AFTER about 10 months of promise, the second phase of the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) which gives stipends to 5,000 unemployed, underprivileged and physically challenged persons per state across the 36 states of the federation, including Abuja, began yesterday with the President Goodluck Jonathan saying the programme was for all Nigerians irrespective of party affiliation.
Chairman, Edo State Implementation Committee (SIC) of the programme, Lucky Imasuen, stated this in Benin City when, on behalf of the president, he flagged off the Community/Women and Empowerment Programme of the SURE-P across the 18 local government councils of the state.
He said the president was committed to ensuring that the programme was successful. “From what the president has put in place under the supervisory role of the Federal Ministry of Finance, you can be sure that this programme will not be like one of those programmes that started and failed. We are working on 5,000 beneficiaries but this is the first 3,000 and of this 3,000, we invited the disabled, the disadvantaged, the albinos, we went to the street corners where these young men hang out, we want to engage them, we want to keep them busy because a busy mind is always thinking constructively. We took them out to register them. By January, we will do the next phase of 2,000; it is 5,000 per state in a year.
“I want to dispel one rumour that this is not a PDP programme, nor ACN programme, nor CPC nor ANPP programme. This is a Nigerians’ programme. The president was voted for by all Nigerians and consequently any programme that emanates from his office is for all Nigerians.”
He said the money would be “sent directly to the beneficiaries, it is not going to pass through the states, the bank will capture their data and then take their names to the bank in Abuja; then all the beneficiaries from across the country have one account and at the end of the month, the bank credits directly.
“ No state government, no minister sees the money so I can assure you that this is a wonderful programme, it has started well and by the grace of God it will end well.”