President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday advised the National Assembly to ensure the speedy passage of the 2014 budget for the smooth implementation of various developmental programmes nationwide.
Jonathan gave the advice at a stakeholders’ forum on Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), held at the Presidential Banquet hall, Abuja.
Represented by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mr Emeka Wogu, the President particularly called on the members of the Senate and House of Representatives’ committees on SURE-P to spearhead the speedy passage of the SURE-P 2014 budget.
According to Jonathan, the quick passage of the budget will facilitate the completion of all outstanding SURE-P projects as well as address critical infrastructure and social safety nets needs of Nigerians.
“The current budget of the year 2014 is before the National Assemby and I use this opportunity to urge Sen. Abdul Ningi, whose committee oversights this programme, to urge (his) colleagues in the National Assembly to expedite the process of consideration of the budget so that we can meet the targets.
“I, therefore, enjoin all stakeholders to rededicate themselves to ensuring that the sacrifice that Nigerians have made in paying higher for petroleum products is reflected in improved quality of life.“
Jonathan reiterated the determination of the government to continue to impact positively on all citizens irrespective of their geo-political affiliation.
He noted with delight that the SURE-P funds were used to accelerated and complete the rehabilitation of Nigerian Railway, road projects and other critical infrastructure to alleviate sufferings of Nigerians.
According to him, the Community Service, Women and Youth Employment (CSWYE) under the SURE-P, had successfully offered jobs to no fewer than 180,000 Nigerians.
The President commended the immediate past Chairman of SURE-P, Dr Christopher Kolade, for accepting the task of establishing the SURE-P and lauded his outstanding performance while in office.
In his remarks, Gov. Idris Wada of Kogi, thanked the Federal Government for introducing the intervention programme which he described as laudable.
According to him, the State Government has so far trained about 6,000 youths under the SURE-P.
“We started with 500 youths per quarter who are trained at the NYSC orientation camp. They are taught various types of orientation. We have also used the fund for rural roads,“ he said.
Wada, however, appealed for an increase in the amount accruable to states under the programme.
The acting Chairman of SURE-P, retired Gen. Martin-Luther Agwai, explained that the forum was organised to review the past operations of the SURE-P with a view to assisting the programme to fulfill its mandate. (NAN)