Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State has received reports from the Committee on a Four-Year Strategic Development Blueprint for Plateau State and the Plateau State Transition Committee. The reports, presented by Prof. Ganyir Lombin, provided insights into the state’s debt burden and the challenges faced by the previous administration. The debt inherited by the current administration amounts to a staggering N307 billion.
During the presentation at the New Government House in Little Rayfield, Jos, Governor Mutfwang assured everyone that the reports would not be neglected. He emphasized the importance of studying them thoroughly, conducting further investigations, and taking appropriate actions. The Governor expressed concern over the unexpected debt burden, which was initially believed to be around N200 billion. However, he remained optimistic about overcoming the challenges, particularly the issue of security, with the deployment of new security personnel and the appointment of a Special Adviser on Security.
Governor Mutfwang reiterated his commitment to fulfilling his constitutional mandate of safeguarding the lives and property of the people of Plateau State. He emphasized the need to restore Plateau State’s legacy as a Home of Peace and Tourism within a short period.
Prof. Ganyir Lombin, who headed the two committees, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve the state but highlighted operational challenges that prevented a joint presentation. He lamented that the outgoing administration of Barr. Simon Lalong did not provide the committee with the opportunity to contribute to the handover documents submitted before May 29, 2023.
Prof. Lombin pointed out that the handover notes presented by the outgoing administration on May 29, 2023, lacked necessary details and did not follow the agreed template developed by the Joint Committee. The revenue accrued to the Plateau State Government from May 2015 to May 2023 was stated as N872 billion, while the total expenditure was provided only up to December 2022, amounting to N810 billion. The absence of expenditure figures from January to May 2023 raised concerns and called for further scrutiny.
The committee highlighted other pressing issues, including a backlog of four months’ unpaid salaries to public servants, totaling over N11 billion, and outstanding gratuity and pension arrears amounting to N24 billion. The Legacy Projects of the state were entangled in controversies and unresolved legal cases, hampering their implementation. Additionally, 3,692 government assets and properties, including cars and houses, were sold at significantly low prices, both within and outside the state, requiring further investigation and appropriate action.
Prof. Lombin acknowledged the significant challenges inherited by Governor Caleb Mutfwang, including a near-bankrupt state, weak institutions, low public morale, and a high level of insecurity. Despite these obstacles, he commended the Governor’s determination to succeed in pursuing the collective interests of the people of Plateau State.
The reports presented valuable insights into the state’s financial situation and will serve as a foundation for the Mutfwang administration’s efforts to address the challenges ahead. The Governor’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and resolving the inherited issues is crucial for restoring the state’s stability and fostering development.