Senate President, Senator David Mark, Thursday challenged the Subsidy Re-investment Programme (SURE-P) to produce what he described as practical evidence of the money realised from the part removal of subsidy in January 2012.
Mark who made this statement Thursday while inaugurating an ad hoc committee on SURE-P in the National Assembly, said: “Anything short of that is unacceptable,” emphasising that the main reason for setting up the committee was to empower the youth in the society, provide healthcare for women and children as well as mass transit for the citizenry.
The Senate president, who said money realised from the part removal of subsidy at both the state and federal levels ran into billions of naira, said the Senate was more concerned with the sum belonging to the federal government, saying the SURE-P committee must brief the Senate on how it spends the money from time to time with pictorial representations of its activities.
In his address at the inauguration, Chairman, Senate Committee on SURE-P, Senator Abdul Ningi, recalled that on February 21, President Goodluck Jonathan constituted a 21-member committee to manage and reinvest federal government’s share of the savings from the partial reduction of subsidies on petroleum products.
According to him, the savings were meant to be invested in programmes and initiatives aimed at bringing reliefs to citizens experiencing hardship, adding that the main intention was to ensure that federal government’s portion of the savings was applied on critical infrastructure projects and social safety net programmes that will directly and indirectly impact on the people.
“It is germane to note that SURE-P is a special intervention programme, devised by the president as means of utilising the funds for designated purposes within the overall agenda of the federal government,” he said, adding that SURE-P intervention ultimately seeks to ensure creation of implementation units in relevant ministries and as well ensure that the process of payment for projects executed by contractors are accelerated through funds accruing to a special account by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Information from This Day was used in this report.