12 May 2011

Nigeria: Senate Approves N150 Billion for Sovereign Wealth Fund

Abuja — THE Senate yesterday approved N150 billion for take-off of the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

This followed the passage of the Sovereign Investment Authority Bill, which seeks to create special fund for generations yet unborn.

Senate President, David Mark, who presided over yesterday's session which passed the bill, expressed confidence that the fund will enable future generations of Nigerians benefit from the nation's oil and other natural resources.

He said: "It is my expectation that the fund will be run properly because this will secure the future of generations unborn and I hope that at the end of the day, this bill will have make the required impact."

The bill seeks to establish an agency with the authority to invest a portion of the excess profit made from crude oil sales in the Sovereign Wealth Fund to be held and managed by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment authority. The authority is expected to invest the funds in a diversified portfolio of medium and long term investments "for the benefit of future generation of Nigerian citizens."

Funds for the portfolios will be pooled from the Federal, States and Local Governments, "to prepare for the eventual depletion of Nigeria's hydrocarbon resources. Creation of the fund will ensure that the present and future generations of Nigeria will still have a country to call their own."

In exceptional circumstances set out in the act, the authority will also be mandated to utilize certain liquid assets in the stabilization fund to supplement other available fiscal stabilization funds to temporarily sustain duly budgeted public expenditure in the interest of macroeconomic stability in Nigeria.

..confirms Justice Auta as CJ of high court

Despite a stiff opposition from Senator Lee Maeba, the Senate yesterday confirmed the nomination of Justice Ibrahim Auta as the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.

Similarly, the Senate also confirmed the nomination of the former governor of Edo State, Prof Oserhiemen Osunbor as a member of the Nigeria Law Reform Commission.

Justice Auta, who presided over the Military Tribunal that sentenced the foremost Ogoni activist, Ken Saro Wiwa, and other Ogoni activists, was nominated by President Goodluck Jonathan.

But when the Senate President, David Mark, sought the views of the senate whether Justice Auta be confirm, Senator Maeba, who represents Rivers East senatorial district opposed his confirmation, saying he played an active role in the killing of the Ogoni activist.

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