Agwai Urges Govt To Diversify To Alternative Sources Of Revenue
Says Fall In Oil Price Will Affect SURE-P
THE Chairman, Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Gen Marthin Luther Agwai has stressed the need for the Federal Government to diversify to other sources of revenue in view of the present fall in the price of oil at the global market.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony for the SURE-P sponsored training and empowerment programme for people with disabilities in Abuja, Agwai who observed that the country cannot survive only on oil, said: “Looking at our population and the resources God has given us in this country, it is very easy to diversify. We need to train manpower, we will definitely make it.”
On whether the drop in oil price would affect SURE-P, the chairman said: “Definitely, we have to face the reality on ground. If there is a fall in the price of oil, it will definitely affect the SURE-P, but we have to be flexible enough and do the best we can with the little we have”.
He noted that the Federal Government’s decision to withdraw oil subsidy in January 2012 was a social decision meant to transfer a huge chunk of national resources from the hands of the privileged few to those of the disadvantaged Nigerians who constantly strive to break away from the burden of poverty and unemployment.
According to him, government in response to the cries of Nigerians, instituted SURE-P to reinvest the Federal Government’s share of the savings arising from the reduction of subsidies on petroleum products into programmes and initiatives that would go a long way to ease the pain of subsidy removal and create better life for Nigerians.
“SURE-P therefore ensures that the Federal Government’s part of the savings from fuel subsidy reduction is applied on critical infrastructure projects and social safety net programmes like the Maternal and Child Health (MCH), Community Services, Women and Youth Employment (CSWYE), Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) programs etc. These are projects that directly impact on the lives and general well-being of majority of Nigerians including people living with one or more forms of disabilities”.
While noting that over 19 million Nigerians live with one form of disability or another, Agwai pointed out that creating programmes that affect the overall well-being of vulnerable young Nigerians, especially people living with disabilities, is therefore an important component of the SURE-P social safety net interventions.
“One of the justifications for a project of this nature is to empower People With Disabilities (PWDs) with both business and technical skills to take up prospective opportunities in their chosen fields of training,” he said.