Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has directed all the officials of the immediate past administration of Governor Jonah Jang who stole funds belonging to the state to return them immediately or face the wrath of the law.
The governor also advised the ex-government officials who are still in possession of over 100 official government vehicles bought by the Jang administration to return them to the new administration immediately or risk dire consequences.
Lalong gave the directives on Tuesday in Jos, while receiving the report of the Transition Committee set up by him to comprehensively look into the activities of the Jang administration, which opened a can of worms on the Jang administration.
The governor stressed that his administration was replicating what President Buhari was doing at the Federal Government level by making sure funds stolen from government coffers are returned.
“This administration will replicate what President Muhammadu Buhari is doing at the Federal level by making sure that all funds stolen from government coffers are returned.
“Our strong desire and determination is to provide the needed leadership and to give the people qualitative service that will outlive this administration.
“Those who are in possession of stolen funds meant for the state, as well as those in possession of over100 official government vehicles bought by the Jang administration should return them all, immediately,’’ he said.
The governor thanked the committee for a thorough and selfless service and promised to religiously implement the recommendations according to the law.
He said that with the report in place, government would immediately swing into action and the issue of non-constitution of the executive council would be addressed without delay.
The governor promised to make available to the people of the state the details of the committee findings so as to guard against misrepresentation of facts by mischief makers who will want to confuse the general public.
Earlier, Prof. Sonni Tyoden, the state Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Committee disclosed that the committee’s findings revealed that Jang left a debt of N222.3 billion for the Lalong administration.
Giving details of the committee’s mind-boggling discovery, Tyoden said that government records showed that between May 2007 and May 2015, the state under Jang received a total income of N525.35 billion.
“The sum of N747.65 billion was said to have been expended on Plateau citizens in the last eight years.
“The handover notes received from the previous government stated that the level of indebtedness of government was N103.9 billion as at May 2015, but our findings put the figure at N222.3 billion.
“Furthermore, what was left as credit in all the government accounts put together was N93 million,’’ he said.
According to him, the committee discovered gross inconsistencies in the records made available to it, as figures are either conflicting or not reliable.
The Deputy Governor specifically noted that the last government claimed to have spent N8.6 billion on the new government house, but their findings put the figure at N16.4 billion!
He said the committee discovered too many clear lapses, and recommended that a specialised technical and audit committee should be set up comprising members of the security agencies to further investigate revenue allocation and internally generated revenue of the state under the Jang administration.
The Deputy Governor said the committee also recommended the review of the many appointments and promotions made in the state civil service during the last days of the previous administration, as well as the trimming of the structure of government, given the lean resources at its disposal.
Tyoden said that the Transition Committee comprised 12 members of the central committee, 188 other members, who were broken into 27 sub-committees, each handling a particular aspect of government operations.