The Atiku Bagudu-led National Economic Council (NEC) Pension Fund Committee has submitted its interim report with a recommendation that NEC should invest at least N2 trillion of the fund in infrastructural development in the country.
The Chairman of the committee and Governor of Kebbi, Sen. Atiku Bagudu, disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the NEC meeting which was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the committee before arriving at its recommendations had studied how some countries across the world utilized their pension funds and Sovereign National Wealth to fast-track development.
The governor revealed that the committee identified potential areas where the pension funds should be invested to create platform for speedy development in the country, saying such areas included roads, power and rail sectors.
He said: ”So today, the sub-committee presented and interim report where they advise on some of the issues that came up while deliberating.
”Of particular note was that other countries have been using the same mechanism – South Africa, Saudi Arabia and others have been using their pension funds and sovereign wealth authorities investment process to create platform for development.
”So, the committee is reported and identified potential road infrastructure, infrastructure in the power, rail sectors that can be funded through this mechanism.
“They noted that this year’s budget for example has N169 billion for roads across the federation and is grossly inadequate but with this mechanism maybe up to N2 trillion can be accessed and leverage upon.’’
He said the council commended the committee for the interim report and the subcommittee promised that early next year there will be final report for the NEC to consider.
The governor further disclosed that the Council also received the interim report of the Nasir el-Rufai sub-committee on the ownership structure of Electricity Power Distribution Company.
“The Council discussed that since the privatization of Electricity Power Distribution Company that at least 40 per cent that was meant to be for the states government and federal government have not been so distributed.
“Therefore, a committee was set up to review the status/ownership of those shares that have not been distributed and report back to NEC,’’ he explained.
He said the committee, chaired by the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai with six other governors, some ministers including the Minister of Finance and some agencies, presented an interim report.
He also revealed that the Niger Delta Power Holding Company made a presentation, titled “evaluation options going forward”.
“You may recall that 10 years ago, the Niger Delta Power Holding Company was created and it’s owned by federal, states and local governments.
“They had 10 completed generating plants and two others that are in the process of being completed with about 4,500 megawatts.
“The board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company and shareholders, who are the governors and local governments’ chairmen, reviewed the options going forward because in the design of this company, the assets were supposed to be privatized.
“Today, the options were discussed and members of the NEC advised to study the presentation so that at more opportune time, NEC can review the presentation and take whatever necessary steps henceforth,” he said.