FG spends N105 billion in seven months on subsidy reinvestment projects
The Federal Government on Thursday disclosed that it has spent N105 billion for the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) over the period of seven months.
The programme was set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to provide palliatives to cushion the negative effects of the fuel subsidy removal as well as oversee and ensure effective and timely implementation of projects to be funded with savings accruing from the subsidy removal from the petroleum downstream sector.
While addressing journalists in Abuja on the activities of SURE-P to actualize the projects promised by the Federal Government as the benefits of fuel subsidy removal policy, the Chairman of the programme’s Committee, Christopher Kolade announced that N8.9 billion was given to the bank for the purchase of buses, N383 million used to rehabilitate the Jebba-Kano road, N5 billion on railways, and N23 billion on the Abuja-Kaduna road project.
Other expenditure includes N3.9 billion on youth employment and N2.2 billion on the Port Harcourt-Enugu roads.
The SURE-P Committee Chairman explained that the Federal Government, as can be verified by the monthly media publications of the Ministry of Finance, releases the sum of N15 billion monthly as funds to be utilized for various projects within the scope of the SURE-P.
He said the sum of N180 billion is expected to be approved for the programme before the end of the year but explained that not all the funds being granted for the scheme have been released.
“If you are careful to look at the media publications by the Federal Ministry of Finance, you can see that N15 billion is being approved monthly by the Federal Government and if you do the calculation it amounts to N105 billion in seven months excluding August but in the spending the payments will not be approved until projects have been verified,” Mr Kolade said.
He said: “The projects have to reach a certain extent and be verified and certified by the team from our various sub-committees before we can commit the funds.
“I think there is no doubt in our ability to commit funds, and I know we can commit N180 billion before the end of the year.
“We are gradually making progress and that’s the message we have for Nigerians. In the four key component areas of our interventions a measurable progress is being achieved. The areas include: Social Safety Net, Infrastructure Development, Water and Agriculture Projects and Petroleum/NNPC project. Due to the present budget structure, we are delivering in the Social Safety net and Infrastructure Components areas in 2012,” he said.