From Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau Governor Simon Lalong said he has issued a termination letter to revoke legacy projects worth N30 billion from a contractor handling such projects across the 17 Local Government Areas of the state.
Governor Lalong said the government has sourced funds to execute the 22 projects comprising of general hospitals and model secondary schools, one each in each of the 17 LGAs, but that the contractor is delaying the completion of the projects unnecessarily.
The governor disclosed this on Saturday evening during a media interaction with reporters at Government House, Rayfield, Jos.
He expressed optimism that his administration would complete all projects initiated by him before 2023.
‘The legacy projects were initially at N50 billion, but when we started we realised from the contractor that that was not the intention because it was an investor who said he was going to invest N50 billion in the projects and we will pay within 25 years,’ the Plateau governor said.
‘I jumped at that and I realised later that it was not going to work. I said I will not start projects in Plateau with the intention of completing them and then leave huge abandoned projects again. It will not make sense.
‘We went into rescoping the projects again from N50 billion to N30 billion. We said we may not have the funds to do it, but we went into the capital market and we got money and the money is there.
‘We told the contractor that now that the money is there, we must finish these projects within time because the money is there but we realised that the contractor is going too slow.
‘I decided that I cannot have money and leave these projects. We have reached a stage where we have issued him a notice of termination; by the time the process is over, you will see what will happen within the next three months,’ the governor explained.
Governor Lalong said he would do everything possible to ensure the sustainability of the projects, which he said would have a positive impact on the people of Plateau.
‘The legacy projects and its sustainability, this is not something that you can guarantee but you can only pray for it. I am not campaigning now because they have not opened time for campaigns.
‘When a political party and a governor have a vision, you would want to continue with the vision and the principles of that administration
‘But if we have another political party and a governor, there is no way I can guarantee the sustainability of the legacy projects. I have also seen in other places where some of my friends constructed big structures but when a new governor came, the structures were abandoned and [they] start new projects which they will not even finish and [then] another government will come. I see that as a complete waste.’