by Stanley Azuakola
Pinch yourself if you are not feeling it already. But as far as the Chairman of the Subsidy, Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Dr Christopher Kolade, is concerned, the gains of SURE-P are already showing.
In a released statement, Dr Kolade cited investments in provision of public mass transit service, construction and maintenance of roads, provision of maternal and child health care service especially in rural areas and vocational training services as his evidence.
It would be recalled that the SURE-P committee headed by Kolade was set up by President Jonathan in January to manage the savings accruable to the government from the partial removal of the subsidy on fuel. Some prominent Nigerians, including former Minister of the FCT, Mallam Nasir Elrufai, have however argued that in reality there is no such savings anywhere in the budget.
Dr Kolade pledged to Nigerians that the committee would enforce strict implementation of the SURE-P projects included in the approved 2012 budget. He said that already, the committee has “set up an international metric for monitoring, measuring and evaluating each project executed based on the Poverty and Social Impact Analyses (PSIA).”
He, however, noted that due to the partial removal of the fuel subsidy, the Federal Government’s budget for SURE-P was scaled down to N180 billion in the approved 2012 budget.