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Plateau’s Former Governor Lalong Left Behind N307 Billion Debt for Successor, Says Report

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JOS, Nigeria – A recent report has exposed that the previous administration in Plateau State, led by former Governor Simon Lalong, left a debt burden of N307 billion for his successor, significantly more than the earlier estimation of N200 billion.

The report also divulged that there were no records of expenditure for the state from January to May 2023.

These revelations came to light on Monday,  July 10, 2023, during a presentation by the Committee on a Four-Year Strategic Development Blueprint for Plateau State and the Plateau State Transition Committee, both led by Professor Ganyir Lombin.

The findings were presented to the incumbent Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, at the Government House in Jos.

Professor Lombin informed that the past administration did not offer the Committee an opportunity to provide inputs into the handover documents submitted before May 29, 2023.

According to Lombin, the documents lacked necessary details and did not adhere to the agreed template developed by the Joint Committee.

Lombin stated, “The handover notes revealed that the revenue accrued to the Plateau State Government from May 2015 to May 2023 was N872 billion. However, the total expenditure was only recorded up until December 2022, with no details for January to May 2023, amounting to N810 billion. Was there no expenditure for the first five months of 2023, or was this deliberate misinformation?”

The committee highlighted the government’s inheritance of four months of unpaid public servant salaries totaling over N11 billion and pension arrears of N24 billion.

Additionally, there are unresolved controversies surrounding legacy projects, with N12 billion still in the custody of the Trustees.

The governor inherited a near-bankrupt state, plagued by weak institutions, low public morale, high insecurity, and high citizen expectations.

Despite the situation, Lombin stated that the task ahead of Governor Mutfwang is “enormous but not insurmountable,” expressing confidence in the Governor’s determination to serve the Plateau people.

Governor Mutfwang, upon receiving the report, affirmed his commitment to prudently utilize the findings and initiate necessary further investigations.

Despite the intimidating debt burden, he maintained optimism, especially on security issues, hoping that the new security personnel and the Special Adviser on Security will make a difference soon.

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