ABUJA – Retired Gen. Martin Agwai, Chairman, Subsidy Re-Investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), on Monday said N280 billion had been spent out of N360 billion allocated to the programme since inception.
He made this disclosure in an interview with State House correspondents at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja after a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan.
Agwai, however, said that N80 billion was rolled over out of the total allocation of N360 billion between 2012 and 2014.
“Out of the N360 billion that was allocated to us, we rolled over N80 billion, so we spent about N280 within the period.
“That was what we used to get the East-West road to where it is today; the rail line running from Kano to Lagos and all the works that have been done.
“So, you can imagine if the over N1 trillion that was spent on subsidy is released for this kind of work, Nigeria will get the best of services,’’ he said.
“We rolled over money not because we wanted to do that. We have a system on the ground and processes that you have to go through before you can access our funds.
“We have a template of what you need to do before you can access our money. If you do not do it, you cannot get our money for credibility purposes.
“You must meet all the guidelines and we also must inspect all the projects and be satisfied that they have been done currently within the contractual agreements before our money is given out,’’ he said.
According to him, the Maternal Health Care (MHC) component of SURE-P has contributed to reduction of the country’s maternal mortality rate by 60 per cent.
He said under the MHC component of the programme, over half a million women gave birth “under professionally organised midwives which was not the case in the past’’.
The chairman said that 500 health centres had so far been upgraded, while upgrade work was ongoing on another 700 centres under MHC.
“We have sunk over 620 boreholes to give our mothers good health, good potable water and we are also providing medications and Mama Kits for expectant mothers.
“From the reports we have had on the contributions of the MHC under SURE P, we have been able to reduce by almost 60 per cent the number of death due to child births.
“SURE-P has achieved a lot in this country. You just have to go out there and see the facts, including the Abuja-Lokoja road.
“If you know how bad that road was before we came in 2012 we have achieved much, and we hope that by the end of this year much more would have been achieved,’’ Agwai said. (NAN)