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Jonathan: Sovereign fund key to fiscal discipline

Speaking at the State House in Abuja yesterday while inaugurating the Governing Council of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), the president said the nation’s…

Speaking at the State House in Abuja yesterday while inaugurating the Governing Council of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), the president said the nation’s collective furnishing of the fund was reinforced by the presentation of certificates of contributions to the federal, state and local governments.
Jonathan, who was represented by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, urged Nigerians, especially government officials, to support the NSIA for its objectives to be quickly realised for the benefit of all Nigerians.
He listed the objectives as including building a saving base for the nation’s future generations, enhancing the development of Nigeria’s infrastructure and promoting her fiscal stability in terms of economic strength.
“While the initial $1 billion investment is not inconsequential and gives us credibility, the sustainability of our Sovereign Wealth Fund depends on our continuous contributions,” he said.
He said a number of other international investment institutions have expressed readiness to partner with the NSIA in the execution of infrastructure projects in Nigeria.
“The authority is currently working hard to evaluate a number of infrastructure projects across the country some of which include Second Niger Bridge, Gurara Dam Phase 2, seaports investment and an aircraft leasing company to ease the financial burden in the airline industry and promote greater visibility in its operations,” he said.
The board, chaired by Jonathan, also has as statutory members all the 36 governors, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Finance and National Planning ministers, CBN governor, Chief Economic Adviser to the President and chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
The president said 12 non-statutory members of the council whose nominations are subject to confirmation by the Senate as stipulated by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority establishment Act of 2011, would later join the council.
NSIA Managing Director Mahey Rasheed said the agency had gone far in investing the stabilization and future generation funds and was now evaluating a number of investment opportunities in the transportation, power, health and agricultural sectors.