Lalong signs 2021 budgets of N147.53b, anti-kidnapping, land grabbing, cultism bill

From Gyang Bere, Jos

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong has signed into law the 2021 Appropriation Bill of N147.53 billion naira passed by the State House of Assembly.

Lalong who signed the budget  and anti-kidnapping bill on Thursday night said the budget consists of N90.19 billion as recurrent and N57.34 billion as capital expenditures.

He said the 2021 budget will focus on areas that will stimulate economic growth and recovery particularly as the year begins under a second wave of COVID-19 which has affected the economy adversely.

“With the successful passage of the 2021 budget within record time, we shall now settle down to implement the budget vigorously. As we face the second wave of COVID-19, we shall continue to appeal to our people to observe all protocols so that we do not have any reason to lock down again and further hurt the economy”.

Lalong said the Government will in the 2021 fiscal year support businesses that will hopefully grow and in turn pay taxes especially now that the State has signed into law the new tax law for development.

The Governor also signed into law the anti-kidnapping, anti-land grabbing, cultism and other anti-violence related matters bill also passed by the House of Assembly.

He said the law is long overdue because of the increase in kidnapping, land grabbing and other violent crimes within the State.

The Governor said “as a responsible Government, we cannot fold our arms to see people being terrorized by criminals who are clearly out to cause mayhem. This new law will deal with anyone caught in the act and I urge security agencies to be on their toes and ensure that culprits are apprehended and made to face the law”.

He called communities to rise up to the challenge by identifying and fishing criminals within their domains and passing relevant information to security agencies to act.

The law provides death sentence for those convicted for kidnapping while those found guilty for cultism shall be jailed for a minimum of 7 years. Others involved in meteng out violence on anyone risk spending up to 10 years in jail upon conviction.

While wishing the citizens of the State a merry Christmas, the Governor again appealed for adherence to COVID-19 protocols saying his experience in the past one week confirms the reality of the pandemic.

He recognised the patriotism, sactifice and diligence of front line medical personnel who continue to risk their lives in fighting the pandemic, asking them not to be deterred in saving lives.


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