Professor Sunny Gwanle Tyodden is the Deputy Governor of Plateau State with a versatile profile as the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos. In This interview with our correspondent VICTOR DAZANG, he spoke about security, peace, education and what the government is doing to woo investors back to the state among other.
The APC administration commenced for almost a year in Plateau State, what are the notable differences and amendments in contrast with the previous?
There are obvious difference between this government and the last one even in the way business of government is conducted. First, we have tried to run an open government. If you notice, we have at every point tried to keep Plateau people informed about the state of affairs; from appointments, to bailouts and the day-to-day affairs of government.
Gone are the days of impunity and personalization of government processes. We have also tried to run an inclusive government by giving all Plateau people a sense of belonging, irrespective of tribe, religion or even political affiliation. Our government was a product of the collective will of Plateau people thus, we see it as a Plateau government and not just an APC government.
The present administration emerged in trying times when national income has dwindled, how is the challenge being manage by this administration? Are there capital projects inspite of the financial challenges? Is the State strategizing to look inwards towards internally generated revenue?
Yes, we came on board in trying times when resources are limited. That notwithstanding, we have tried to continue with projects that we see as dear to the people of Plateau State. As you might have noticed, we have completed the overhead bridge at the secretariat junction and we are continuing with other road projects that are critical to free movement in the capital city.
We have also completed the State secretariat as well as the House of Assembly Complex. Very soon, we shall start projects that are new. Our priority is fulfilling our campaign promises and satisfying the needs, welfare, and aspirations of Plateau people. We are also putting in place measures to boost internal revenue generation and opening the economic base of the state with emphasis on agriculture, solid minerals exploration and tourism.
Are there plans on ground to woo investors to the State?
Yes, we have been vigorously wooing investors to the State. One of the main inhibiting factors to private investors in Plateau State has been the issue of insecurity. Thank God we have been able to tackle that. Following that, we have engaged a number of investors – foreign and local in serious discussion on various projects. Within the next few months, some of these discussions will manifest in the resuscitation of hitherto moribund industrial concerns in the State.
Plateau State is presently led by highly learned politicians, would the education sector get more special attention?
Yes, the revamping of the education sector is a key component of this administration’s development plans. That is one reason why the Ministry of Education was split into two for close attention. We have started in earnest to reposition the sector as you can see in the case of the Plateau State University. All courses are now accredited and hopefully, the university will this year, have its first convocation in ten years. The same serious concern is also being given to lifting the education hopes of our people at the lower levels. The fruits will become evident in the next few months.
What legacy does the present administration seeks to bequeath?
We intend that at the end of our tenure, we shall leave behind a Plateau, that is peaceful, united and cynosure of eyes in Nigeria. We want to re-establish a Plateau that is home for all Nigerians; a Plateau that is a melting pot for all creeds and religions.
What is your message to the people of the State at the moment?
My message to Plateau people is for them not to despair or lose hope. Things may look gloomy and bleak now, but with a determined and committed government in place and with God on our side, we shall soon overcome the temporary inhibitions facing us.