‘Improper’ Use Of Language Delays Deliberations On SURE-P Report

FROM LEFT: FORMER FCT MINISTER, BRIG.-GEN. MAMMAN KOTANGORA; SECRETARY, SUBSIDY  RE-INVESTMENT AND EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME (SURE-P), NZE AKACHUKWU NWANKPA AND SURE-P CHAIRMAN, AMB  CHRISTOPHER KOLADE DURING THEIR MEETING WITH PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN IN ABUJA

FROM LEFT: FORMER FCT MINISTER, BRIG.-GEN. MAMMAN KOTANGORA; SECRETARY, SUBSIDY
RE-INVESTMENT AND EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME (SURE-P), NZE AKACHUKWU NWANKPA AND SURE-P CHAIRMAN, AMB
CHRISTOPHER KOLADE DURING THEIR MEETING WITH PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN IN ABUJA

Teddy Oscar, Abuja

Deliberations on a House of Representatives’ report, which examined the implementation of the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme
(SURE-P), was on Tuesday delayed by members, who described the use of language contained in the first clause of the report as unnecessary and inappropriate.

The House subsequently decided to step down the report, following an objection raised by Hon. Leo Ogor, deputy majority leader of the House.

The clause read: “That the SURE-P programme, though ill conceived, lacking in definition and having very restrictive mandate, has some merits. The committees are of the strong opinion that we should not
throw away the baby and the bathe water. It thus recommended that some
value adding aspects of the programme be retained, others reviewed and the non-value adding components discarded with.”

Ogor, thereafter, had the full support of the chairmen of the various committees, who unanimously decided to step down the report.

Made up of those of Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Niger Delta, Health, Land Transport, Youth Development, Finance, States and Local Governments and Works, the joint committee is headed by Hon. Dakuku Peterside.

It recommended that the Federal Government do review and restructure the mandate of SURE-P committee and should be given some degree of autonomy and legal backing.

Other recommendations include: “that the labour/community service component which lacks both framework and transparency in personnel
recruitment, and which has been heavily politicised be discarded
forthwith.

“The committees recommend strongly that the National Assembly should not, under any guise give approval to this item in any future budget of SURE-P or any of the ministries where this may be domiciled in future as it is a shear waste of resources with no impact
whatsoever;

“That many of the infrastructure projects (especially those domiciled in the ministry of Works and Ministry of Niger Delta) have serious issues (multiple variations of contract sums, several of the projects
have exceeded their time frame, etc.), thus the committees recommend that appropriate standing committees of the House do conduct forensic
audit of the projects from the time of award to the present since the committees could not go into the origin of those projects as it is outside their mandate.”

The Dakuku-led committee also recommended a thorough probe of payments made in the railway projects, beneficiaries of health projects, recruitments and facilities as well as the conditional cash transfer
scheme.

Meanwhile, the House has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) Limited Plc to reinstate two of their staff (one each) whom they had dismissed from their services.

This was sequel to the approval of a report of the House
Committee on Public Petitions, which recommended the dismissed staff reinstatement.

The Hon. Uzo Azubuike-led committee had considered and approved two petitions by Mr. Samson Ugwuzor against CBN on alleged unjust dismissal from service and another petition by Mr. Gabriel Haruna on the alleged wrongful termination of his appointment by NSPMC.

The report, among others, urged CBN to review the petitioner’s case and reverse the dismissal order to termination of appointment.

It further urged the management of NSPMC to convert the termination of Haruna’s appointment to retirement, and to pay all his benefits (salaries and allowances) from 1st August 2008 to 31st December 2014 when he was due for retirement.

While adopting the report of the committee, the House presided by the deputy speaker Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, frowned at the manner several government agencies have disengaged their staff without paying them their terminal benefits as provided by relevant public service rules.

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