Yar’Adua Foundation Calls for Review of Stabilisation Fund

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    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

    development.

    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

    strategic and implementable policy to insulate the–