07 July 2013, Abuja – Abuja – The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mr Emka Wogu, has called on the National Assembly to expedite action on the amendment of budgetary provision for the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P.
Wogu made the call on Monday in Abuja at the inaugural meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Consultative Committee of Community Service, Women and Youth Employment project, CSWYE, of SURE-P.
He said that the lack of funding was the major challenge in the implementation of the project, adding that it could lead to lot of problems, if not promptly attended to.
“There is the need to amend the budgetary provisions for the project and part of this is already contained in the amendment proposal sent to the National Assembly by President Goodluck Jonathan.
“The financial requirement to sustain the project in terms of stipends payment, running cost to states and project management for
2013 is N29 billion,” he said.
This, he said, included 67.3 per cent for the stipend of beneficiary and tools, 22 per cent for running cost in states and 10 per cent for federal management cost.
However, he said, the ministry received only N5 billion, which is grossly inadequate.
Wogu said, “Out of the 27 billion that was put in the budget, we only got N9 billion and N5 billion has been released. If it is not amended quickly as requested by Mr President, we run the risk of jeopardising this process.”
He said that the need for adequate funding for the project was due to high demand, which resulted from high number of unemployed, unskilled and poor youths.
The minister said that the project should not be allowed to die, as it was targeted at two major areas, infrastructure development and social safety nets.
Wogu explained that the social safety nets covered maternal and child health, community services, women and youth employment project, as well as vocational skill training and graduate internship scheme.
The minister said that the project, which was targeted at 185,000 beneficiaries per annum was the first of its kind.