The administration came with the mindset to revamp the state’s economy, promote the spirit of entrepreneurship and resuscitate industrialization. The goal of the administration is to create wealth, improve living standards and reduce poverty. To achieve this goal, it has rolled out a robust economic blueprint aimed at enhancing growth and creating job opportunities for our teeming unemployed citizens. The administration has taken a hard look at the economic growth of the state. The administration has thus come up with a viable diversification plan and therefore identified, agriculture, solid mineral, manufacturing and tourism as key sectors on which to center its focus.
The administration also considers the role of private sector as an engine of economic growth and has thus opened its doors wide towards partnering with core private investors in order to move the state’s economy forward. In pursuit of this policy thrust, the governor has embarked on investment tours to some countries where investors have indicated interest in investing in these sectors in which the state has comparative advantage. All these business and investment friendly efforts which are fast yielding positive results are geared towards turning the state into the viable investment and industrial zone it used to be. The areas where the Rt. Hon. Lalong Administration has intervened so far are as follows:
BARC Farms Ltd: The administration has repurchased the Brewery Agro Research Company (BARC Farms) towards investment, for industrialization of the state.
- Highland Bottling Company: The administration has signed a Joint Venture Partnership (JVP) agreement between Hummer Drinks Ltd and PIPC (67%: 33%) for the state.
- Jos International Breweries (JIB): Efforts at resuscitation of the abandoned Jos International Breweries (JIB) ltd are in top gear in view of its strategic importance to the economy of the state.
- The Jos Ultra-Modern Market: Arrangements for the reconstruction of the Ultra-Modern Jos Main Market. In this connection, the State Government has signed a N230m MOU with Roughton in collaboration with Cynergy Associates for the first phase of the contract which includes the redevelopment and enhancement of the market which was destroyed by fire accident in 2002.
- Plateau State Small and Medium Scale Industries Development Agency (PLASMIDA): Over the years, many SMEs have suffered down turns in their sales, and profits have taken a hit hence most of them have closed shop. The administration has established the Plateau State Small and Medium Scale Industries Development Agency (PLASMIDA) with the aim of scaling up the development of entrepreneurial spirit amongst the citizens of the state.
- Resuscitation of the PIPC: As the State Government’s flagship organization for coordinating investment outfit is working round the clock towards opening up more investment outlets in the state.
- Youth Empowerment: The national unemployment statistic released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in 2016 shows that over 25% of Nigerian youths are unemployed and about 35% of then under employed. This national statistics presents a grim reality of our situation even on the Plateau. The Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong administration has set out to address this key challenge through a well-articulated youth empowerment policy. The Tackling Poverty Scheme of the past administration has being reviewed to make the program all-encompassing and non-discriminatory. The administration has trained about 2889 youths in Entrepreneurship in March 2017 under the simon Lalong Empowerment Scheme (SLEMS) coordinated by the Plateau State Microfinance Development Agency (PLASMIDA).
- Skills Acquisition: The Simon Lalong empowerment Scheme (SLEMS) was launched to reduce poverty of the Plateau citizens. Specifically, on the 9th of March 2017, over 200 inputs were donated to the best three graduating participants across the various skills in all seventeen LGAs: the skill sets included: Fashion Design, Leather Works, Hair Dressing, Computer, and Catering Services. Participants include people living with disability, women and youths and the components of the training included Entrepreneurship, Financial Literacy and Skills Acquisition with several participants. Government of the state had also in collaboration with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) under the National Industrial Skills Development Program trained 500 trainees on various skills (Plumbing, Piping, welding, etc) after which start up packs were distributed to beneficiaries to set up their own ventures.
- Industrial Lay Outs: The administration has re initiated the idea of Industrial Lay Outs in 4 identified sites in the Greater Jos Master Plan.
- Industrial Zones: Government is undertaking a feasibility study of areas that would be designated as industrial zones specializing in exploitation and production of agro and mineral based products in which they have comparative advantages.
- Tax Reforms and IGR: the administration has come up with an investment friendly tax regime in order to reduce the cost of doing business and attract investors to the state. In addition to this, the administration came up with a mind set to ensure financial sustainability and maximizing the internally generated revenue. The Board of Internal Revenue has therefore been repositioned towards netting in internal revenue of about N1.7 billion monthly from the previous target of N500m.
Land Reforms/PLAGIS: The state Ministry of Lands, Survey and Town Planning has made some major innovations in land administration and management including the establishment of the PLAGIS (Plateau Geographic Information System). The establishment of the PLAGIS is a revolution from paper based records and manual record keeping which are susceptible to forgery and manipulation. This technology based platform which is a product of Rt. Hon. Lalong administrations land reform effort is a full proof and water tight turnkey computerization of the cadastral and land information system with state of the earth technology.
50% Land Use Promotion Waiver: The Governor has approved 50% promotional waiver for acquiring land titles in the state. The reduction in the cost of acquiring Certificate of Occupancy is a deliberate policy aimed at giving incentives to investors to invest in the state.
55,000 Certificates of Occupancy: the Governor on the 29th May 2016 had issued 55,000 certificates of occupancy to land owners who had not received theirs for over 10 years.