Finance Ministry Denies Withholding SURE-P Funds

The Ministry of Finance, has  debunked a media report credited to the Chairman of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (Sure-P) Senator Abdul Ningi that it was withholding funds meant to finance projects under the intervention programme.

Ningi had in a television programme reportedly accused the ministry of withholding funds meant for Sure-P, thereby stalling projects.

Reacting to the Senator’s claim the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in a statement issued through her Media Adviser, Miss Constance Ikoku said the allegation would have been ignored were it not coming from the Senate Ad hoc Committee Chairman.

“We wish to categorically state that the Ministry of Finance does not withhold funds belonging to Sure-P. As soon as the Sure-P committee certifies any project for payment, money is released promptly through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“The facts of the matter are as follows: N268.37billion was appropriated for Sure-P in the 2014 Budget for various projects and programmes.

“A Committee under the Chairmanship of Gen. Martin Luther Agwai (rtd) set up by the President, reviews the implementation of various projects/programmes and makes recommendation for payment. Whatever is recommended is promptly paid directly into the accounts of contractors rather than through Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAS), within 5-7 working days,” the statement said.

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