Abia state government has inaugurated its version of the board of subsidy re-investment and Empowerment programme(SURE P) with a charge to oversee with prudence and appropriate application the resources that accrue to the state for the sure money account.
Inaugurating the 11 member board headed by Sir Chris Nkwonta, the Governor Theodore Orji said they should strive to achieve the palliative role of the programme and impact on the lives of Abians. He said the board members of SURE programme have been selected on their merit ,experience, commitments in service and as representatives of key sectors of opinions in the state and implored them to ensure that the programme is implemented with a human face for the benefit of the needy and the entire state and in those areas that will ensure even and widespread development in the state.
Recalling that early this year the federal government partially removed its subsidy on petroleum products partly because of the huge burden that this posed on government, more especially as subsidy disproportionately benefitted the wealthy and oil cabal while diverting resources away from many potential investments critical to the well-being of citizens ,the governor said subsidy removal becomes reasonable if resources saved from subsidy are redirected to save the entire Nigerians in their areas of real need.
According to him, it is projected that with the partial removal of petroleum subsidy, a total fund of N1.134 trillion will be available for reinvestment in Nigeria in real areas of citizen’s needs out of which N478.49 billion will accrue to the federal government, while 411.036 billion will accrue to states and N203.23 billion will be available to LGAs.
He said that the subsidy savings available to each level of governments will be directed to sure programme for utilization on carefully designed schemes of investments in selected priority areas made under a board that will supervise the utilization to ensure accountability in the implementation of projects.
Responding on behalf of the other members, the chairman of the board, Sir Chris Nkwonta thanked the governor for choosing them to serve and pledged to do their best to serve the state.