How Far Will SURE Go?
Federal government has set up SURE (Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme) as a tool to ensure that the money realized from fuel subsidy removal get to targeted infrastructural and others project aimed at alleviating the impact of fuel subsidy removal.
That apart, it has been described as a propaganda tool by the opposition who think it will add up to nothing. They pointed out that for the removal of fuel subsidy and wasting billions of naira of scarce resources showed that nothing is meant to change as the proceeds of the saved subsidy would again end up in private pockets.
CNPP and critics have not stopped asking about what will be done to those exposed by the Senate as the beneficiaries of the previous subsidies. They have thrown up the unanswered question as to why such ‘persons and companies were allowed to pocket the money meant for subsidy’. They have asked the President and his team to have a re-think as they have not given answers to pertinent questions raised by the masses.
SURE aches from a huge credibility issue. It is from our recent past and the bad memories that litter the various projects undertaken by successive government without realization of the targeted result. This automatically puts a heavy burden on SURE.
It demands that we ask questions about looted funds which were designated for developing infrastructure. Going by what SURE represents, is it not possible that money saved from subsidy and allocated to infrastructure will go the same way like others? Come to think of it, sums have been budgeted for infrastructure; we ask why must it now be hinged on the removal of subsidy?
Fuel subsidy removal is going to be a huge knockout to rural and semi-urban centers, whatever SURE does will not change anything in the immediate. So? Let subsidy be removed gradually, over the span of this administration. Else, we might dance to horrible and unwarranted tunes. The streets and her dwellers are not smiling.