Dr. Christopher Kolade
Deputy National President, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Promise Adewusi, has described the Dr. Christopher Kolade-led Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P) as a failed project due to Federal Government’s insincerity.
He said this was hinged on the fact that the project has not impacted positively on the lives of Nigerians since its inception in January, 2012.
President Goodluck Jonathan had set up the committee, following the protests which trailed the removal of the fuel subsidy by the Federal Government in January 2012 and the subsequent increase in the pump price of petrol from N65 to N97.
However, while fielding questions from journalists at his Iyin-Ekiti country-home, Adewusi lamented that the programme did not only fail due to insincerity of the Federal Government, but also became a conduit pipe being used to fritter away Nigeria’s commonwealth.
According to him, the fund, which should accrue from the removed subsidy has to the fore has not trickled down to the poor masses whom it was meant to affect positively.
“Even at take-off, the programme had failed to be effective. Nigerians are being short-changed because the fund had been politicised,” he said.
The labour leader decried how the National Assembly had approved the supplementary budget for the Federal Government to pay phoney contractors and oil marketers under the guise of oil subsidy.
Adewusi said 12 months down the line, the programme had failed to solve the problems militating against every strata of the Nigerian society, instead it became a political weapon being used to cajole the people.
“Even outside the SURE-P of a thing, what is happening to Gen Sanni Abacha’s loot? Swiss Bank said the money had been repatriated to Nigeria, but nothing to show for the release of the fund. It could have been better if the Swiss Government had withheld the money,” Adewusi stated.
He also noted that the country would continue to suffer endless misrule, except the National Assembly amend Chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution to empower Nigerians to take Federal Government to Court if it failed to run the economy the way it should be run.
“Except chapter 2 of the constitution, which talks about the principle of State and fundamental objectives is made justiciable, the country will continue to suffer misrule.
“Under the chapter, the Federal Government cannot be taken to Court for not meeting the yearnings of Nigerians in terms of rights to good health, education and others, unlike in South Africa, where their citizens can sue the government for not meeting their rights.
“Today in Nigeria, education is a right, but people still drop out of schools because of mere N5,000 and government is doing nothing about that. People are still being killed by malaria, so I ask, what manner of rights is this?” he queried.
He pointed out that unless something urgent is done, government will continue to pay lip service to people’s welfare, and this he said would continue until the citizens enjoy the constitutional rights to compel the government to be alive to its responsibilities.