The Senate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to launch a probe of his predecessor, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, in his handling of the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, one of the signature programs of the former government.
The red chamber citing mismanagement of funds, said it was crucial that President Buhari asks his predecessor to account for every penny spent during the latter‘s administration on the SURE-P and other poverty alleviation programmes.
The move to probe the previous administration followed an additional prayer moved by Senator Babajide Christopher Omoworare to Senator Bassey Albert Akpan-sponsored motion, entitled: “Urgent need to curb the soaring rate of unemployment in Nigeria,” which he presented for consideration during yesterday’s plenary.
After the initial recommendations of the motion, Senator Philip Aduda raised an additional prayer, urging the Federal Government to fulfill one of its numerous campaign promises.
“The Federal Government should immediately commence the payment of the N5,000 monthly stipend it promised during the pre-election campaign,” Aduda moved.
The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, rose and seconded the additional prayer. But Omoworare raised the Senate Standing Order 53(6) to oppose the additional prayer.
“I want to move that the immediate past government be made to account for every penny spent on SURE-P and other poverty alleviation programmes, and I so move, Mr. President,” Omoworare said.
When Saraki put the question to voice vote, the ayes response came from the APC senators, but the PDP senators kept mute to the nay call.
In the motion, Akpan observed that the latest figures of Nigeria’s soaring unemployment situation by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBC) has increased to 8.2 percent in the second quarter of 2015 from 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 2015 and 6.4 percent in the last quarter of 2014.
“The latest statistics as released by the bureau reveals that economically active population, or working age comprising Nigerians within the age range of 15 to 64, is now 103.5 million, increasing from 102.8 million in the last quarter of 2015, while the unemployed labour force now stands at 74 million Nigerian youths. This is truly a calamity,” he noted.