Gov. Simon of Plateau has said that he will complete projects he initiated before leaving office in 2023.
A statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham, said that the governor made the pledge while inspecting ongoing “legacy projects” across the state.
“We want to complete the projects during our tenure to avoid the problem of abandoned projects.
“We decided to complete the projects we inherited, but you can’t be sure of what those coming behind us will do.
“They may not focus on it if we don’t complete it which will become waste while the people continue to suffer,” he said.
Lalong in company of his Deputy, Prof. Sonni Gwanle Tyoden, and other top government officials were at the Potato Tissue Culture Laboratory in Mangu Local Government which is almost completed.
The Potato Tissue Culture Laboratory is meant to produce quality variety of seedlings that are resistant to diseases that are currently ravaging the crop in the state.
The facility will also provide the platform for educating farmers in the state on various ways of value addition to the potatoes for preservation and export.
The governor expressed delight at the facility which he said was part of the grand design to usher in a new phase in potatoes farming in the state.
According to him, potato is a crop that the state has comparative advantage in, but has not been able to maximize its advantage.
“When I laid the foundation for this facility, I stated clearly that we have to take the production of potatoes beyond where it is today.
“We have to produce it all year round and add value to it for domestic consumption and export.
“The situation where farmers produce potatoes that is wasted or sold at giveaway prices does not help us because we lack capacity for value addition.
“This has to change as we must create more jobs for our youths and increase the earning capacity of farmers,” he said.
Lalong, who was also at the Panyam General Hospital Legacy Project, was told that the project was slowed down because of compensation issues.
He expressed sadness over the development and directed the Local Government Chairman and the Traditional Ruler of the area to ensure that such issues were resolved immediately.
Another legacy project visited by the governor was Government College, Pankshin, which was being transformed into its original status of a technical institution since it was initially a Craft School.
He was happy that the work has gone up to 60 percent and expressed hope that it would be inaugurated in the first quarter of 2020.
“We are determined to entrench technical education in our educational system in order to develop skills that are needed to empower our youths and turn them into entrepreneurs and job creators rather than job seekers.
“When we do that, we are sure of eliminating poverty and crime and enhancing peace,” Lalong said.