Senator Ita Enang
By Okon Bassey
Dissatisfied with the implementation of the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), the Senator representing the Akwa Ibom North East in the Senate, Senator Ita Enang, has advocated the abolition of the scheme.
Enang, who appeared at a forum tagged ‘Correspondent Arena’ floated by Correspondents Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Akwa Ibom State chapter criticised the way Federal Government was disbursing the SURE-P fund.
SURE-P was introduced by the Federal Government early this year to cushion the effect of the partial removal of oil subsidy.
Hear him: “I will urge the Federal Government to abolish the SURE-P funding and any money that is saved by the removal of the subsidy should be paid into the Federation Account and shared between the Federal, State and Local Governments.
“I am not satisfied with the Federal Government Implementation of SURE-P. If it was a reinvestment fund, it should have been invested on something that could be really seen. Things that will reduce the suffering of the people, it should be invested in the building of refineries and alternative projects or programmes that would be sustained after oil.”
The Senator who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, tasked the Federal Government to channel resources and invest on projects beneficial to the citizens.
Speaking on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the federal lawmaker said there was nothing in the bill that favours a section of the country as claimed by some people.
“The only thing I think we should provide for is the Frontier Exploration Fund, that is fund that would help in providing for the search for oil in Chad Basin, Kogi, Kwara, Kebi Bornu, Benue, Bauchi, Sokoto and other areas where oil is found in the entire Northern boundary of Nigeria,” he said.
According to him, those calling for the usage of the PIB as a tool for the increment of derivation funds were not conversant with the constitution stressing that it is only through constitution amendmentthat issue of increment of derivation funds could be treated.
On the extension of the 2012 budget to March 2013, the Senator saiddecision was in good faith as contractors could be attempted to abandon their jobs since they would have no provision in the 2013 budget.