SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTUREPost Comment SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE Nigeria
Education: Education has been accorded a priority position in the development drive of Plateau State. Christian missionary groups were in the fore front of educational development in the early days of Plateau Province. The solid foundation they laid was consolidated and expanded in scope through the active participation of government (state and federal), private individuals and other voluntary organisations in the establishment and running of primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions in the state.
There are today, 637 primary schools and 289 post-primary institutions in Plateau State. In the realization that skilled manpower is essential for rapid socio-economic development, the state has established a number of tertiary institutions for effective manpower development such as polytechnics, colleges of education and colleges of agriculture, forestry and soil conservation.
In addition, the Federal Government has established similar secondary and tertiary educational institutions in Plateau State which admit students from specified states of the Federation. There are also tertiary institutions established by individuals and voluntary organisations in the state.
Health Services: Plateau State is reasonably well covered with health facilities as a result of the active participation of government, private individuals and voluntary agencies in the health sector. There are two broad categories of health facilities in the state. The first category, known as primary health facilities, are the most ubiquitous and comprises dispensaries, maternal and child welfare clinics and health centres.
The services provided include the treatment of common diseases and routine immunization. The second category of health services available in Plateau State consists of cottage and general hospitals where both routine and more complex health care services are provided. At the apex of the health care facilities in the State is the University of Jos Teaching Hospital, a Federal Government-funded referral hospital. In all, the Plateau State Government has fifteen hospitals, forty-eight maternal and child welfare clinics, fifty-nine general clinics and 285 dispen- saries.
Private individuals have forty-seven hospitals, six maternal clinics, sixty-two child welfare clinics, 310 general clinics and 119 dispensaries. Voluntary agencies own and operate five hospitals, three maternal clinics, sixty-two general clinics and forty-five dispensaries. Although the number and variety of health facilities in Plateau State are impressive, there is still a need for improvement, especially in the area of building more facilities in the remote areas of the state and recruiting and training of more health workers.
Electricity: Plateau State has a great hydro- electricity potential in the rivers flowing rapidly down the Jos Plateau. The state can boast of being the first to enjoy hydroelectricity in Nigeria, because from 1929 to the end of the Nigerian civil war, Jos and the surrounding mine fields were supplied with electricity generated at Kura Falls by the Nigerian Electricity Supply Company (NESCO).
A private company, NESCO was originally set up to supply electricity to the tin mines. It later extended its services to Bukuru, Jos townships and Kafanchan in Kaduna State. The company was noted for its efficiency and until NEPA assumed, by law, the monopoly of electricity distribution in Nigeria, Jos and its environs enjoyed uninterrupted
power supply. The company has developed other power stations in addition to the first one at Kura Falls. Plateau State also enjoys electricity supply from the national grid system, which supplies electricity to more than half of the LGAs in the State. Electricity supply to rural areas in Plateau State is coordinated by the state Utility Board.
Transport and Communication: Plateau State is well served by a network of Federal, State and LGA roads. The State is also traversed by the Jos-Port Harcourt and Kuru-Maiduguri railway lines. There is an airport of international standard near Jos. The state has a radio station at Jos, with powerful AM. and FM transmitters, in addition to the Nigerian Television Authority station giving the state a good electronic media coverage. Most of the LGAs have telephone exchanges which link them with the state capital and the rest of the country. The Plateau State Government-owned newspaper, The Standard is widely distributed throughout the state.
Tourism and Recreation: The Jos Plateau abounds in natural scenic vistas which present opportunities for tourism and recreation. Among the most famous tourist attraction points in the State are Wase Rock, Shere Hills, Kerang volcanic moun- tains, Ampang crater lake, Kura, Assop. Kahwang. Sha Burukut and Farin Ruwa falls, Wase Grazing Reserve, Jos Museum and Zoological Garden. Plateau State has a number of sport stadia and golf courses in the major urban centres, especially in Metropolitan Jos
. The state's representative Plateau United Football Club won the 1999 edition of the Challenge Cup. Recently, the National Sports Commission chose Plateau State as a high altitude training ground for Nigerian sportsmen and women. The Jos University Open Air Theatre and the ultra modern Jos Cultural Centre offer a wide range of entertainment and recreational opportunities for the international community.
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