Bayelsa Sure-P beneficiaries threatens to drag officers before EFCC

Bayelsa State beneficiaries of Sure-P has given the Office of Sure-P and those in charge of the programme in the state a two week ultimatum to pay them their 2015 stipends or risk being dragged to the EFCC.

The Chairman of grassroot Sure-P Mr. Opamilola Wilson gave the ultimatum at Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa state. He said that the ultimatum has become necessary after the forum made several efforts to replicate their payment under the leadership of one Mr. Michael Kalaingo, who happens to be the state coordinator then.

The group described the nonpayment of their N10,000 monthly allowances for each beneficiary for the whole of 2015 as outright marginalization of their sweat for grassroots development.

The group said “Sure-P is owing the group of over 3000 persons since 2015. “we want the state and federal government to to investigate the activities of the Bayelsa State Sure-P and other payments and benefits attached including training and starter packages.” They also accused SURE-P of denying them training on ICT where they were expected to be given starter packs by Airtel at the end of the day.

He said “Mr. Michael Kalaingo, who is the state coordinator claimed that he has trained beneficiaries in ICT as part of the activities only to give us Airtel C55 phones, he should as a matter of urgency pay our entitlements and conduct our training.”

Mr. Wilson averred that they are law abiding Bayelsans, adding that they are ready to back the restoration government for introducing developmental
projects in the SURE-P scheme. They alleged that a cartel in SURE-P must have masterminded the nonpayment of their stipend and training, adding they will follow this matter to a logical conclusion.

Although the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, received no budgetary provision for 2015 investigations revealed that the funds expended for SURE-P programmes were from the N21 billion rolled over from 2014 unspent budget. The GIS had a budget of N10 billion in 2014, out of which N2 billion was
rolled over to 2015. Interns were later paid from funds provided by the Ministry of Finance.

But as at the time of filing in this report, the Bayelsa state beneficiaries who were 3000 are yet to receive their stipends. A source from Sure-P office Abuja Shedrack Justice said the beneficiaries were paid only January and February stipends in 2015.
Recall that the aim of the programme which was established by the then President Goodluck Jonathan has been thwarted as over three hundred and sixty million is alleged to have been embezzled by the coordinators of the scheme, according to the group known as the forum of Sure-P Supervisors made up by 3000 beneficiaries from the 8 local government area of Bayelsa State.

The Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Program known as Sure-P re-investing the Federal Government savings from fuel subsidy removal on critical infrastructure projects and social safety net programmes with direct impact on the citizens of Nigeria.

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