Chairman, Subsidy Rein-vestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Dr. Christopher Kolade, at the weekend said the gains of the Programme were evident in its investments in mass transit, road construction, maternal and child health care delivery services and pledged that the committee is poised to enforce strict implementation of its mandate.
His assurance followed comments by the Minister of State for Finance, Alhaji Yerima Ngama, that going forward, the subsidy reinvestment fund would now be paid to state governments separately – into a special account that they have been directed to operate.
Kolade in a statement assured Nigerians that the programme would create the desired impact on the citizens.
He said so far, the SURE-P has made significant progress focused on delivery of projects as indicated in the recent 2012 approved budget.
Signed by the Head, Public Relations, SURE-P, Mary Ikoku, Kolade further said:“We are going beyond rhetoric to execute the mandate of making sure that the money budgeted is used to alleviate the immediate impact of petroleum subsidy discontinuation on Nigerians, accelerate economic transformation through investment in critical infrastructure projects so as to drive economic growth and achieve Vision 20:20:20 and lay a foundation for the successful development of a national safety-net programme that is better targeted at the poor and most vulnerable on a continuous basis.”
He also said the Committee was focused on “making things happen, with the citizens as the targets for the projects service delivery since they paid the sacrifice for the subsidy money.”
He added that its primary focus was currently projects execution.
“Part of the projects that have started is the provision of public mass transit service, construction and maintenance of roads, provision of maternal and child health care service especially in rural areas and vocational training centres.
“We have set up an international metrics for monitoring, measuring and evaluating each project executed based on the Poverty and Social Impact Analyses (PSIA).”
He, however, noted that due to the partial removal of the fuel subsidy, the Federal Government budget for SURE-P had been scaled down to N180 billion in the 2012 budget.
SURE-P’s Sub Committee Convener for Maternal and Child Healthcare, Fatima Adamu, said it was working with the Midwife Service Scheme (MSS) and different intervention units to improve the access of rural women to healthcare services.
Meanwhile, the minister said before now, states’ monthly allocation had included an undisclosed component of subsidy reinvestment fund in the past five months.
On the part of the federal government, he noted that about N75 billion had been saved in its SURE-P account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He said it is not clear, however, if states actually set aside the SURE-P’s part of their monthly allocations in the last four months when the programme was launched.
Ngama had explained that going forward, the SURE-P fund would now be paid separately from states’ monthly allocation and they are expected come up with a list of programmes they intend to invest the money into.
He said: “And we expect the states and the local governments to also forward to the ministry, their programme: what they intend to use the SURE-P for in order to alleviate the economic situation of our people in order to provide basic requirement but every state is free to determine what it wants to do with its subsidy reinvestment fund.
“You don’t have to have the programme that the federal government is doing but you can actually complement what the federal government is doing in your own state. So this would continue from today; the distribution will be made separately to what is due to the subsidy reinvestment and the statutory allocation so that we will be held completely accountable and transparent to the Nigerian public.