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THE SCANDAL ON THE SALE OF BARC FARMS: GOVERNOR TAPGUN, NOT LALONG, STILL OWES PLATEAU STATE EXPLANATIONS
 

 The Plateau Youth Collective, is a non-partisan group of young people who are unapologetic about the defence of the Plateau State and its image.



Our attention have been drawn to a write up by a faceless group called the  Concerned Plateau Indigene (sic) and being actively promoted and circulated by  Samson Omale, a radio presenter with Silverbird Rhythm FM, Jos. This write which has been  trending in the social media is titled Governor Lalong Fingered in Scandalous Sale of State owned BARC Farm” which it claims to be based on “checks”  by a correspondent. 

We do not hold brief for Governor Lalong because we believe that he has a massive machinery of Government at his disposal to defend himself if he so wishes. But we are bold to say that we will go to any length to defend anything positive about Plateau State and if Governor Lalong has done something positive, we will openly defend him without caring whose ox is gored.

We are not surprised that some jobless people, usually envious of others who are working tirelessly to uplift the quality of life of the ordinary Plateau citizens, will go to any length promote falsehoods just because their personal interests are not being met.

In their deep seated animus of hatred and jealousy, they concoct lies and fiction and package them under the garb of expose, thus deceiving the public, as part of the usual pull –him- down syndrome, which has become a culture among certain people in Plateau state even among some of the so-called elders that have spent most of their lives, contributing virtually nothing to the growth of Plateau state. Some of them have held all manner of positions at the very top in this country but they can’t point to any concrete legacy that they have left behind in Plateau State.

We see the hand of Esau in the voice of Jacob, meaning that Mr Omale and his fellow travel mates are only acting someone’s script, someone who we suspect may have actually superintended over the sale of BARC Farms by proxy, and is trying to change the narrative. We see this as the actions of someone who is envious that Governor Lalong is making waves and achieving so much especially in the area of peace and good governance, and revival of failed enterprises in the State, while people can only remember him as former this and former that- with nothing to show for his long sojourn in the various top offices he once occupied. What a pity!

Even children in secondary school in Plateau State will tell you that they know who was the big masquerade behind the sale of BARC Farms, and this is no secret because their parents would have told them nostalgic stories about how they used to buy chicken and pork from BARC Farms in the mid-eighties and early nineties at very affordable prices.

It is no secret that when late  Senator George Baba Hoomkwap, a bosom friend of ex-Governor Fidelis Tapgun was  appointed in 1992 as the Chairman of the Jos International  Breweries (JIB) little did the people of Plateau State realise that one of his mandates was to process the transfer of ownership of the BARC farm to Admiral Nyako, a close confidant of the former President Ibrahim Babaginda, by whose tacit support and approval, Sir Fidelis Tapgun became  the Governor of Plateau State in 1992, probably as way of expressing appreciation.

Records already in public domain, which we have equally sighted, revealed that when in 1993 JIB could no longer pay its debts to various banks led by First Bank plc, the sale of BARC farms came into focus and late George Hoomkwap and Dr John Brown, the MD of JIB handled the sale of the JIB’s interest in the Farms to Admiral Nyako and the record we have sighted indicate that Admiral Nyako, through Ilhama Enterprises bought 90% of BARC Farms Ltd. at a ridiculous fee of N17.9m.
The faceless writers of the publication lied that in 1993, Governor Lalong was a staff of PIPC, and that he and the former MD of PIPC, Mr Ezekiel Gomos initiated and concluded the sale of BARC farms.

We want the world to see the barefaced lies of this so-called Concerned Plateau Indigenes, because public records in PIPC have revealed that Governor Simon Lalong has never worked in PIPC for even one minute, talk less of being even a legal adviser.

It is therefore a BIG LIE was involved in the scandalous transaction as he was neither a staff of JIB nor a staff Plateau Investment and Property Company (PIPC). We understand that in 1993 Lalong was a young lawyer in private practice.
Even if Lalong was a staff of PIPC ( which we have confirmed he was not), BARC farms was sold by JIB, and not  PIPC !!

It baffles us that people would tell such white lies just to tarnish the Governor’s name, not knowing that other people can go and cross-check the staff list of PIPC as at 1993.
We also find it laughable to say that Mr Ezekiel  Gomos who was the Managing Director of PIPC at that time, will have the power  and authority to by-pass the Managing Director and Chairman of JIB and proceed to negotiate the sale of BARC Farms on behalf of its owners (ie JIB) when  PIPC at that time owned less than 40% of JIB.

Even if we believe for a moment, the stupidity of the claim of the so called Concerned Plateau Indigenes that Mr Ezekiel Gomos was very close to the Governor of the state at that time, ie Sir Fidelis Tapgun!, was it possible for him to hoodwinked the Governor and to perpetrate such a big sale to Admiral Nyako alone without the Governor’s knowledge and active endorsement?
Is it possible that this same Mr Gomos, the then MD of PIPC which had less than 40% ownership in JIB will hoodwink the MD of JIB, the Chairman of JIB, the entire Board of JIB, and the other 60% shareholders which at that time included Guinness Nigeria Ltd etc, and even by-pass the Governor of the State (Sir Fidelis Tapgun) and conduct the sale of BARC farms to NYAKO, singlehandedly, with only Barr Simon Lalong as his accomplice?


Haba, Plateau? Seriously? Was the Governor so dumb or was he jazzed?
Either way, we want him to explain to Plateau people what really happened?
Where the write up became more muddled is an preposterous claim that when Mr Gomos became SSG under Governor Joshua Dariye, a Committee was set up by Governor Dariye headed by a Special Adviser on Legal Matters to investigate the sale and the Report of the Committee never saw the light of the day. That when asked, Mr Gomos gave conflicting answers about the amount paid for the transaction and whereabouts of the money, clearly a huge piece of balderdash because the transaction was never between Admiral Nyako and Mr Gomos, but between Nyako and JIB represented by the late Senator Hoomkwap  and Dr John Brown. Why would Admiral Nyako pay money to Mr Gomos when Mr Gomos was not the representative of JIB in the sale and transaction??
Our investigations in the Cabinet Office Jos (which keeps record of all Committees set-up by the State Government) revealed that there has never been such a Committee during the tenure of Governor Dariye on the sale of BARC.

Even if there was such a Committee, (but there was none!) and even if the Report was suppressed because Mr Gomos was the SSG, why was the so-called Chairman of the Committee bold enough to publicize his own copy of the Report after the same Mr Gomos left office in 2003.
The writers also  made  another preposterous claim  that the proceeds of the sale was never paid to any Government coffers. It is obvious that these people are very ignorant or stupid!
Why would Admiral Nyako pay the money to the State Government, when he was transacting with JIB? BARC farms was never owned by the State Government so why would he pay the sale amount to them? He would have paid only to the JIB or its representative in the transaction
In their hurry to throw mud at Governor Lalong and Mr Gomos, the writers deliberately and conveniently forgot that BARC Farms was not setup by the Plateau State Government, but  was established and owned by JIB; so why would the proceeds of the sale be given to the state government  who was only a 40% shareholder?  

They further lied that Admiral Nyako admitted to investigators that he gave the money for the purchase of BARC farms to Mr. Gomos. Wao! I am not sure that anyone paying for an asset as big as BARC farms, even though the price was questionably undervalued would give the money to an individual. Was he given a personal receipt??  Well, well, this is incredible!!!
So who did Admiral Nyako sign the Sales Agreement with? Was it the same Mr Gomos?
I am sure Admiral Nyako who is  still alive today can speak for himself
Why would he sign the Agreement with someone else, if he paid the money to Mr Gomos?
We may not be an admirer of Admiral Nyako for what he did to further destroy the BARC Farms, but  we don’t think that he would have been as foolish as to do what the faceless writers said he did.
The authors of the write up obviously just want to throw filth around hoping it will catch and stick, but it clear and evident that the theme of the write up is sheer envy, bitterness and resentment of the tremendous strides Governor Lalong is doing in reviving the economy of Plateau state and the role Mr Gomos is playing to contribute his own quota in that direction.
The writers seem to be disappointed that where they have failed, Governor Lalong is succeeding and this is threatening their status and standing so any weapon they can use against him is game. What a shame! What a pity?


Emmanuel Sabo Esq
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Paris Club Refund: Plateau State Uses Fund To Settle Salary Overdraft
 

July 27, 2017

Simon Lalong, Plateau State Governor
The Plateau Government said on Thursday it
used the N5.6 billion received as the second
tranche of the Paris Club refund, to defray bank
overdrafts it took to clear workers salaries.

Mrs Tamwakat Weli, the Commissioner of
Finance, while briefing newsmen in Jos, said that
60.06 per cent of the sum, totalling N3.39 billion,
was for the state government, while 39.94 per
cent, totalling N2.25 billion went to the 17 Local
Governments.
The commissioner recalled that the state
government, in December 2016, borrowed N3.4
billion which it added to the first tranche of the
Paris Club refund, to offset the workers’ salaries.


“Since then, the government has relied on bank
overdraft to pay workers and pensioners.
“The monthly wage bill is N2.25 billion;
allocations from the federal purse and internally
generated revenue cannot cover this,
“But, the government is mindful of its obligation
to its workers and pensioners and is left with no
option than to rely on bank overdraft to ensure
that no one is owed,” she said.
The commissioner urged the people of Plateau to
support government’s efforts by paying their
taxes to boost Internally Generated Revenue

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FRESH CASES OF LASSA FEVER IN THE CENTRAL STATE OF PLATEAU 
 

Date: Jul 26 2017

Nigeria on Tuesday confirmed fresh cases of Lassa fever in the central state of Plateau, saying all hands will be on deck to deal with a possible resurgence of the disease in the country.

Four new cases of Lassa fever, a disease transmitted by rodents, have been confirmed in the state so far, said Kuden Deyin, the Plateau State commissioner for health.

Out of the four casualties, one death has been confirmed while three others are receiving treatment, the health official said.

Lassa fever is usually transmitted to humans when they are exposed to food or water contaminated by the saliva and excreta of infected rats. In some cases, Lassa fever has similar symptoms with malaria.

It is an acute and often fatal viral disease, occurring mainly in West Africa.

On July 8, three female students of a public middle school in the state had tested positive for the disease.

Deyin urged health workers to be on the alert in combating fresh cases of the hemorrhagic fever.

More than 80 people were killed by a Lassa fever outbreak early last year in Nigeria.

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PLATEAU TO GET N3.38BN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK LOAN FOR POTATO PRODUCTION


Date: Jul 27 2017 5:57PM


The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved a memo seeking an equivalent of N3.38bn African Development Bank loan for Platuea State to produce potatoes.
Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun told State House reporters after the FEC meeting that the state ought to contribute a N595 million counterpart fund.
The minister described the approval as an important economic development for the nation and the state, saying this would impact on 17 local government councils, especially on job creation.
She said: "My approval was on behalf of Plateau State to support the potato value chain. There is a loan that we had previously cancelled from ADB. So, it is not a new loan. We cancelled it and redirected the money to request on behalf of Plateau State Government to support the potato value chain.
"The rationale is that Plateau actually accounts for 95% of Nigeria's potato production and from Plateau, potatoes are actually exported to Ghana, Niger, Chad and other countries and despite that, there are huge profit losses because there is no enough storage and there is so much more we can do with Plateau's potatoes.
"So, ADB has come up with a comprehensive programme that will affect over 100,000 families. It is expected to create 60,000 jobs in a potato value chain, from processing, storage, replacement of current inputs and indeed, export. Now, the terms of the loan is 1% per annum interest rate and it has 25 years moratorium. Plateau State will provide counterpart funding and the balance will be borrowed.
"The amount of the loan is N3.38bn equivalent and Plateau State ought to contribute N595 million as their own counterpart funding. We have put a process in place to ensure adequate monitoring. This is really an important economic development for the nation and for Plateau State in particular.
"We have real advantage in potato production. We are really going to invest the money on roads. In some cases, the money will be used for roads to enable the products to come out. Sometimes, it is for storage. Sometimes, it is transportation. Sometimes, it is access to seedlings."
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