Failure of Lalong’s economic team responsible for Plateau backwardness – Group

A group, under the aegis of Concerned Citizens of Plateau State, has alleged that the state has remained backwards in the last eight years because of the inefficiency of Chief Ezekiel Gomos, Chairperson, the Economic Advisory Team in the Simon Lalong-led government.

The group further alleged that Gomos’ impact as an economic expert, which he claimed to be, has not been felt positively in the state.

The group, in a statement on Thursday jointly signed by their coordinator and co-coordinator, Mr Gofwen Amos Gofwen and Mr Nengak Musa Nathaniel, said the greatest disservice to Plateau State over the years and its people is the systemic way it has been reduced to the level that it can now be referred to as “civil service state.”

It would be recalled that Mr Lalong served as Plateau State governor between May 29, 2015, and May 29, 2023, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

However, Governor Caleb Mutfwang of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the March 18 governorship election conducted in the state by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and was sworn in on Monday, May 29.

The group, in the statement titled: “How Plateau Remains An Illusive Economic Hub under Ezekiel Gomos,” said they observed that Mr Gomos was the man in whose hands Plateau economy was entrusted.

They wondered that considering the abundant human and natural resources in the state, Plateau ought to have been an economic bedrock not only for itself, the northern region, but the entire nation as well as the African continent and the global community.

“Plateau arguably remains the only state in the nation with a superb combination of tourism potentials consisting of its weather, widespread rocks formation, unique landscape and scenery, waterfalls, dams, fertile land, and agricultural viability, tin mining activities, as well as talented individuals in terms of sports, entertainment, abundant literary and creative minds, young entrepreneurs, among others.

“Yet, the state has not made any meaningful progress over the years, and worse still is that it is now being classified as a civil service state.

“Why wouldn’t the state be referred to as such since its economy lies in shambles, and the government appears to be the major employer of labour?

“Nonetheless, the state has never been short of economic development plans, propagation of fantastic commercial ideas, rhetorics, speeches and other theoretical activities, but without commensurate implementation nor practice.

“The painful question begging for answers is that why should Plateau be so rich in human and natural resources, but yet so ‘poor’ and backward, as well as being ranked among states with high poverty indices?” they asked.

They said it was disheartening that with Gomos, who has held various strategic positions with economic development relevance and the establishment of state investment outfits, “one would have hoped that Gomos holds the magic key to Plateau economic prosperity.

“This is especially after he was appointed the Chairperson of Plateau State Government Economic Advisory Team.

“But the reality on ground is still far from the high expectations,” they said.

The group said contrary to Gomos’ claims of the state’s economy being revived, their investigation showed otherwise.

They therefore questioned the economic piety of Mr Gomos, who is also the lead consultant of Jos Business School.

“So, with all said and done, there should be more questions than answers over the poor state of Plateau economy and as well as more spotlight on the person in whose hands the state economy is entrusted.

“And until a far-reaching decision to overhaul the state economy is taken and its saboteurs brought to book, the clamour for the revival of the state economy can just be mirage,” they said