Friday, 17 August 2012

Subsidy Re-investment Programme Gulps N105bn

Federal Government has expended a cumulative sum of N105 billion for the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) over the period of seven months. The programme was set up as an intervention fund charged with the responsibility of overseeing and ensuring the effective and timely implementation of projects to be funded with savings accruing from the partial removal of subsidy on petrol.
 However, the nationwide public mass transit buses, which government bandied as one of the measures adopted to mitigate the high cost of transport fares has not been purchased contrary to the widely held belief that some of the new buses commissioned in various states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are part of the subsidy reinvestment regime. The Chairman of SURE-P Committee, Dr. Christopher Kolade, disclosed this in Abuja while answering questions from reporters on the activities of the body to actualize the projects promised by the Federal Government as the benefits of fuel subsidy removal policy.
Kolade explained that the Federal Government, as can be verified by the monthly media publications of the Ministry of Finance, releases the sum of N15 billion monthly as funds to be utilized for various projects within the scope of the SURE-P. He further stated that the total sum of N180 billion is expected to be approved for the programme before the end of the year but explained that not all the funds being granted for the scheme has been released.
Meanwhile, the heads of various sub-committees including Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, Comrade Peter Eselle, and Mr. Audu Maikori amongst others gave a break-down of their budgets and various works-in-progress. They explained that the programme, which is effectively operational in six out of the 14 pilot states have gulped N3.9 billion for youth empowerment, while mass transit scheme have the sum N8.9 billion allotted to it resting at the  Bank of Infrastructure while N5 billion is being expended on various rail projects in the country; the sum of N2.3 billion for the Abuja-Kaduna rail line modernisation project, which is being handled by the CECC, while the N2.2 billion Port Harcourt-Markudi rehabilitation project is being carried out by ESSA West Africa Limited; and works at the N383 million worth Jebba-Kano project is being done by Costain West Africa Limited.

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