According to Business day, Christopher Kolade, chairman, Subsidy Investment and Empowerment Board, set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to oversee the investment of the savings from the petroleum subsidy removal , has pledged that the Board would profitably invest the savings for the good of Nigerians.
Kolade commended the Federal Government’s decision to remove petroleum subsidy and plan to reinvest the proceeds, saying it was in the best interest of Nigerians.
Kolade who made these claims, said the country had been creating jobs for foreigners abroad through fuel subsidy and that with the removal of the petroleum subsidy, local and foreign investors would be willing to invest and develop the refineries.
The Federal Government projects that about N1.34 trillion would be saved annually from the subsidy removal and domiciled in a special account in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Kolade could not however confirm if the fund pool would attract interest.
He also said he considered his appointment an honour and assured that he and his team would work hard to achieve the objectives of the Federal Government. He declined to give information on the modus operandi, investment model and window of investment, since the Board was yet to be inaugurated. He however disclosed that the funds would be invested profitably, adopting pure principles of entrepreneurship.
Proffering solutions to the problem of corruption which has over the years eaten deep into the fabric of the nation, he said the best way to go was to apply sanctions to transgressors, to serve as a deterrent to would be offenders, not minding their position in the society.
As part of the strategy of building trust between government and the people, Kolade shared the popular view that cost of governance should be cut, especially items that are not contributing to the economy.
The Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Board was given the mandate to oversee the Funds in the Petroleum Subsidy Savings Account, to improve the quality of life of Nigerians, in line with the transformation agenda of President Jonathan.
The board’s terms of reference include to determine, in liaison with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Petroleum, the subsidy savings estimates for each preceding month and ensure that such funds are transferred to the Funds’ special account with the CBN.
It is also to approve the annual work plans and cash budget of the various Project Implementation Units ( PIUs) within the ministries and agencies, and ensure orderly disbursement of the fund by the PIUs, in order to certify and execute projects; monitor and evaluate execution of the funded projects. These include periodic Poverty and Social Impact Analysis and update the President regularly, on the programme.
Some of the projects the board is to invest in include public works and youth employment, vocational training, urban mass transit scheme, roads, railways, water and agriculture scheme, as well as power projects