SURE-P lacks policy direction, NASS insists

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From ISAIAH ABRAHAM, Abuja
JOINT National Assembly Committee on Petroleum Down Stream yesterday insisted that the SURE P Committee of the Federal Government lacks policy direction and its existence is not backed by any law.
The House Committee had last week called for the scrapping of the Committee.
This followed the partial removal of fuel subsidy leading to the increment of Petroleum pump price from 67 Naira per litre to the current 97 Naira per litre with a promise that the revenue realised would be deployed to create employment and development of infrastructure under SURE P.
The Committee heard that about 15 billion Naira is generated every month from the increase and about 135 billion Naira was generated up to the end of October 2012 but since last week when the Committee on SURE P started appearing before the Committee to defend its 2013, the committee failed to convince the National Assembly joint Committee that SURE-P was indeed meeting the aspiration of Nigerians.
Chairman of the National Assembly Joint Committee Senator Magnus Abe said “this appropriation is different from other appropriations because the money comes from money contributed by Nigerians at the filling stations, pointing out that the level of accountability must be higher.”
Upon examination of the SURE P Committee expenditure records, members of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Petroleum Downstream found out that 58 billion Naira worth of contract was awarded in 2012 and that all the beneficiary companies were awarded to foreign multi-national companies.
The Committee also frowned at the expenditure of 75 million Naira on local tours in four months alone and that although the SURE-P operates through various sub-Committees but there were none on agriculture, housing, industries among other areas that would have actually created jobs for the teaming Nigerian youths roaming the streets.
Members of the Committee further observed that the SURE-P was also duplicating the traditional functions of the National Health Delivery Care Agency and that the operations of the SURE-P so far has been engrained into the structures of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the government without independent initiatives of projects and may suffer the same fate such as poor supervision, poor implementation and poor results.

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