The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, has signed into law a bill to tackle kidnapping, land grabbing, cultism, and other violence-related matters with a pledge to ensure its full implementation to eradicate kidnapping snd other crimes covered by the bill.
Lalong also signed into law the 2021 Appropriation Bill of N147.53 billion passed by the State House of Assembly, to fast-track completion of ongoing projects and programmes across the state.
The law further stipulated that anyone convicted for kidnapping should be sentenced to death while those found guilty for cultism would be awarded a minimum of seven-year jail term as against anyone found guilty of inflicting injuries on another citizen would be sentenced to 10 years behind the bar.
The Governor, after signing the bills passed by the State House of Assembly into law yesterday, said that the law was long overdue due to a sharp increase in cases of kidnapping, land grabbing, and other violent crimes within the state.
He 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”.
Lalong, however, called on communities to rise up to the challenge by identifying and fishing criminals within their domains and passing relevant information to security agencies to act.
On the budget, the governor explained that the budget passed by the State House of Assembly consists of N90.19 billion as recurrent and N57.34 billion as capital expenditures.
He explained that the budget would focus on areas that could quickly stimulate economic growth and recovery, particularly as the year begins under a second wave of COVID-19 which has affected the economy adversely.
He said “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.