Plateau state governor, Simon Lalong has said that public and private property worth N75 billion were lost to the recent EndSARS protests across the state.
The governor disclosed this on Friday in Jos at an interactive session with representatives of youths in the state, held at the Government House.
He said that “The level of destruction and carnage is unbelievable and unacceptable. We are still trying to carry out a comprehensive evaluation of the total cost of the damage. However, the preliminary report by a team of experts I constituted has estimated the losses to be put at about N75 billion for now.”
He also revealed that more than 32 public and private property were affected in the looting spree. He said the losses would impede development projects in the state, which he said had yet to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. The governor, however, urged the youths to be patient, as their challenges cannot be resolved overnight. “My dear youths, as a father and your governor, I feel your pain. My heart goes out to all our youth for the many challenges they face daily due to lack of opportunities for jobs and better conditions to achieve their dreams. This is a burden that has accumulated over time which our administration is working hard to address. You would agree with me that the enormity of the challenges we face cannot be resolved overnight or with a wave of the hand. It is a process which all of us must collectively work together to achieve,” he said.
Lalong noted that his administration was committed to youth empowerment and job creation, saying peace and security were critical to attract investors.
He said the Plateau Small And Medium Enterprises Agency (PLASMEDA), was established to facilitate the empowerment of youths with skills and knowledge.
“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,” he said.
According to him, 11,364 youths in Plateau have benefited from the social investment programmes of the Federal Government and appealed to the youth to put the interest of the state at heart.