Governor David Jonah Jang has addressed the press regarding key issues of his administration during a press conference convened at the Government House in Rayfield on Friday 26th September. Excerpts:
While answering questions on education the Retired Commodore addressed the issue of renovation of primary schools. He noted that primary school renovation was collaborative as it involved the federal and the state governments with each paying a counterpart fund.
Jang did not forget to talk about plans to establish special science secondary schools spread evenly across the three political zones that include the north, central and southern zones. In the northern zone, Science School Kuru where the Governor was educated will be the Special Science School for the Zone, while Government Secondary School Mangu will be the school for the Central Zone and Government Girls School Shendam will be the school.for the Southern Zone. He also mentioned the intention of the government to restore the status of Government Science and Technical College Bukuru to effectively perform its function of teaching technical education.
Jang explained that as part of its service to the community, Oceanic Bank plc has taken the responsibility of renovating one of the four schools. In the same vein the Zenith Bank has agreed to carry out the renovation of the remaining three schools. This gesture according to the governor will enable his administration to save money that can be used to renovate the other schools.
Jang also talked about his government’s plan to build a permanent orientation camp for the National Youth Service Corps in Mangu to end the disruption of academic activities in schools were the corps members are camped as it has been in the past.
Each of the seventeen local government areas in Plateau State is to have a sixty-bed hospital according to Jang. The aim, no doubt, is to address the rickety health care service, a general problem in the country.
Jang also spoke of plans by his administration to establish a truly specialist hospital in the state. The hospital will be equipped with all the necessary equipments to enable it meet up with the challenge. It will be located near the airport at Heipang in Barkin Ladi Local Government. The purpose is to make the services of the hospital available to people from other parts of the country that will inevitably require the services of the hospital. Jang explained that the government of Solomon Lar started the project at the same location but the project could not go beyond the foundation level.
Following the near completion of the permanent site of the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), it is hoped that the operations of the hospital will move to the permanent site leaving behind the old site. The school of nursing will use part of the facility for its laboratory demonstrations. The remaining parts of the structure will be converted to Jos North Cottage Hospital. In addition to the sixty bed hospitals Jos-north and Jos-south need cottage hospitals in view of the large population of people resident in those local governments.
Jang expressed his displeasure over the activities of commercial motorbikes. This according to him stems from the fact that people riding on okadas commit most criminal activities in Jos. Jang aware of the sensitivity of this angle of his plans for the state was cautious on the issue but said a clear decision on the plight of the okadas will depend on how events unfold in the transport sector as time goes on.
Jang stated that he is not against people using private vehicles for commercial transportation (kabu-kabu) after closing from work in the evening but that such vehicles must be properly registered with the Vehicles Inspection Officers, demonstrating that they will be used for such purposes. Jang stressed that Vehicle Inspection Officers who fail to live up to the agenda of the authorities in the transportation portfolio will be shown the way out.
A new master plan for the development of the Jos-Bukuru metropolis will be out in a few months time. This according to the Governor does not imply that the old master plan is headed for the trashcan. The new plan according to him will address only newly developing areas. He stressed that structures illegally constructed i.e. those not authorized by the Jos Metropolitan Development Board; the chief enforcer of any master plan for the state, will give way
The government is also experimenting on the feasibility or otherwise of having solar-powered streetlights. He said that if the solar means of energy turns out to be favourable, it would enable his administration to embark on installation of traffic lights at key junctions in the streets of Jos.
The urban development efforts of his administration will also involve naming and renaming of streets in addition to fresh house numbering for proper identification of street addresses.
According to Jang since the restriction of the hours for the sale and consumption of liquor, there have been improvements in the security status of the state. He said that allowing the sale of alcohol to go on unrestricted nurtures crime since the perpetrators hang in the liquor houses till the critical hours they find convenient for their criminal operations. Jang said that this does not however imply that people cannot operate nightclubs in the state but that people wishing to operate nightclubs must apply to be given licenses such that nightclubs will be recognized and given security men to hang around them during operational hours.
Jang also addressed the plight of the Nigerian Standard Newspapers that used to be the mouthpiece of the northern region of the country. He explained that his past experiences as a governor, albeit military, in the old Gongola and Benue States taught him that publishing is an industry that is better managed by the private organizations and as such his government is working on a possibility partnership with the private sector in the running of the Nigerian Standard to avoid the collapse of the organization as a result subsequent governments that may not be interested in financing it.
Commission of Enquiry
The Governor explained that the set up of a Commission Of Enquiry was not aimed at witch-hunting anybody. He noted that the commission is rather an avenue for concerned persons to come up and clear their names. He further explained that such commissions often come with new administrations and his cannot be different. Jang warned members of his administration to note that a similar commission will come after his administration and whoever threads wrongly would have himself to blame. He called on members of the public who are suspicious of any member of his cabinet to come up with the allegation and evidence supporting such allegation.