Plateau Governor, Lalong warns politicians against scaring away investors for Jos Main Market, lays foundation for two housing estates
By Anthony Maliki
Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong has warned politicians from using economic initiatives as a campaign weapon which has the danger of scaring away investors from putting their money in the state.
The Governor who was responding to recent controversies surrounding the planned rebuilding of the Jos Main Market which he described as unnecessary and a distraction orchestrated by politicians who want to score cheap political points.
The Governor Lalong made spoke while performing the foundation laying ceremony of two housing estates in Jos.
At the foundation laying and unveiling of the Palm Estate in Dwei, Du District of Jos South Local Government being developed by Odigbo Properties Ltd, Governor Lalong said the initiative was one of the benefits of restored peace and stability in Plateau State.
He commended the developer for choosing to come to Plateau State and provide housing for the citizens who are in need of houses due to the huge deficit in the sector.
He used the opportunity to speak on the issue of rebuilding the Jos Main market that has generated needless controversy and is being exploited for political reasons.
He said “Let me make it abundantly clear that the Jos Main Market will forever remain the property of the Plateau State Government managed by the Jos Main Market Authority while the 40 year lease is for individuals that will buy the shops and not Jaiz bank. I appeal to our people not to pay attention to the propaganda and political exaggerations being peddled that the market will be sold out to an Islamic bank.
Apart from the fact that all willing and able citizens will get the opportunity to buy the shops, Government will ensure that nobody is excluded or given undue advantage on account of faith, political affiliation or ethnicity. The market is going to be run as a business and nothing else. I plead with our citizens not to make utterances or take actions that will scare away investors from coming into the State particularly at the time when we are gradually rebuilding the economy. Even though we are at a political period, let us always separate politics from Governance as Plateau State is greater than our individual ambitions”.
Chairman of Odigbo Properties Ltd, Mr. Chikezie Tony said his company decided to embark on the project because of the peaceful atmosphere that has been engendered by Governor Simon Lalong as well as his business friendly policies on land administration and ease of doing business.
He said disclosed that the estate which will have about 300 houses of 3, 2, and 1 bedrooms which will be constructed with the highest quality and sold at affordable prices.
Commissioner for Housing, Hon. Brian Dadi said the project will bring a lot of development and create jobs that will employ many young persons from the immediate community and the entire State.
The Governor thereafter moved to Zanwra Nkienwhiea in Miango, Bassa Local Government for the foundation laying of the Workers Housing Estate carried out by the Nigerian Labour Congress and a private developer Drallop Services Ltd.
The Governor said the housing will assist civil servants to own their houses and live in comfortable environment that will increase their productivity and performance.
He said the Workers Housing Estate would not have been possible without the assurance of peace being restored to the area. He encouraged the people of the area to sustain the peace according to the peace accord that was signed recently.
NLC Chairman Comrade Eugene Manji said the Workers Housing Estate has been named after Governor Lalong for his commitment to the welfare of workers and the passion to improve the living standards of Workers and their families.
Representative of the NLC President Comrade Benjamin Anthony described the construction of the estate as one of the key projects by the NLC which has always been concerned about the well-being of their members particularly as it relates to home ownership.
Paramount ruler of Irigwe nation the Bra Ngwe Irigwe Rev. Ronku Akah thanked Governor Lalong for his untiring efforts in restoring peace to Bassa Local Government and the State as a whole which has attracted investors.
The Royal Father also appreciated the NLC for citing the estate in Irigwe land, a development that will provide job opportunities for the youths and also create market for the local people.