N300bn accrues to SURE-P – Budget office

Dr. Bright Okogwu30 October 2013, Abuja – The Director-General of the Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogwu, on Tuesday said N300 billion has so far accrued to the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P.

Okogwu made this known when he appeared before the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on SURE-P.

He said the sum of N300 billion accrued to the SURE-P between Feb. 2012 and Sept. 2013 while the sum of N207 billion was disbursed within the same period.

He said N72.4 billion was disbursed in 2012 while N134.5 billion had so far been disbursed as at the end of Sept. 2013.

Okogwu said that the SURE-P intervention was making appreciable progress in the development of certain critical areas such as roads, mass transportation and maternal and child health, among others.

“SURE-P is to harvest the monies that would have gone to subsidy and distribute among the three tiers of government to develop certain critical areas that would benefit the people.

“The resuscitation of the railways, work on the Abuja-Kaduna Road, the East-West Road and other road networks across the country are demonstration of the contribution SURE-P development of key infrastructure,” he said.

Okogwu also explained that maternal and child care services in the country had benefitted immensely from the SURE-P intervention.

He said that the programme was essentially to utilise the resources to complete ongoing projects.

The director general said that under the current Programme, no contractor had complained about non-payment of fees after due completion of projects they handled.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on SURE-P, Sen. Abdul Ningi said Nigerians were skeptical of the Programme due to the lack of adequate information on the work it was doing.

Ningi said that Nigerians were yet to feel the impact of the SURE-P because there was “very little” on ground to show that people were getting value for their funds.

“The level of skepticism among Nigerians is very high because up till today, they have not seen any value that SURE-P has added to their lives.

“As representatives of the people it would be a shame on our part if our people cannot see tangible projects to prove you are working and this Committee will ensure that your intervention is working,” he said.

Ningi directed the SURE-P Committee to furnish his Committee with the comprehensive list of the 3,000 graduates it claimed to have engaged in each state.

The committee also urged the SURE-P Committee to intensify enlightenment of Nigerians on the actual level of projects performance to stem their reservations over the programme

“We are very concerned about the claims of engaging 3,000 graduates in the States.

“You have to provide us a comprehensive list of the beneficiaries. No Senator has seen any beneficiary in his State,” he added.

The Ministry of Works and Transport is expected to appear before the Committee on Wednesday Oct.30 to explain its role in the award of contracts under the SURE-P intervention scheme.

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