The Subsidy Re-Investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) as a Palliative Policy in Nigeria: An Impact Assessment

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This study assessed the impact of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) which was introduced to cushion the negative effects of subsidy removal on petrol and to convince Nigerians about the good intentions of government as regards the utilization of the funds. The study is anchored on the following hypotheses: that the effective implementation of SURE-P is positively related to reduction in the level of unemployment in Nigeria; that the implementation of SURE-P is positively related to improvement in road infrastructure in Nigeria; and that the alleviation of transport challenges is dependent on the implementation of SURE-P. Using the Systems Theory of Public Policy as theoretical framework, the study utilized both quantitative and qualitative methods. Although the study combined the quantitative and qualitative methods, the main instrument for data collection was 384 survey questionnaire administered across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. After analysis with the Chi Square, the three hypotheses were upheld. It was concluded that although the federal government did not fully achieve its objectives to mitigate the negative impacts of the removal of subsidy due to some impediments including the fall in its revenue profile, SURE-P made significant impacts in the areas of reduction in the level of unemployment, improvements on road infrastructure and the alleviation of transport challenges in Nigeria. It was recommended in this study, among others, that Government should streamline the implementation of palliatives to clearly defined projects instead of intervention in too many sectors at the end of which significant impacts may not be felt, open the implementation of the programme to the supervision of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and direct States and Local Governments to publish projects executed with the SURE-P funds, to ensure accountability, transparency and prudence.