Mar 26, 2008

Jonah Jang's Clean Up Program Cries Out for Support


Namkim Bagudu
When Da Jonah Jang came to power he made clear his intention to leave an indelible impression in the history of leadership in Plateau State. The comprehensive plan by which he intends to achieve this is through his ten-point agenda. One of these is the issue of tourism Development. The clean-up Jos crusade, spear-headed by the Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the Ministry of Town Planning and Urban Development is actually an appendage of the tourism plan.
The programme is a double-edged weapon that is supposed to create immediate jobs for the local people and enhance the growth of tourism ultimately creating other jobs in the private sector in the long run. So far 1400 persons have been employed by the Ministry of Environment.
The government is aware that its programmes cannot succeed without the co-operation of the citizens the ultimate beneficiary of any good policy of the government. Hence a lot of resources have been spent to create awareness among the people regarding the need for them to lend the policy the desired support. After ten months, the nonchalant attitude is becoming very conspicuous.
It is not that the citizens have consciously chosen not to support the programmes of the administration. It is just that people are reluctant and fail to realize that the reluctance will frustrate the intention of the government.
The State Government, its departments and parastatals, the local government councils, the federal government departments, agencies and parastatals and the general public all have a stake if the programme must yield the desired result. With the exception of the state government’s determination, all other stake-holders have shown lack of interest.
The role of the state authorities is seen in the women who file out every morning to sweep the streets and the organizational and financial commitment to keep the programme running. The general public is expected to compliment this by sweeping their immediate environment.
It is rather unfortunate that people expect the staff of Plateau Environment Protection and Sanitation Agency, PEPSA, to sweep right into their doorsteps. The surrounding of the immediate vicinity of the roads have remained very dirty as people have shown lack of interest in cleaning them.

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