Simon Lalong, the governor of Plateau state Governor, has revealed that he has not received any salary since he assumed office on May 29, 2015.
Premium Times reports that Lalong made the disclosure on Sunday, September 6, during a media chat with journalists to mark his 100 days in office.
During the media parley, the governor noted that a difficult financial situation in the state was also the reason for the delay in making political appointments.
“Even those I have appointed so far have not been paid salaries. I myself have not received a single month salary as I speak with you; we want to settle civil servants salaries first,” he said.
Speaking about the insecurity, Lalong said that 150 additional mobile police officers were deployed to the state to curb communal attacks, particularly in Barkinladi and Riyom local government areas.
Aiming to recover public funds allegedly looted by his predecessor, Jonah Jang, Lalong said that he had handed the matter to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the investigation.
“Since the two weeks grace I gave them elapsed without any response, I have written to EFCC to take over from where we stop, but if they delay in the assignment, I will remind them again,” he noted.
The governor said that his administration had paid 5 out of the 7 months workers’ salaries arrears he inherited. He promised that the 6th month would be paid on Monday, September 7.
According to Lalong, Plateau will be in the next batch of states to receive the federal government bailout funds.
The governor took the opportunity to respond to the allegation that his administration had already borrowed money. He explained that he had taken a loan of N4.5 billion to settle workers’ salaries and settle the lingering crisis in the state.
Addressing journalists, Lalong stressed that his administration would welcome constructive criticism from the media, but would not tolerate journalists who report falsehood.
Meanwhile, Yakubu Taddy, the chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Plateau State Council, commended the initiative and called on to the governor to be media friendly so as to avoid unnecessary rumours about his administration.
Later on the same day, Lalong demoted nine individuals who were promoted permanent secretaries by Jonah Jang. He also retired seven permanent secretaries and appointed 12 new ones as part of activities lined up to mark his 100 days in office.