• Monday, July 22, 2024
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How Governor Mutfwang is leading Plateau to the path of development

How Governor Mutfwang is leading Plateau to the path of development

It is obvious that the people of Plateau State did not make a mistake voting Governor Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang, as their governor during the March 18, 2023 gubernatorial election.

Since he was sworn in last May 29, 2023, he has left no one in doubt as to his mission in the state. In fact, he has continued to confound those who did not believe in his abilities to take charge of his government.

But drawing from the promises he made during his campaigns, he has matched them with action, particularly when he repeatedly underscored that the payment of salary was never an achievement; but an obligation while re-echoing the Biblical injunction that “a labourer is worthy of his wages.”

The civil servants have never had it so good since he came on board.

To get workers satisfied and productive, Governor Mutfwang has shown clear commitment to cultivating a collaborative bond with all labour unions to fortify the civil service and ensure efficient service delivery to the people of Plateau.

At inauguration, Governor Mutfwang who met a demoralised civil service on strike with four months unpaid salaries amounting to over N11 billion, cleared it within his few months in office and has continued with payment of wages and gratuity of public servants.

Interestingly, Plateau is up-to-date in the payment of salaries and also has commenced payment of pension, gratuities and death benefits arrears from 1986 to date. He has ordered for upward review of monthly pension with effect from January, 2024.

During the campaigns for election, he stood on the fact that he will not sack any worker who was duly employed in line with the civil service rule, rather he would create room for more employment, particularly of young persons.

Despite being misconstrued for setting aside the employment made by the immediate past government, he stayed true to his words and went ahead to verify the process to ensure credibility and fairness. At the completion of the verification exercise, 3879 workers were found employable after strenuously auditing the list.

Governor Mutfwang has shown human face and determined to empower Plateau youths irrespective of faith, ethnic and political affiliation. He has injected new workers into the service for efficient service delivery to the development of Plateau.

These are interesting scenarios taken into account that government after another has come and gone without any of them taking the gauntlet to address the issue. Over the years, many pensioners have taken ill, while some have died as they waited for their pension and gratuities.

He has also implemented hazard allowances for medical doctors, nurses and health workers, coupled with his interventions for the accreditation of courses mainly in the state-owned tertiary institutions. No wonder, he has been a judged by the Nigeria Labour Congress as civil servant-friendly governor.

His harmonious working relationship with leaders of joint unions was cultivated in the interest of peace and development of Plateau. No wonder, he has taken time to meet with the unions’ leadership to explain the position of government regarding these critical areas.

Governor Mutfwang in an effort to motivate the civil service, has continued with the implementation of N30,000 minimum wage and an approval of N12,000 to each civil servant as palliative for fuel subsidy removal within a period of time.

Knowing that the state is noted for agricultural production, he has prepared well for the farmers generally. He has secured over 200 truck of fertilizer and it is subsidized for farmers in the state.

Knowing that many communities are being invaded by armed bandits, and it is difficult for farmers to access their farms, the governor hardly sleep to ensure that security is available to protect and to enable them go to farm.

Apart from the distribution of grains and other household items for indigent citizens in the state, Governor Mutfwang has procured 15 luxurious buses designated for strategic routes within the state to ease cost of transportation for citizens.

He has resuscitated the moribund rail transport system within Jos Bukuru Metropolis. All these is to boost the state’s economy and improve the standard of living of the people.

On improving infrastructure in the state, despite facing huge security challenges and legal disputes that initially hindered the smooth commencement of his administration, His Excellency Barr Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang, has remained steadfast in addressing the state’s challenges and delivering democratic dividends across all sectors of the economy.

In a state broadcast to mark his one year in office, Mutfwang emphasised the government’s dedication to transparent and accountable leadership, as his principles for driving tangible progress across various key sectors of the economy.

He highlighted significant advancements in infrastructure development, healthcare provision, educational reform, agricultural enhancement, and fight against insecurity among others during his administration’s first year in office.

These achievements according to him underscore the administration’s commitment to fostering holistic growth and development in Plateau State.

He explained that under his leadership, the state has witnessed notable improvements in infrastructure, with a focus on enhancing roads, bridges, and public facilities to facilitate smoother transportation and connectivity for residents.

The governor noted that the government’s investments in infrastructure projects have aimed to boost economic activities and improve the overall quality of life for Plateau State’s citizens.

“Our commitment to transparent and accountable leadership has paved the way for tangible progress in infrastructure development, healthcare provision, educational reform, agricultural enhancement, and power generation.

“We have thus, constructed and rehabilitated quite a number of road networks within Jos-Bukuru metropolis and beyond, transforming them into conduits of commerce, connectivity, and community cohesion.

“Notable among them are the Farin Gada-Gada Biyu-Polo Roundabout-Police Headquarters road, Gold and Base Roundabout-Rayfield, JUTH-Laminga-Tina Junction-Legislative Quarters; Plateau Hospital Roundabout-Hill Station Roundabout-Central Bank Road; Maternity-Moonshine Hotel-Chobe Junction; Liberty Boulevard- Maternity-Masallacin Juma’a-Zololo Junction; Ahmadu Bello Way- Kashim Ibrahim-West of Mines; Dadin Kowa Road Network; Yelwa Club Junction-Rahol Kanang-Du Junction and Sabon Barki Road among several others.

“In the same vein, work is ongoing on the 5.65km Utonkon-Nunku-Keana link road with the extension to the Akila Machunga road. The construction of the 9km span flyover bridge handled by PW Nig. Ltd will soon wear it asphalt coat thus bring to an end a tortuous wait of over 10 years.”

The governor added that in the realm of healthcare provision, the administration has taken steps to enhance healthcare services and facilities across the state. By prioritising the well-being of residents, initiatives have been implemented to improve access to quality healthcare, especially in rural and underserved areas.

In the area of educational reform Mutfwang said it has been another key area of focus for the government, with policies aimed at improving the quality of education and expanding access to learning opportunities for all residents, saying that, efforts to revamp the educational system are expected to have a lasting impact on the future of Plateau State by empowering its youth through education.

The agricultural sector has also seen significant strides under Governor Mutfwang’s leadership, with initiatives implemented to enhance productivity, boost farmers’ incomes, and promote sustainable agricultural practices. These efforts are geared towards ensuring food security and fostering economic growth in the state’s agricultural sector.

“The health sector under my watch has received a lot of attention. We have revitalized the previously dormant Plateau State Drugs and Medical Commodities Agency (PS-DMCMA). This central body is now responsible for the procurement, storage, distribution, and oversight of drugs and medical supplies in state-run hospitals and clinics, ensuring that essential medications are available, accessible, and affordable.

“At the Plateau State Specialist hospital, we have completed the construction of an abandoned Laboratory Complex and awarded a contract to equip the Laboratory with modern state-of –the arts equipment. We have also completed the construction of an abandoned Administrative Building and Emergency Paediatric Unit. These, among other giant strides, are in fulfilment of our promises to make Plateau state a medical tourism destination.”

Mutfwang added that “In the Civil Service, we are steadfast in our mission to revitalize the system to achieve exemplary service delivery. Through constructive dialogue with labor unions, we have successfully resolved prolonged strikes, setting the stage for enhanced productivity and progress. While the timely payment of salaries is a fundamental responsibility rather than an achievement, we reaffirm our commitment to the welfare of our workers. Efforts to address outstanding gratuities, death benefits, and pension backlogs dating back to 1986 commenced in December 2023. We pledge to continue these endeavors within the scope of our available resources.

“Our investment in the professional growth of our public servants through extensive training programs is a testament to our aspiration to cultivate a workforce that excels both nationally and internationally. In recognition of the invaluable contributions of our workers, we have implemented hazard allowances for healthcare professionals, adjusted salaries, facilitated promotions, and maintained transparent communication with union representatives across the state and at the Local Government level.

“Also, in anticipation of the adjustment in the national minimum wage, we proactively provided a monthly fuel subsidy of N12,000 to each state employee from September 2023 to March 2024. Additionally, we have conducted an upward review of repatriation allowances, burial expenses, pensions, and have implemented promotions, all aimed at motivating and appreciating our dedicated workforce,” he said.

In an interview with Gyang Bere, director of Press and Public Affairs Plateau State Government, said: “Mutfwang has remained the people’s hero by setting up construction sites all over the state. Having met most roads in some parts of the metropolis in a total state of disrepair, he initiated action to take those roads head on by fixing them almost at the same time. By that singular action, his name would for long remain on the lips of the people of the state who have always identified with the government that works for them.”