FG explains ECA balance, says $250m was transferred to NSIA

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Governors have agreed to suspend all public gatherings at Vice President Yemi Osinbajo chaired NEC judicial panel of inquiry
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo chaired NEC

The Federal Government has explained that the drop balance in the Excess Crude Account was transferred as investment to the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) following a National Economic Council (NEC) meeting in November 2019.

Nigeria transparency organisation, BudgIT had raised alarm during the week over the drop balance in the ECA despite an announcement by NEC that it was investing the said sum with NSIA.

A statement by Laolu Akande, spokesperson to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on 21 November 2019 explained the action of the Federal Government following a resolution at NEC.

“Having received a presentation of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) business update, and outlook, the National Economic Council on Thursday resolved to invest an additional $250 million into the NSIA, the country’s sovereign wealth fund,” the statement read.

“The resolution was among other decisions taken at the 99th meeting of the council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, in Abuja.

“NEC is composed of the 36 State Governors, CBN Governor, the FCT Minister and other Federal Government representatives.

In his presentation to NEC, the NSIA Managing Director, Mr Uche Orji said the agency made a profit before tax of N42,036,469 while NSIA and its subsidiaries made a profit before tax of N46,185,074.

According to him, “the total comprehensive income by the year ending 31st December, 2018 made by the NSIA Group amount to N44,337,108, while the amount made by the NSIA stood at N41,827,853.

“…irrespective of volatility in the market due to the US/China trade disputes and Brexit, the Group made a total of N24 billion in total comprehensive income in the first 6 months of the year.”

The NSIA had earlier told council that it intends to “deploy Capital into the three road projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund – to complete the Second Niger Bridge, Abuja – Kano highway and Lagos – Ibadan Express way as well as the Mambilla Power Project.

“That the NSIA intends to create a number of co-investment funds, in the area of Healthcare, Agriculture and Gas Projects.

“These projects worth N2.5 trillion, will be implemented under a business model, that includes the payment of reasonable service charges (e.g. tolling of roads, electricity tariffs etc) after the projects have been fully developed.”

Besides the additional $250 million, NEC also resolved that the “Governor of Kaduna State should chair a NEC Committee to consider how a portion of Pension Funds can also be leveraged into investment for the NSIA with possible involvement of PENCOM.