Plateau to start rice export by 2017, says Gov Lalong

The Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong

The Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong

By Lawrence Olaoye

Plateau state governor, Simon Lalong, has said that his state would start exportation of rice by next year.

Lalong, who briefed newsmen after having a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, said his state is currently competing with Kebbi in rice production.

Asked his plans on the proposed food processing plant in the state, he said

“They are already there. The Chinese are already there. Right now some months ago you saw me in a rice farm and you will wonder. Plateau and Kebbi now competing for rice production and by next year we will start exporting rice from Plateau.”

Commenting on the security situation in his state, Lalong said”I think the attitude of leadership itself will encourage Change. You will recall that when I came into office, I inherited crisis, killings everyday and the moment I was sworn in after a month, we never heard of any Killing in Plateau. So, there was confidence restored and we encouraged people to interact, gave everybody a sense of belonging and there is now have peace in the state.

Those who are running away from Plateau as no go areas, in the past you have places where Christians don’t go and places where Muslims don’t go but right now in Jos they have forgotten there was something like that. So now it’s a free place for everybody.”

Asked what he had done to ensure that those who murdered a traditional ruler in the state recently are brought to book, the governor said “We just celebrated our one year of peace on the plateau and everybody was celebrating because we wanted to maintain the peaceful atmosphere.

When I travelled out for just two days and a prominent traditional ruler was brutally murdered and I rushed back and investigation is still ongoing. I am hopeful very soon we will unveil those behind the killing of the traditional ruler. I have not slept on it and those are the things I have briefed the President; we are very vigilant and pursuing those who are behind this.

Because after a year of peace, someone will come and start executing this kind of thing. It’s someone that does not wish not only Plateau but Nigeria well because if that happens, and crisis starts again, you will see a lot of spillover crisis in many parts of the country. But, thank God, we are able to control that and to avoid future occurrence we are protecting the state very well and ensure that the culprits will be soon be fished out.”