Home Column SURE-P missing Funds: These men in government cannot be trusted

SURE-P missing Funds: These men in government cannot be trusted

by Business News Report

SurePGovernance in developed economies is a pact between the people and their government. The people willingly surrender their individual power to a few elected individuals who they believe will act in their best interest. So, governance around the world, in civilized societies, is a social contract the electorate entered with those elected that they give them the power of attorney to act on their behalf. In these other societies, one man, one vote is respected. The votes of individuals count
But here, because the concept of one man, one vote is only in our lips, the elected is king and lord it over the electorate. Votes do not count. Ballot boxes are stuffed and the “unwanted” becomes the “wanted”. They assume office knowing that they got there by crook.So they cook government books and steal money knowing that there is nothing you and I can do about it. If it were in Britain or US, the people will wait patiently for the next election to boot out the rogues in government.
Nigeria’s case seems to be different. It appears once elected, governance becomes a privilege for the few and they act in their own interest. Nigeria leaders cannot be trusted for anything. When in January 2012, Jonathan through the back door increased fuel price, Nigerians took to the streets in protest. Occupy Nigeria were bent on government reversing the increase until a compromise was reached. The compromise was the setting up of the Subsidy Reinvestment Fund. The fund was meant to invest in social infrastructure to alleviate the raving poverty in the country. The expectation was that the government will use this singular opportunity to demonstrate its commitment and sincerity to the cause of the nation to regain the people’s confidence in governance. It was a shame to hear that the senate committee investigating the fund has discovered that about N500 billion is missing from the fund.
It was shocking and with disbeliefs that most Nigerians, who supported this administration on the subsidy removal, when the Senate Committee investigating SURE-P said last Tuesday that more than half of the fuel subsidy savings raised by the Federal Government since 2012 may be missing. The amount would be at least N500 billion, the Senate Committee on Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, The sum is derived from calculable amount that should have accrued to the government, as removed fuel subsidy funds since January 2012 till September 2013. The government scrapped the subsidy it paid on each litre of petrol consumed in the country, claiming that it cost her too much to sustain the programme and would prefer to re-direct the savings to development.
After grounding public demonstrations greeted the decision, the government later retained a part of the subsidy while it removed about N32 per litre, raising petrol pump price by the same amount (from N65 to N97 per litre)

A member of the committee, Kabiru Marafa, (APC, Zamfara) said N800 billion had been generated so far from subsidy, while the government has released only N300 billion for the SURE-P, and has provided no reason for the difference. The senator said the committee had written to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to state the quantity of fuel imported since January 2012 to September 2013, and the NNPC replied within the 21 months that about 25 billion litres had been imported.
By a simple arithmetic, if you multiply 25 billion by N32, N800 billion is what you get, and what SURE-P management claimed they got during the period is about N300 billion at N15 billion flat rate per The government should hold NNPC and its board to account for the money. If the Money was paid to CBN, the NNPC should say so and if the CBN has the money, it should explain to Nigerians who signed off the money meant for the SURE-P.
Since CBN is the custodians of the money, it is the CBN that remits funds to SURE-P; the CBN is in the best position to inform Nigerians what the NNPC is remitting to it. This is the purpose of the independence of the CBN.
In a sane country, the ministers of finance, petroleum resources and the president will be uncomfortable because of the issue of integrity of the administration. If this government has any element of integrity left, it must come out strong on this issue. Nigerians have no confidence in this government handling of the nation’s finances.
Last week, the Minister of Finance and Coordinator Minister of the economy pleaded government’s helplessness in crude oil theft that has caused the nation to lose close to $12 billion in revenue.
The question being asked is, is this famous cabal as the government has called them more powerful than the Jonathan led government security apparatus? As if this is not bad enough, Nigerians are being told that N500 billion of the little that was rescued from the hands of these crude oil thieves, thieves within this government has stolen it for their pocket. Is this government a rogue government? Is this government making Nigeria a rogue country? How will Nigerians trust any of these so called top government functionaries, who keep deceiving them?
No truth is coming out of their mouth. It is all lies, story of a better tomorrow when we have not made today good for any body. It will be difficult for these men in today’s government to convince Nigerians of any subsidy removal. Who will the proceeds of such future subsidy removal go to?

Related Posts

Leave a Comment