Senate President, David Mark
Senate Tuesday began a clause-by-clause consideration of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority Bill, otherwise called the Sovereign Wealth Fund.
This followed the acceptance of the report of its Committee on Finance, which fine-tuned the Bill after it had passed the second reading on the floor of the Red Chamber.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi (PDP, Kaduna), said, while presenting the report that the Bill seeks to receive, manage and invest Nigeria’s hydrocarbon resources in a diversified portfolio of medium- and long-term investments for the benefit of future generation of Nigerian citizens.
Before adjourning further debate on the Bill till today, the Senate passed eight out of the 59 clauses of the Bill.
Clause three of the Bill, which deals with the objectives of the Authority, said it strives to build a savings base for the Nigerian people, enhance the development of Nigerian infrastructure and provide stabilisation support in times of economic stress.
Clause eight of the Bill, which deals with the membership of the governing council of the Authority, generated the greatest heat during the debate as senators questioned the rationale for the inclusion of certain persons in the council, particularly representatives of the civil society organisations.
Among those approved as members of the Investment Authority are: the President, who would be the chairman or in his absence, the Vice-president; each of the state governors or their representatives, the Attorney-General of the Federation, (AGF), Minister of Finance, Minister of National Planning Commission, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Chief Economic Adviser to the President.
Others include four reputable individuals representing the private sector with cognate experience in finance, economics, investments or other related areas of expertise, two representatives of Nigerian youths as well as four eminent academics.