National Assembly Complex
By Onwuka Nzeshi
The House of Representatives has said it would look into the mandate and operations of the Subsidy Re-Investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) launched by the federal government last year.
The investigation which will kick off next week is to be conducted by the Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Finance, States and Local Governments.
Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) Hon. Dakuku Peterside, told THISDAY that the investigation was in compliance with a resolution of the House following a debate on the operations of the programme.
The House had at its plenary session on Thursday, November 15, 2012 passed a resolution mandating the joint committees on Petroleum Resources (Downstream); Finance; States and Local Governments to investigate the mandate, implementation and operations of Subsidy Re-Investment and Empowerment Programme.
Dakuku said the joint committee has called for written memoranda from interested members of the public and stakeholders preparatory for a public hearing.
He urged all stakeholders to be prepared to provide relevant information on the programme to guide the parliament take appropriate decisions.
The SURE-P was launched by President Goodluck Jonathan in the wake of the mass revolt against the scrapping of the subsidy on petroleum resources.
The programme was designed to act as a receptacle for funds that accrued to the government from the partial removal of subsidy on petroleum products.
The funds are expected to be deployed to social service projects that will cushion the impact of the increase in the pump price of petroleum products from sixty five naira (N65) per litre to ninety seven naira (N79) per litre.
At the outset of the programme, the federal government purchased a fleet of mass transit buses for distribution to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The programme later came under attack from critics following allegations that its operations have been less than transparent and its impact on the populace almost non-existent.