The National Economic Council (NEC) yesterday approved the distribution of $150 million among the three tiers of government out of the $400million dividends paid by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).
This decision was reached after a monthly Council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House Council Chambers.
Briefing State House correspondents, Osun State governor Rauf Aregbesola, flanked by his Enugu State counterpart, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and deputy governor of Nasarawa State, Silas Agara, disclosed that the Council had also directed that the sum of $250million from the dividend be invested in the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
According to him, the decision followed a status report of the NSIA presented to the Council by the managing director of the Sovereign Wealth Fund Authority, Uche Orji.
“After due deliberations on the report, the Council agreed that $250m from the $400m LNG dividend be invested in the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority to increase its capital,” he said.
According to Aregbesola , the Council directed the minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun, to constitute an executive nomination committee and work in consultation with NEC to appoint appropriate persons to take over as board members of the NSIA if the current board is dissolved.
He stated that the Accountant-General of the Federation reported that the balance of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) stood at $2.257billion and that not much had changed from the last report.
On the report of government agencies generating revenues in foreign currency but remitting naira equivalent into the Federation Account, the Council mandated the Ministry of Finance to investigate the matter and report back.
Explaining further, he said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had been mandated to embark on public enlightenment on the forex policy and relevant regulations so as to guide traders and some people who encounter challenges regarding the movement of foreign currency across the nation’s borders.
“We understood that some traders particularly in the East encounter challenges at the airports when they intend to go about their businesses,” he said.
The governor disclosed that the director-general of National Pension Commission (PENCOM), Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, briefed the Council on the contributory pension scheme implementation effort and status of implementation by the states.
He said the briefing also highlighted the need for the states to provide legal frameworks such as enacting state pension laws by those who had not done so, establishment of state pension agencies, consistent remittance of both employees’ and employers’ contributions and also full compliance of all provisions of the pension scheme.
The Council meeting also witnessed a workshop on Treasury Single Account (TSA) for state governors with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Senior Resident Representative presenting a paper on the TSA.
NEC also deliberated on the need to reconstitute the members of the governing board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company following which the vice president called for the nomination of new board members based on the six geo political zones.