February 4, 2023

Plateau debts to hit N250bn by 2023 says Ex-Reps member

A famous roundabout at Old Airport road in Jos, the Plateau State capital

JOS (29 April 2022): Nigeria’s Plateau State government under its present Governor, Simon Lalong has borrowed more than N200billion in seven years, a former member of the House of Reps, Timothy Golu has alleged.

“They are hugely indebted to the local banks,” said Golu in a zoom meeting with bloggers on 27 April.

Golu, a former parliamentary reporter represented Pankshin, Kanke, Kanam federal constituency in Plateau State at the House of Reps from 2015 to 2019. During his term, he served as the House Committee Chairman on Budget and Planning.

At the zoom meeting where he discussed his ambition to run for the Governorship seat of Plateau State in the 2023 General elections, the Ex-lawmaker said the State government under Mr. Simon Lalong would accumulate as high as N250billion debts by 2023.

“I believe by the time they leave office next year they would have accumulated not less than 250billion for the State in borrowing,” he said, adding the funds are largely mismanaged.

“I was thinking they will borrow these monies to finance the revitalization of these muribond industries. But that is not what we are seeing.

“Instead, the governor has become a jack of all trades. He has scattered uncomplicated projects everywhere. I don’t think any of them will be completed before he leaves office because of the huge debt profile of the State,” Golu said.

He also accused State officials of allocating mineral mining rights to themselves instead of the State.

“The agriculture, mineral and commercial sectors have the capacity to lift us out of poverty in Plateau State. If they are properly developed.

“The mineral sector has an international interest but government is not investing in it as a body. Instead, some individuals, government officials are investing in it not as a government but as individuals. They are obtaining [mining] licenses for themselves for personal gains,” said Golu.

His comments were sent to the Plateau State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Dan Manjang for response but he had yet to reply as of publishing time.