✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters
Click Here To Listen To Trust Radio Live

FG, states synergy on SURE-P implementation vital -Gov Ajumobi

SURE-P was conceptualised as a form of a social safety net to uplift the living standard of the poor and vulnerable members of the society…

SURE-P was conceptualised as a form of a social safety net to uplift the living standard of the poor and vulnerable members of the society in a seamless and transparent manner. Specifically, it was intended to mitigate the reduction in petroleum subsidies, to accelerate economic transformation and to lay the foundation for a successful social safety net programme.  
Though some public works and job creation programmes had been launched to support the expansion of employment generation interventions, there has been public outcry in several parts of the country on the sincerity of government in its implementation. Not a few state governments have doubted the neutrality of the federal government in the disbursement of SURE-P funds, as they claimed that only members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had been benefiting.
Among the embittered state governors was Senator Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, who did not hide his feelings on SURE-P when the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu came calling in Ibadan recently.  Wogu, who was on a sensitisation and appraisal visit to the South West geo-political zone of the country on the Community Services, Women and Youths Employment (CSWYE) Project of the SURE-P, had led his team on a courtesy call on the governor in his office. Chief Wogu also told Ajimobi that his working visit to the South West zone was partly aimed at “considering some areas of partnership with the host government for maximum benefit to citizens of the state.”
According to the minister, the SURE-P team was in the zone to share the successes recorded so far on the implementation of the CSWYE project and to consider some areas of possible partnership with the state government for maximum benefit to the people of the state. Wogu claimed that the zone had benefited under the CSWYE scheme to the tune of N1,718,373,250 between February and September 2013, with 22,500 people, both males and females, benefiting from it.
In Oyo State alone, the minister noted, a total of 3,500 people, made up of 1,982 males and 1,518 females were currently engaged, with all of them working in 144 service units spread across all the 33 local government areas of the state. The beneficiaries, he said, had received a total of N246.8 million as stipends, while a total sum of N29.9 million had been remitted to the state as running/management cost in the period under review.
Wogu addressed the teeming SURE-P beneficiaries drawn from the zone who had converged on the Polo Recreation field at Jericho, Ibadan. Reeling out the positive effects of the other project components, the minister disclosed that under the maternal and child health (MCH) programme of the SURE-P, a total of 1,060 out of over 6,000 health workers engaged are from the South West states.  
“Over 1,000 health workers comprising 252 midwives, 377 community health extension workers (CHEWs), 431 village health workers (VHWs) have also been engaged by SURE-P in the South West,” he said, adding that currently, the MCH is already intervening in 144 primary health centres (PHCs) which have been renovated and provided with drugs. These interventions, Wogu claimed, are impacting positively on reduction of infant and maternal mortality and morbidity in the zone.
“You should shun violence in whatsoever form and join hands with this administration to transform your lives and the socio-economic environment of your communities through this project.  I understand that you are having challenges of irregular payment of your monthly stipends and insufficient tools to work with.  These should be seen as the teething problems often associated with new projects of this scope, and would soon be solved.”
But Governor Ajimobi pointedly called on the Peoples Democratic Party-led federal government not to discriminate against other political parties in the management of SURE-P. Rather, the governor advocated for the setting up of a committee comprising representatives of both the federal government and state governments in each of the 36 states of the federation that would run the programme. Such a committee, he said, was necessary in order to ensure regular meetings and monitoring of the programme.
Though Governor Ajimobi, while expressing his grouse and that of the other All Progressive Congress (APC) governors in the South West applauded the federal government for the SURE-P initiative, he reiterated the need for the federal authorities to change gear in the implementation of the project.
“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 effects, the better.’’
Governor Ajimobi explained that the suggested committee, if constituted, would ensure synergy between the federal government and the state government on the SURE-P scheme and other similar empowerment and poverty alleviation programmes of the states.  
According to him, 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 improving the socio-economic fabrics of the country. In addition, he 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.
Participants hoped the minister would have learnt better on the realities on ground in the zone, having physically met with the perceived beneficiaries.  
They advised that to effectively expand the scope of the SURE-P and broaden its sustenability base for the maximum benefit of the youths and women in Oyo State and the South West zone in general, it is time the federal government strengthened its partnership with the host state governments. This, they said, would not only give the SURE-P the credibility it deserves, it would also ensure that the right people are drawn out to benefit from the scheme and have smiles on the faces.

VERIFIED: It is now possible to live in Nigeria and earn salary in US Dollars with premium domains, you can earn as much as $12,000 (₦18 Million).
Click here to start.