By Peace Obi
With little or nothing to show for the five cycles of oil boom Nigeria has experienced since the discovery of oil in the country, the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation has called on the federal government to review the nationstabilisation fund mechanisms.
The Director of Public Policy Initiative, Mr. Amara Nwankpa who made this known in Ikeja at the Foundations roundtable meeting with theme ‘A Savings Stabilisation Mechanism for Nigeria’, said that Nigeria needed to reform its public finance management for the country oil wealth to result into equitable economic benefits for the citizenry. He noted that the country despite earning more than one trillion dollars from oil since 1970, about 83.6 million Nigerians were still living in extreme poverty.
According to Nwankpa, the Oil Revenue Tracking Initiative of the Yar’Adua Foundation convened the meeting of civil society organisations, community groups and media in South-West region to provide them information regarding the need for effective fiscal and oil governance frameworks and encourage them to demand accountability.
The Foundation in a communique issued at the end of the roundtable called for a collapse of the Excess Crude account and 0.5 per stabilisation account into the stabilisation of the Sovereign Wealth Fund.
The civil society organisation called on government to place priority on investment over consumption, increase transparency regarding revenue inflow and outflow from the Federation.
Government should follow due process in
management of the ECA in line with demands from
CSOs and the Fiscal Responsibility Commission,
also ensure that energy data and statistics are
accessible to the public.
"Increase transparency regarding revenue inflow
and outflow from the Federation Account. Ensure
that the Niger Delta Master Plan is revised and fully
implemented. Ensure that disbursement of funds
from stabilisation accounts is absolutely
discouraged. Ensure that all tiers of government
meet their financial obligations to the Sovereign
Wealth Fund account.
"Norway serves as an example to Nigeria regarding
an effective savings and stabilisation mechanism. By
May 2018, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund,
established in 1990, had accumulated approximately
one trillion dollars. It is projected that by 2030, the
fund will have increased to three times its current
size. This will ensure a monthly income of $1,500
per Norwegian", the communique read.
The former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby
Ezekwesili, speaking on a topic, Safeguarding Fiscal
Adjustments in Nigeria – Policy Options" noted that it
is unfortunate that the country's huge oil revenue is
spent on running unnecessary large government.
She said: "The problem of high cost of governance
is not only at the Federal level but also state and
local of governments. The fact that more than 80 per
cent of state governments depend mostly on FAAC
for more than 80 per cent of their budgetary revenue
made it imperative for public discourse on reduction
of cost of governance to extend to the 36 states and
the 774 local government areas."
The former Minister called on the government to
move the country forward by consciously investing in
human capital, physical and institutional
In his presentation, "Improving Public Awareness
and Advocacy on Stability Mechanism for Nigeria",
Dr. Andrew Onyeanakwe of Kandyson Konsult
Limited, called on Nigerian government to adopt