A cold war is brewing between the Kaduna state government and the state house of assembly over an alleged diversion of N560 million Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) fund accrued to the state.
The state House of Assembly through its ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the implementation of the SURE-P in the state, alleged that there were dubious transactions in the state’s share of the money from the programme including the missing of N560 million from the fund for 2012, and also accused the SURE-P committee of inflating the prices of taxis and buses purchased for youth empowerment.
The house ad-hoc committee further alleged that the actual receipts by the state government of its share of revenue from subsidy reduction for the year 2012 stood at N2,243,188,906.24 at a monthly rate of N280,398,613.28 from May to December, 2012 were not accounted for, adding that the SURE-P committee failed to present receipts for the monies accrued for the months of January to April, 2012.
Incumbent governor, Ramalan Yero was the chairman of the SURE-P committee and he also served as deputy up till when the former governor Patrick Yakowa, died in a helicopter crash in December last year.
Not happy with the development, the lawmakers passed a vote of no confidence on the former commissioner of finance, John Ayuba, who they accused of deliberately refusing to furnish the house committee with documents of all transactions relating to the sure-p projects.
Responding to the allegations, Mr Ayuba who featured prominently in the whole saga said the lawmakers lied over the said missing fund.
He told journalists at a news conference that there were no iota of truth in the report of the 11-man ad-hoc committee of the state assembly, stating that at no point did the committee misappropriated the sum of N560 million as alleged.
Although Mr Ayuba insisted that the committee set up by the state government on the implementation of the SURE-P had performed its duties creditably, he described the house allegation that the subsidy committee inflated the prices of cars that were recently distributed to the youths as unfounded and lacks merit.
SURE-P was conceived by the Nigerian Government arising from the partial removal of subsidy on fuel prices in the country.
The Kaduna state government had constituted a committee in January 2012 with a view to identifying programmes, projects and activities that would be undertaken by the government with its share of the SURE-P funds.