is going to be an easy ride. The state is presently under a huge debt burden of over N200bn, the health care sector is in need of urgent attention, our school system requires a comprehensive overhaul, our infrastructure is decayed and inadequate, and practically, every sector requires urgent redress,” he said.

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The Plateau Transparency and Accountability Initiative (PLATAI) had alleged that Lalong inflated the British-American Flyover Bridge with a spur of N18 billion per kilometre.

According to the group, the contract was earlier pegged at N9.9 billion loan but was later reviewed to N18 billion. The group said the debt skyrocketed to N200 billion without commensurate projects in the state.

Lalong emerged as the governor of Plateau State in 2015 under the flagship of All Progressives Congress (APC). He polled a total of 564, 913 votes, defeating his closet challenger, Sen. Gyang Pwajok of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 520, 627.

He also became the Chairman Northern Governors’ Forum and the recent one as the Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) as well as the party’s 2023 Senatorial flagbearer for Plateau South Senatorial seat.

He, however, lost the seat to Bali Ninkap Napoleon of PDP and also fail to secure a way for the success of his anointed governorship candidate, Nentawe Yilwada.

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