Governor asks PDP-led government not to discriminate against other parties
A total of 3,500 Oyo State residents would take part in the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, of the Federal Government, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu, has said.
Mr. Wogu, who was in Ibadan on Friday to launch the Oyo State edition of the programme, said the beneficiaries were 1,982 males and 1,518 females, who work in 144 service units spread across all the 33 Local Government Areas of the state.
According to him, the Federal Government has so far paid a total sum of N246.8 million as stipends to the beneficiaries, while another N29.9 million was remitted to the state – as running/management cost – between February and September 2013.
Mr. Wogu also led a team of Federal Government officials to Governor Abiola Ajimobi to, according to Mr. Wogu, share the successes recorded in the implementation of the Community Services, Women and Youths Empowerment, CSWYE, programme of the SURE-P, as well as to consider some areas of possible partnership with the state government for maximum benefit to the people of the state.
Governor Ajimobi, while receiving the delegation in his office, urged the Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government not to discriminate against other political parties in the management of SURE-P.
He called for the setting up of a committee comprising representatives of both the Federal and State governments in each of the 36 states to run the programme.
“What we should know is that it doesn’t matter whether it is PDP or APC or whatever. What matters is that we want to help Nigerians. We are all Nigerians, and the Federal Government is government for all Nigerians.
“It’s only that Nigeria has been divided into 36 states but not into 36 countries. So I think SURE-P and states must work together to ensure that we help our people and the only way we can help our people is for us to synergise in the areas of SURE-P and other similar programmes.
“What I have seen in Nigeria and in our developmental programmes is that we do more talking than action. I think the earlier we all come together and do things in such a way that people will begin to see the effect, the better,” he said.
He also said that the committee, if constituted, would ensure synergy between the Federal Government and the Oyo State government on the SURE-P scheme and other similar empowerment and poverty alleviation programmes of the states.
“I also like to suggest that we have synergy; when I say synergy, I do not so much like the idea of SURE-P being managed without having a committee of SURE-P with that of the state government that will regularly meet and monitor progress,” Mr. Ajimobi said.
He added that such a committee should be devoid of unnecessary politicking but should rather be concerned with actualising the aims and objectives of the programme and ultimately improve the socio-economic fabrics of the country.
Governor Ajimobi also suggested an increase in the quantum of participants in the SURE-P programme, saying that counting only thousands as beneficiaries in a population of millions of people would not augur well for the programme.
“When the minister was speaking, he was reeling out the figure of what they have done but when you look at a state with about 10 million people and we are saying only 1,000 or 2,000 people have benefitted, to me, this is terribly low.
“What I will, therefore, like to suggest is that if we can quickly increase our rate of penetration and impact, and the quantum of participants, it will be better,” the governor stated.
He also called for the development of a data base for the programme to succeed, adding, “We should have targets in quantifiable terms and measure them with time.”
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