The federal government hinted on Thursday that it will inject fresh $250 million sourced from the excess crude account (ECA) into the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).
This is coming just as the National Economic Council (NEC) has expressed concern over the current situation of the exchange rate, saying there is need for an urgent review of the current Forex Policy.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun after NEC meeting presided over by the acting president, Yemi Osinbajo and attended by governors of the 36 states of the federation at the presidential villa, Abuja
She said the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian sovereign investment authority (NSIA ), Mr. Uche Orii presented annual reports and accounts for the year ended 2015 and update on 2016 activities to NEC.
Adeosun noted that in its report to NEC, Council members were informed that Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund (NSWF) had the highest ranking in Africa in terms of performance and capitalization.
She listed the report highlights to include financial performance 2014 to Q3 2016, update and investment strategy on the NSIA Future Generation Fund (FGF), NSIA infrastructure strategy and agriculture fund and old mutual real estate co-investment vehicle, among others.
She also hinted of NSIA’s plan to increase domestic infrastructure investment in 2017, following compelling opportunities in the environment.
Adeosun said, “NSIA will also focus on social Infrastructure, including investments in the form of affordable housing and health care through the development of specialist hospitals. Council, while adopting the report of the NSIA, decided to inject a fresh $250 million into the SWF sourced from the ECA”.
The minister of finance told Council that the balance in Excess Crude Account (ECA) stood at $2,458,382,844.03 as at February 15, 2017.
She further stated that eight accounting firms have been appointed to start the verification process of the monthly budget support loan facility based on the approved fiscal sustainability plan by the states.
On his part, Nassarawa State deputy governor, Silas Agara, reported that a member, each from the six geo-political zone, has been nominated into the board of NSIA.
He gave their names to include Mrs. Halima Buba, Non Executive Director (North-East); Mr. Bello Maccido, Non Executive Director (North West); Ms. Lois Laraba Machunga-Disu, Non Executive Director (North Central); Mr. Babajide Zetilin, Non Executive Director (South West)
Others are South East – Mr. Urum Kalu Eze – Non Executive Director, South-South – Mr. Abue Ighodalo – Legal Practitioner with 10 years post qualification experience.
“Council members unanimously adopted the nominations for onward consideration by the President for his final approval”, he noted.
On the growing concern over exchange rate, he said, “After a brief presentation on Forex Policy options by the CBN governor, Council members generally expressed concern over the current situation of the exchange rate and called for an urgent review of the current Forex Policy, especially the gap between interbank and the parallel market rates.
“The CBN governor sued for patience and understanding, assuring that the situation is being closely managed”.
Also, minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh said he informed NEC of the massive wheat production in the Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi and Zamfara, among other states.
According to him, the states however appealed to the federal government to make plans for the purchase of excess wheat to ensure price stability and sustainable production.
“Council agreed to discuss and make adequate buy-back arrangements in order to support price stability”, Ogbeh added.