29th October, 2014
The Chairman, Senate Committee on SURE-P, Sen. Abdul Ningi (PDP-Bauchi), has expressed concern over the non-completion of the East-West Road in spite of the amount of money invested in the project.
Ningi made the remark at a meeting to verify the implementation level of 2014 Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) budget on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said the East-West road had attracted funding for over 10 years without completion.
He added that “the East-West road is a national project and it has been attracting funding for more than 10 years.
“The level of implementation of this road leaves much to be desired. I think that those who are saddled with the responsibility of making sure the East West Road is completed must see it as a cardinal objective of this government”.
The chairman said those saddled with the responsibility of carrying out the project were not living up to expectations, adding that the project had been funded from different sources over the years without accountability.
Ningi charged the sector handling the road project to be accountable to the people to ensure proper implementation of the SURE-P intervention fund.
He also said that the committee would not rest on its oars in ensuring the completion of road projects in the country, including the Abuja-Lokoja road.
Sen. Ganiyu Solomon (APC-Lagos), who spoke on SURE-P intervention in transportation in the FCT, said that the non-charlant attitude of initial beneficiaries to pay back was a major setback to the project.
Ganiyu, who is the Vice Chairman of the committee, said most beneficiaries who drove the SURE-P Mass transit buses were not keeping to the terms of agreement in spite of the fact that such loans had no interest.
He, however, said government should not relent in making sure that Nigerians, particularly FCT residents who reside in satellite towns, have easy access to mass transit buses.
Ganiyu said a situation where FCT residents spent hours waiting for vehicles to convey them to their places of work was unacceptable.
“We’ve taken note of that and we will still make provisions for more transit buses because at the end of the day, government must rise to that responsibility.
“Government cannot come up with excuses because some people are not paying up. We have to make sure we put more buses on the road”.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transportation in its presentation said N43 billion was budgeted for the sector from SURE-P.
A Director in the ministry, Mr Eric Onyeiwu, said the total amount of money certified on the sector’s project as at Sept. 30, was N26 billion, amounting to about 70 per cent utilisation of the budget.
Onyeiwu expressed optimism that the sector would be able to implement at least 95 per cent of the funds earmarked for the sector at the end of the 2014 fiscal year.
Other sectors, which also presented their financial report to the committee, included Community Services, Women and Youth Empowerment Project, National Planning, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, among others.