Simon Bako Lalong, born on May 5, 1963, in Ajikamai, Plateau State, Nigeria, began his educational journey at the Roman Catholic Mission School (RCM) Primary School in Shendam, earning his First School Leaving Certificate in 1977. He then continued his studies at Government Secondary School Shendam, receiving his Senior School Certificate in 1982.
Lalong pursued further studies at the School of Preliminary Studies in Keffi, graduating with distinction in 1986. His academic journey took him to Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, where he earned a Law degree in 1990. After graduating, he attended the Nigerian Law School in Lagos and was called to the Bar in 1991. Lalong obtained a master’s degree in Law from the University of Jos in 1996.
Lalong is a devout Christian and is happily married to Mrs. Regina Lalong, with whom he shares three children.
Lalong joined the renowned T. Obot & Co. Legal Practitioners in Jos after his legal studies in 1992. He later worked with Victor Fomwul & Co. Jos as a Managing Partner from 1997 to 1999. Subsequently, Lalong established his firm, Simon B. Lalong & Co. Legal Practitioners.
Lalong’s professional service includes his tenure as Assistant Secretary of the Nigeria Bar Association’s Plateau State Chapter from 1992 to 1994 and as the National President of the Goemai Youth Movement during the same period.
In 1998, Lalong entered politics, joining the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He successfully contested for a seat representing Shendam Constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly. By October 2000, Lalong became the assembly’s speaker, holding the position until 2006 and becoming the longest-serving speaker in Plateau State history. As a speaker, he was twice elected as Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of Nigeria’s 36 states (2001–2002).
In the 2015 gubernatorial elections, Lalong, representing the All Progressive Congress (APC), emerged victorious as Plateau State Governor, taking office on May 29, 2015. He was re-elected in March 2019, defeating rival General Jeremiah Husseini of the PDP by polling 595,582 votes to Husseini’s 546,813. He was inaugurated for his second term on May 29, 2019.
Despite his political success, Lalong’s 2023 bid for a National Assembly seat representing Plateau South senatorial zone fell short, with Napoleon Bali of the PDP winning the election.
In October 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari honored Lalong with the Commander Of The Order Of The Niger (CON). And on August 2, 2023, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu nominated Lalong as Minister of the Federation, ultimately appointing him Minister of Labour and Employment for the Federal Republic of Nigeria.