Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau says he has recovered N2.7 billion looted through the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) by the past administration in the State.
Mr. Lalong made the disclosure at a session with Correspondents Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists as part of activities to mark his 53rd birthday in Jos on Thursday.
The governor said N4.7 billion was still outstanding in the same SUBEB and assured that he will make sure that the money was recovered completely.
He said his administration would do everything possible to recover all the funds looted from the state treasury by the previous administration.
“We have done a lot of investigations and a lot of arrests have been made, some past government officials have been invited by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to make some clarifications.
“As I speak, a former commissioner in the state is in the custody of the EFCC because of looted funds.
“Over N2 billion which was meant for Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs), was diverted in the past administration and the case has been reported to the EFCC.
“Because of this , the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has refused to give the state additional funds for SMEs; because the state is yet to account for N2 billion and this has caused a setback in empowering the youths,” he said.
Lalong assured the people of the state that his administration would complete all critical projects initiated by his predecessor Jonah Jang in spite of dwindling resources.
“These projects are for the benefit of the people of Plateau and not the previous administration and we will not abandon them.
“This is in line with the directive of Mr President that critical projects inherited must be completed”, he explained.
On his recent trip to China, the governor said it would soon bring fruitful benefits to the people of the state.
“Investors are already coming to invest in our tourism, solid minerals and agricultural sectors.
“We are really working on increasing the tourism potentials of the state; especially the Wild Life Park, the Pandam Wild life Park, the Wase Rock and others.
“Our state is one of the richest states in the country in terms of solid minerals and we are working on how to take advantage of the policies concerning revenue generation with respect to solid minerals,” he stated.
Lalong commended the people for the peace being enjoyed in the state, saying it wouldn’t have been possible if the people had not cooperated with government.
According to him, peace and security are number one on the state government’s Five Pillar Policy Thrust; adding without peace investors would not be able to visit our state.”
He also said he would continue to unite the different ethnic groups and to ensure that peace continues to reign in the state.