President Goodluck Joanthan last week inaugurated the governing board of the subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE) led by the former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Dr. Christopher Kolade with an explanation that a template that could lead to a full-blown deregulation is yet to be implemented by the federal government.
He assured that his government would deliver on its promises and programmes aimed at transforming the nation.
According to him, the SURE programme was designed for total deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector, admitting that there was a high level of destruct by the public of the government fulfilling its promises.
The President assured that his administration would not fail Nigerians, adding that even with the partial deregulation or an increase in pump price of petrol, his government would still go ahead to reinvest the proceeds for the benefits of the people.
His words: “What we have now is an increase in pump price and not total deregulation, but we have to show that we are committed to delivering on our promises”, the pedigree of members of the board.
Appealing to Nigerians to cooperate with the board members as the move across the country to oversee the implementation of projects and programmes of SURE, Jonathan noted that government recognised that funding was a major impediment to employment creation.
He disclosed that government had set aside some portion of the partial subsidy removal proceeds to support employment generation nationwide, pointing out that his administration views the prevailing high rate of unemployment among the youths with great concern, especially with the rising rate of youth militancy, violence and other social vices inimical to the political and economic stability of the nation.
To create employment for up to 370,000, women and youths in 3 states of the federation and the federal capital Territory and reduce the vulnerability of women and youths through exposure to income – generating opportunities among others are the benefits to be derived from the deregulation.
Speaking on behalf of the board, Kolade assured that they would serve with integrity, probity, transparency and accountability.
President Jonathan had announced the establishment of the SURE on January 2 after his government announced the removal of petrol subsidy on December 31, 2011.