Public and private properties valued at N75 billion were lost to looters in Plateau State in the aftermath of the recent #EndSARS protest.
Governor Simon Lalong disclosed this on Friday during an interactive session with Plateau youths held at the Rayfield field Government House, Jos.
Lalong said the amount was arrived at by experts after a preliminary evaluation of the level of destruction and looting done to public and private properties in the state.
Read the Governor’s speech below…
“My dear youth, as a father and your Governor, I feel your pain. My heart goes out to all our youths for the many challenges they face daily due to lack of opportunities for jobs and better conditions to achieve their dreams.
However, it is always confusing when people demand justice by either violating laws or trampling on the rights of others. That can only breed chaos and anarchy leading to worse consequences than what they sought to address in the first place. He mentioned.
The Governor further explain that since coming into power, his administration has remained committed to pursuing the economic development of the State through youth empowerment and job creation. That is why we continue to prioritize peace and security which encourages private investors to create jobs and boost the economy.
We established PLASMIDA to be the driving force for empowering our youths with skills and knowledge that will enable them create jobs and be self-reliant. As at today, the agency has trained about 40,000 youths in different areas and supported over 15,000 Micro, Small and Medium business start-ups. Today, Plateau State is the face of MSMEs in Nigeria as we have consistently won awards since 2018.
We have also taken advantage of our strategic partnership with the ITF, GIZ and other development partners to create opportunities for our youths in agriculture, entrepreneurship and skills development. This is in addition to providing incentives for young people to go into farming which our state is known for.
“We have also done our best to ensure that our youths benefit from all social investment programmes of the Federal Government. Since the N-Power started, 11,364 youths have benefited from Plateau State. Over 2,000 beneficiaries are under the skill acquisition component of N-Power.
“Under the conditional cash transfer, out of the over 26,000 households receiving the bimonthly stipend of 10 thousand naira, 24,070 have youths as caregivers and alternate who receive the stipend on behalf of the households. In 90% of the households, there are youths who are beneficiaries.
“Those spreading fake and malicious news try to create the impression that I am not in support of the disbandment of SARS. That is far from the truth. My support goes even beyond ending SARS, to a deeper reform of the policing architecture in the country.
“Those who want to be objective can testify that I am the Governor at the forefront of the advocacy for police reforms that will lead towards the rapid implementation of community policing which I believe will better address our peculiar security challenges as a State and nation.
“What I have cautioned against is the blanket condemnation of the entire police due to the atrocities of few bad eggs. There are many among them that perform their duties diligently who must be encouraged. You can see the kind of lawlessness that we witnessed in the last few days because of demoralization of the police.
Secondly, I want to again reiterate that the Plateau State Government did not hoard any palliatives as some political interests are desperately trying to deceive the public. We shall continue to explain that we received the items from the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs just shortly before the #ENDSARS protests began. This delayed the process for distribution.
Before then, every palliative we acquired or had received was distributed transparently by the Committee led by the Deputy Governor to vulnerable individuals and groups within the 17 Local Government Areas. Do not be deceived by those who are consumed by desperation for power and can condescend so low to exploit people’s misfortune for political gains. We are a people-centred government that can never inflict pain on our citizens.