GOV. SIMON LALONG OF PLATEAU STATE ADDRESSES 2022 NBA NATIONAL CONFERENCE; SAYS ILLEGAL MINING DANGEROUS AS OIL BUNKERING

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GOV. SIMON LALONG OF PLATEAU STATE ADDRESSES 2022 NBA NATIONAL CONFERENCE; SAYS ILLEGAL MINING DANGEROUS AS OIL BUNKERING.

Sen. Abaribe, Gov. Lalong & Sen. Shettima

Plateau State Governor Simon Bako says urgent steps need to be taken to tackle illegal mining which has continued to cause economic and security challenges to the nation and most parts of the North just as oil bunkering is doing to the country.

Lalong who spoke during his intervention on Getting Nigeria’s Administration out of oil at the ongoing Annual National Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association holding in Lagos, said the losses resulting from illegal mining and carting away of precious solid minerals constitute a huge loss to Governments at all levels.

He however observed that due to the focus on crude oil, not much attention is devoted to the solid minerals theft thereby leaving illegal miners from within and outside the country to have a field day in ripping off the country and devastating local communities.

Lalong said that is why he has remained an advocate of the inclusion of solid minerals in both the exclusive and concurrent list in order to enable States properly assert control over mining activities which in many cases result into criminality and provide funding for bandits, terrorists and their collaborators.

Also speaking about the issue of enhancing security of lives and properties, Lalong said the issue of State police was germaine and crucial but needs to be guaranteed by factors including the capacity to train, deploy, monitor, and regularly pay the personnel in order to avoid a situation where people with arms are owed salaries and turn out to constitute another security problem.

On the issue of unity and progress of Nigeria, Lalong said there must be a deliberate effort to address the manipulation of religion and ethnicity which according to him have been exploited to the detriment of the diversity and variety they represent.

The Governor also disclosed that under his leadership, Plateau State has made progress is diversifying from dependence on oil proceeds with the empowering of citizens to engage in commercial agriculture, value addition, extention services and leveraging on crops of comparive advantage such as exotic fruits, potatoes, flowers among others which are unique to Plateau State.

He also said the Government has acquired the Inland Container Terminal and also received approval for the upgrade of the Yakubu Gowon Airport Heipang into an International Cargo Airport for export of agricultural and other commodities.

Lalong also disclosed that so much has been done to restore peace in Plateau State which has brought back tourism and investors as well as enhanced the creative industry and sports which are synonymous with Jos and contributing significantly to the economy.

He also spoke about the training of thousands of youths in various entrepreneurial skills which have made Plateau State a household name at the national MSME competition organised by the office of the Vice President among others.

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