Plateau govt. releases N700m for SDGs counterpart funding

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Plateau Government approved and released the sum of N700 million as its counterpart funding for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) programmes.

Mr Dan Manjang, the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, disclosed this at the Government House,Jos, at the end of the weekly State Executive council, SEC meeting.

Manjang said that in spite of the state’s dwindling resources and expenses in combating Coronavirus (COVID-19), the State Government was still determined to improve the well being of the people of the state by ensuring it benefitted from all SDG programmes .

He said that the state government had also paid N1 billion out of the N1.5 billion needed to re-acquire the Breweries Agro Research Company (BARC) farms it had promised the people, saying the total payment to reacquire the farm including tax was N1.7 billion.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that BARC, a subsidiary of the state owned Jos International Breweries was more than 20 years ago sold to a private farmer, to the disappointment of the people.

“BARC farms is going to be engaged in such a way that civil and public servants, pensioners and host communities are going to be given land to cultivate pending when an investment is going to be sorted, instead of leaving it fallow or allowing people to cultivate it illegally,”he said.

The commissioner said the home grown security outfit of the state, Operation Rainbow had been able to harmonise the operations of community security groups in the state , to regulate their activities, saying the gesture would help in implementing community policing in the state.

He debunked allegations that Gov. Simon Lalong was stigmatising specific areas with high record of COVID-19, saying it was a ploy to instigate disunity in the state.

He said that Lalong had always preached against stigmatisation of the disease that it was not a death sentence.

Manjang said that the State would celebrate Democracy  Day on June 12, where the governor would inaugurate many projects across the state.

“The itinerary of the programme to celebrate the day would be forwarded to media houses.”

Also briefing newsmen, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Nimkong Lar, said the the State currently had 108 confirmed cases of COVID- 19 including five health workers, out of the 1,638 samples it tested.

The commissioner said it had discharged 71 patients and had recorded two deaths, but currently had 34 patients receiving treatment at its four isolation centres, while 98 persons were in its quarantine centers.

NAN reports that SEC also approved the bill for a law to amend the provision of the Plateau Department of Debt Management law office 2007, saying the gesture would enable it to access more funds for developmental projects.