NEITI Cautions Nigeria against Poor Savings Culture

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By Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on Tuesday warned that Nigeria may continue to experience deep economic challenges unless urgent steps are taken to halt her propensity to generate and spend almost all its revenue from oil and gas, with very little left for keeps.

NEITI also condemned the country’s repeated fallback on the little revenue saved in dedicated accounts whenever she experiences any economic shock, noting that between 1980 and 2015, Nigeria exported crude oil worth about $1.09 trillion, but has just $3.9 billion in savings as at June 2017.

In an occasional paper entitled: “The case for a robust oil savings fund for Nigeria”, which it presented to journalists in Abuja, NEITI warned that a huge economic crisis was staring the country in the face unless she realised and improve her oil revenue savings for tomorrowto overcome frequent commodity price volatilities and depletion of non-renewable resources like oil and gas.

Presented by NEITI’s Executive Secretary, Mr. Waziri Adio, the paper stated the need for Nigeria to adopt a robust policy to save portions of her oil and gas revenue for the rainy day and for the next generation.

It noted that part of the urgent measures to be taken by her on this would be the immediate transfer of all revenue savings in two of her three oil revenue saving accounts – the 0.5 per cent stabilisation fund and Excess Crude Account (ECA) which were established in 1989 and 2004 respectively — into the Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) set up in May 2011.

Details later…