Nigeria Drops to Third Category in SWF Reclassification


Nume Ekeghe with agency report

An international rating agency, the Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) has reclassified Nigeria among countries that have been grouped in the third category of the funds’ assessment, from the second group the country occupied in the past six years.

Nigeria is said to have lost some marginal growth marks between 2015 and 2016 as to be reclassified in the current rating of the body, contained in its report made available to an online newspaper, Ripples Nigeria.

A special study commission of SWFs and carried out by a Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics, assessed 60 funds and nine government pension funds, and scored them on: governance, structure, transparency, accountability and behavior.

The researchers said some countries including Nigeria made progress in transparency and accountability in 2007, but many still fall short of what the citizens and the international community expect of them.

The average score for the 60 countries under the study had Norway surpassing others with $888 billion SWF, having scored 98 percent and topping the scoreboard, followed by New Zealand’s 94 percent.

But surprisingly, Azerbaijan came third with a score of 92 per cent, while two private fund administrators in Chile made the country to make it to the top 10.

Nigeria increased its score from 58 percentage points to 76 percent along with countries in the third group, measuring in the third scoreboard, along with Equatorial Guinea and Libya.
“The little improvement on the part of Nigeria is simply because it was able to sustain some level of transparency and growth in its pension reform and fund management in related areas as published in 2013,” said the report.

Nine of the 21 funds recorded less than double-digit improvements by 2015, including the UAE’s Istithmar World and Russia’s National Welfare and Reserve Fund.

“A large number of funds fall short of what the citizens of their countries or the international community should expect from these funds, in particular the large funds, with regard to their transparency and accountability,” the Institute stated.