Uche Usim, Abuja
Following the Federal Government’s plan to immediately withdraw $150 million from the stabilisation fund to support the economy, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) on Thursday reminded the nation that the balance will drop to $201 million once that money is released.
NSIA, in a statement, said the federal government, via the Finance Minister, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, had powers to get a slice of the money on request.
Ahmed at a media briefing recently announced government’s plan to withdraw $150 million to cushion the negative impact of oil price decline on the federation account.
She noted that the free fall of crude oil at the international market had hammered the revenue of the government and drastically reduced the monthly allocation to the three tiers of government.
The NSIA in the statement threw its weight behind the government’s decision, adding that the move was consistent with the founding objectives of the fund.
Speaking on the withdrawal, NSIA Managing Director Uche Orji was quoted in the statement to have said that, beyond the withdrawal, the agency was exploring other avenues to support the country through various social investment initiatives.
He said, “The withdrawal reduces the value of funds under management in the Stabilisation Fund to $201 million from $351 million as at December 31 2019.
“The $351 million is comprised of core contributions of US$300 million, and US$51 million of returns earned.
“NSIA (Establishment etc.) Act 2011 is clear on our role. The NSIA is, in part, to serve as a stabilisation mechanism for the country through the Stabilisation Fund.
“Beyond the withdrawal, we are also exploring other avenues to support the country through various social investment initiatives.”
He said the NSIA remains committed to serving as an enabler to economic sustenance and growth for the country.
Specifically, he stated that Sections 47 and 48 of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority’s Establishment Act 2011 supports the withdrawal from the Stabilisation Fund.
In terms of the process for the withdrawal of the fund, the statement said Section 47 empowered the Minister of Finance to on behalf of government call for the withdrawal of the fund managed by the NSIA.
He said, “The funds drawn will be used to augment the Government’s Federation Accounts and Allocation Committee disbursements by June 2020 for allocation.
The statement noted that while the Stabilisation Fund allocation is 20 per cent of NSIA overall funds under management, the Future Generations Fund and the Nigeria
Infrastructure Fund accounts for the balance of 80 per cent.
It said the Future Generations Fund and the Nigeria Infrastructure Fund are being invested according to their individual mandates and have been profitable since inception.