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News Express vindicated on Kolade’s resignation as SURE-P Chairman

By News Express on 24/11/2013

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When News Express last April 9 exclusively reported that ‘Mr. Integrity’, Dr. Christopher Kolade, had tendered his letter of resignation as Chairman of Nigeria’s interventionist agency, the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), to President Goodluck Jonathan, the Presidency was quick to deny it. News Express later reported that the famed administrator had bowed to pressure and decided to stay.

Today, News Express has been vindicated by Dr. Kolade’s resignation and the revelation that he actually offered to resign around the time of our report but was persuaded to stay by President Jonathan.

A report in today’s THISDAY in which Kolade confirmed that he is quitting as SURE-P Chairman by the end of this month also confirmed that Kolade would have quit during the early part of the year but it didn’t happen “given the fact that his former deputy, Major-General Mammam Kontagora (rtd), who could have naturally stepped into his shoes, had died in May this year, a development which was said to have delayed the retirement of the committee chairman till this month.”

Though Dr. Kolade cited old age as the reason for his resignation, THISDAY reported, as did News Express, that the main reason is the way the SURE-P job is tarnishing his sparkling reputation which took him decades to build.

In his letter (a copy of which was obtained by THISDAY), Kolade informed the President of his wish to step down as chairman of SURE-P latest by the end of November before his 81st birthday, which comes up in December.

The letter dated September 25 and entitled “Withdrawal from Chairmanship of the SURE-P Committee” reads: “I wish to inform you, respectfully, of my decision to resign from the position of Chairman of the SURE-P Committee.

“My desire is that the resignation should take effect as soon as Mr. President names a new chairman, but not later than the end of November, 2013.

“Mr. President, it has been a worthwhile experience for me to serve as chairman since the inauguration of the committee in February 2012. However, as I approach my 81st birthday, I wish to retire from the more time and energy consuming parts of my responsibilities and activities, one of which is the SURE-P Committee chairmanship.

“Mr. President, please accept my sincere thanks and appreciation for the opportunity to serve in the position of chairman, as well as my prayers for good progress and success for Nigeria in the years ahead.”

Kolade himself confirmed his resignation in an exclusive interview with THISDAY.

News Express reports that SURE-P was introduced by the Nigerian Government to manage savings from the withdrawal of fuel subsidy in January 2012. The partial subsidy withdrawal had sparked protests that ground parts of Nigeria, forcing government to restore part of the subsidy and introduce palliatives, among them the establishment of SURE-P.

The operations of SURE-P have however become lately politicised, with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hijacking some of its flagship programmes, according to insiders who spoke with News Express.

•Photo shows outgoing SURE-P Chairman, Dr. Christopher Kolade.

Source News Express

Posted 24/11/2013 10:43:08 PM


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