Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has said that he was committed to fulfilling the All Progressive Congress (APC) campaign promise of providing school meal for students and pupils in the country.
Lalong stated this while interacting with the Correspondent Chapel of Plateau Journalists, in Jos, on a breakfast dinner organised in his honour to mark his 53rd birthday.
Recall that the Federal Government, recently, signed a memorandum of understanding with NASCO Foods Limited, in Jos, for commercial production of high-nutrient density biscuits for the national school feeding programme.
Speaking on the readiness of Plateau on the project, the Deputy Governor, Mr. Sonni Gwanle Tyoden, whose office is to see to the success of the project, stated that talks were on with banks and stakeholders, saying that Plateau government was in constant touch with the office of the Vice-President, who is in-charge of the programme.
His words: “We have been interacting with the stakeholders, such as the banks that are anchoring the whole programme, as well as the office of the Vice-President. We have had the first meeting with them and the second meeting is due shortly. So, Plateau State is involve and by the time we are through with all arrangements we shall finally be informing the public on the exact time we shall be taking off”, he said.
Lalong said that the state government would do everything possible to invest on the next generation. “I believe that as a government we have made good provisions for its take-off. Also, one other angel that can sustain this project which is working in other jurisdictions is the involvement of donor agencies like the World Bank, African Union, United Nations, European Union, African Development Bank, Nigeria Import and Export Bank, etc. These can all come together and make their contributions into this laudable initiative, because this is an investment, not necessary for profit-making, but profit that will impact on and prepare the next generation”, Lalong said.
Lalong also assured the people of the state that his administration would complete all critical projects initiated by his predecessor, Mr. Jonah Jang, in spite of dwindling resources. “These projects are for the benefit of the people of Plateau and not the previous administration and we will not abandon them.
“This is in line with the directive of Mr. President that critical projects inherited must be completed”, he emphasised.
On the issue of corruption, Lalong stated that 2.7 billion looted through the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) by the past administration had been recovered and assured that an outstanding of N4.7 billion of the same SUBEB money would be recovered.
He also disclosed that a Commissioner in the Jang administration was already in the net of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) being quizzed for financial misconduct.