Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has invited investors to collaborate with Jerry Mallo, the 25-year old engineer who assembled Nigeria’s first carbon fibre car to start producing the car in Plateau State.
Mallo exhibited the car, named Bennie Purrie, on Thursday in Abuja, in what many have said is a landmark achievement in Nigeria’s auto industry.
Governor Lalong, who spoke with State House correspondents on Friday after a meeting at the Presidential Villa, said that the exhibition was to showcase the vehicle with a view to attracting the attention of entrepreneur to invest in the manufacturing of the car.
“So, what we exhibited yesterday was for people to come. If you are asking people to be like Innoson and to produce cars in Nigeria, we have young talents from Plateau that can manufacture cars.
“So, he did that and you saw the car, so what we are doing was exhibiting him outside and we are asking people to come and help him so that we will start producing those cars in Plateau, made in Plateau car.”
Lalong said he was committed to encouraging young persons in the state to develop their talents and create wealth.
“I promised people that my vision is to bring out young people like that. After he emerged as the overall best, the next year another one came out and emerged an overall best.
“That is what I am doing; I am focusing on bringing out young talents and after he manufactured a tractor and became the overall, immediately I encouraged him, today he has produced a car.”
Appeal Court victory
Governor Lalong said that the judgment of the Court of Appeal affirming him as the winner in the last governorship election in the Plateau State did not come to him as a surprise.
He said his concern was the election, which showed the confidence people of the state has in his administration.
“One thing I am very sure and with the confidence I have in Plateau people I know that this victory they are very happy about it.
“They have prayed about it and the victory is very sweet. You know when you get things this way, people are very happy.
“I am serving people and each time I look at them, I pity them if there is any change in Plateau State with what have done so far, restoring peace in Plateau State, bringing development to the people of Plateau state.
“But I thank God for the judgment and also the confidence we have in the judiciary.”
Governor Lalong said he was more determined to work for the people of Plateau State now that his victory has been affirmed.
He said he would not allow himself to be distracted by his main opponent in the election, Rtd General Jeremiah Useni, whom he sees as his father.
“I will say it again here, his daughter was my classmate, I have told him several times, his first daughter was my classmate.
“So, at this stage I would have been expecting his daughter to contest for governor and not him.
“His daughter was my classmate, we went to school together and so why should we be fighting?
“Fighting him is like fighting a father, it’s unfortunate but for me, I say my focus is Plateau State.”
Governor Lalong said he would not lose focus, but would continue to work to sustain the gains made so far in peace and development of the state.