SURE-P: 111, 000 youths may lose jobs – Kolade

Dr. Christopher Kolade19 September 2013, Abuja – The Chairman of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Dr Christopher Kolade, says about 111, 000 youths engaged under the scheme may lose their jobs by the end of September due to paucity of funds.

Kolade said this on Thursday when he briefed members of the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on SURE-P.

He said all the 111,000 youths under the scheme would lose their jobs if more funds were not made available to the committee.

According to him, the committee employed 3,000 youths from each of the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

The SURE-P chairman said that out of a budget proposal of N27 billion for the payment of the youth under its employment generation scheme, only N9 billion was approved in the 2013 budget.

Kolade said that the reduction in the appropriation had prevented the committee from achieving its target of employing 5,000 youths per state and the FCT with a monthly allowance of N10, 000.

“The committee estimated N28.5 billion to cover the 5,000 target.

“But our budget estimate was N27 billion which was reduced to N9 billion.

“We alerted the executive after the budget was passed and they promised to do something about it, but up till now the amount approved is still N9 billion.

“This means that we cannot employ the 5,000 workers per each state and the FCT which is our target for the year.”

He said with the current allocation, paying the 3,000 engaged from each state may not be possible by the end of September, adding that this had grievous implications.

“This will mean we will not be able to carry out our target and those young people we promised to sustain throughout the year, we will have to tell them at the end of the month sorry we cannot pay anymore.

“This will greatly damage the credibility of the programme.”

Kolade said this was the greatest challenge of the committee in addition to others such as infrastructure and procedural problems.

He, therefore, appealed to the senate committee for help.

However, the Chairman of the senate committee, Sen. Abdul Ningi (PDP -Bauchi), told Kolade that the N27 billion it had initially asked for had been approved and passed by the National Assembly.

Ningi also expressed concern over the fact that the Director-General of the Budget Office was the accounting officer for SURE-P.

He said his (Ningi’s) committee would take the matter up with the Director-General of the Budget Office.

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