CHAIRMAN NORTHERN GOVERNORS FORUM WOOS NIGERIANS IN THE DIASPORA, URGES THEM TO ASSIST BACK HOME
Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau State Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong wants Nigerians in the diaspora particularly those from Northern Nigeria to make available their wealth of experience, resources and connections towards supporting development initiatives in the region and the nation as a whole.
Governor Lalong who spoke while delivering a keynote address at the 2019 Annual Convention of the Zumunta Association (an umbrella body of Nigerians from 19
Northern States) in Minnesota, United States of America, said unless the sons and daughters of the region step in to assist in finding solutions to the region’s challenges, it will take a longer time to achieve results.
He said, the situation where youths constitute about 60 percent of Nigeria’s population with about 40 percent of them unemployed does not augur well for the nation’s
security and development as most of them are easy targets for criminals who take advantage of them for crimes and social instability.
Lalong said “since most of them are unemployed, such talents and energy are either wasted or being channeled into negative and unproductive engagements with significant unpalatable consequences for the country. This is more pronounced in the North where security crises occasioned by Boko Haram terrorists, kidnappings, cattle rustling, banditry and herdsmen/farmers clashes have come to dominate our lives”.
The Northern Governor’s Forum he said has resolved to synergize and pursue policies and strategies
that will tackle the challenges of insecurity faced by the region and promote peaceful coexistence.
He however assured them that the Buhari-led APC Government and the various administrations in the North have put in place various programmes such as N-POWER, AGSMEIS, GEEP, among others to engage the youths through entrepreneurial activities and job opportunities.
Making specific reference to Plateau State, Governor Lalong told the Zumunta Convention that his Rescue Administration has worked with all stakeholders to restore peace and the next priority is to industrialize the state and create wealth.
He explained that his administration has been able to train and empower thousands of youths with the support of GIZ, ITF, and the Plateau State Small and Medium Enterprises
Development Agency (PLASMIDA) in order to make them self-reliant.
He cited the revival of the moribund Bokkos Fertilizer Blending Plant which is producing at 100 percent capacity; The Highland Bottling Company in Barkin Ladi Local Government; and the efforts to redevelop the Jos Main Market and the Jos International Breweries as some of the initiatives by his administration to put the economy of the state back on solid footing.
While urging the diasporans not to lose faith in their country, Governor Lalong said “we admit that Nigeria is still facing significant development challenges and many of our citizens are going through difficult times. Nonetheless, we remain hopeful and optimistic that the country’s future remains very bright and will be
He urged them to continue to be worthy ambassadors of Nigeria and push the interests of the Northern region while supporting humanitarian initiatives in education,
health, social welfare and agriculture as well as taking advantage of the
recently established Diaspora Commission.
Macham, Makut Simon Ph.D., ANIPR
Director of Press Affairs to the Executive Governor of Plateau State
12th August 2019.
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