29 November 2013, Abuja — The Chairman of Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, Dr Christopher Kolade, Thursday, explained why he resigned from the agency, saying it had nothing to do with the allegation of the missing N500 billion SURE-P fund.
Kolade, who made the clarification in an interactive forum with newsmen in Abuja, noted that he threw in the towel on health grounds.
He said: “I am now old and I need to wind down some activities that take some of my energy. By next month, I will be 81, so you don’t blame me for not having youthful energy at the age of 81.”
Kolade explained that in his resignation letter to President Goodluck Jonathan dated September 25, there was never any allegation on ground to warrant his forceful withdrawal as the chairman of the committee.
The resignation letter dated September 25 and entitled “Withdrawal from Chairmanship of the SURE-P Committee” read: “I wish to inform you, respectfully, of my decision to resign from the position of Chairman of the SURE-P Committee.
“My desire is that the resignation should take effect as soon as Mr. President names a new chairman, but not later than the end of November 2013.
“Mr. President, it has been a worthwhile experience for me to serve as chairman since the inauguration of the committee in February 2012.
“However, as I approach my 81st birthday, I wish to retire from the more time and energy consuming parts of my responsibilities and activities, one of which is the SURE-P Committee chairmanship.
“Mr. President, please accept my sincere thanks and appreciation for the opportunity to serve in the position of chairman as well as my prayers for good progress and success for Nigeria in the years ahead.”
Kolade further explained that the subsidy money was shared among the three tiers of government, with the Federal Government taking 41 per cent, 54 per cent went to state and local governments, while the remaining five per cent is to be used for ecological project.
He said the 41 per cent of the money that belonged to the Federal Government is N300 billion, and that the committee had accounted for it before the Senate committee.
According to him, the alleged missing N500 billion was shared by the state and local governments, and that, those that were spreading the rumour were aware of it.
He said: “The person that raised this is deliberately saying it. There is a report to clarify this. The report that fund is missing is nothing but to hit up the polity.”
Kolade, therefore, urged the media to cross check issues before publication.