Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Nigeria disagrees with IMF on sovereign fund ranking

Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, has contested a ranking by the International Monetary Fund, IMF, report that places Nigeria as the second worst country in the world in the use of Sovereign Wealth funds.

 

The agency insisted that the recent Fiscal Monitor report released by the international body is not reflective of the role and impact of the NSIA.

In its response, the NSIA query the non-reference of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority in the IMF report as well as, ‘sweeping reference to the Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund and the use of third-party data’.

A statement by the Communications Adviser, Titilope Olubiyi, informed the investing community and Nigerian’s that the NSIA was established under the Santiago Principles, which consists of 24 generally accepted principles and practices voluntarily endorsed by International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds, IFSWF.

“Since its inception, the Authority has adhered to the strongest principles of governance and as a result is highly rated under the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, SWFI, Transparency Index.

Olubiyi stressed that “over the past 5 years the Authority has consistently ranked in the top quartile of the SWFI’s transparency ranking; currently ranked global joint second which is the highest ranking for any African Sovereign Wealth Fund. It is noteworthy that the NSIA has been used as a case study by some African countries seeking to set up their Sovereign Wealth Funds.

“The governance process of NSIA is well documented in its Establishment Act. NSIA has an independent professional Board of Directors that through 5 committees, rigorously oversees the operations of the fund. NSIA’s governance framework includes the Governing Council, the Board of Directors, the Executive Management, an internal auditor, and external auditor in PricewaterhouseCoopers.

NSIA further explained that the Auditor General and Accountant General of the Federation both independently audit the accounts and operations of the fund. It stated that NSIA accounts are published annually, with its quarterly Management accounts published online including its investment policies published on its website for easy access and transparency purposes.

“NSIA works closely with international institutions such as the World Bank Group, AFDB, and DfID, which provide programs and personnel to further strengthen NSIA’s governance and transparency.”

Among NSIA’s senior staff are members of the World Bank Group and DfID, who have led NSIA business areas and programs for the past several years.

The agency states that it adheres to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and UK Anti-bribery Act and has a procurement system modelled from the world’s leading institutions.

 

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