Plateau State set to revamp education sector

Timothy Choji, Abuja

Plateau State Governor, Mr Simon Lalong says his administration is taking the necessary steps to revamp the education sector of the state.

Governor Lalong said within his first year in office, the state’s rating in the education sector had since improved.

He disclosed this after paying a courtesy call on Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Governor Lalong stated that the primary and tertiary levels of education were not left out in the reform, as he promised to lift the state higher on the national scale in all sectors.

“If you value education as a leader, the first thing you do is to transfer the advantage of such to the younger ones. When I came into office, I had a back log of teachers’ salaries for eleven months so Plateau state was lagging behind in the Senior Secondary School Certificate of Education . We were between the 33rd and 34th positions because teachers were not paid salaries. When I came in, what we did was to clear the arrears, after which they resumed. I also overhauled the State Universal Basic education Board and also renovated the structures in our schools and put some new ones in place. Now we are on the 22nd position and very soon we will move higher on the scale,” he explained.

Commission of Inquiry
The Governor used the opportunity to clear the air on the Commission of Inquiry that he recently set up to look into the activities of the immediate past Governor of the state, Mr Jonah Jang.

“We had to do something and make some clarifications about what we saw on the Plateau. For instance, when I mentioned that we inherited a debt of N220 billion, the former Governor said no it was N18 billion. I also spoke about projects, he said no, I spoke about the salary arrears I inherited, he said no. But on assumption of office, what I did was to first of all concentrate on doing my best s that I don’t loose focus. Within one year, we were able to pay the salary arrears,” Lalong stated.

He noted that the aim of the Commission he set up, is to put the records straight, not to witch -hunt anyone as is being insinuated.

“I will need to put the records straight because someday I will leave and someone else will come. So I want to put the records straight and the Commission is not meant to witch-hunt anybody. What he thinks he left and what I saw, I have put them together, the Judicial Commission will make the clarifications,” the Governor said.

Cattle Ranches
On the issue of grazing reserve, the Governor said consultations have been made with stakeholders and the state was in support of cattle ranches.

“As far as Plateau state is concerned, we are not confused about this issue but I know the advantages of the ranching policy so I took time to embark on a sensitization, from the youth to the traditional rulers, religious leaders and members of the National Assembly from my state. They all accepted that we should adopt the ranching policy. So as far as Plateau state is concerned, we are into the cattle ranching policy, not grazing reserve,” he concluded.

Confidence O