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Nigeria appoints JP Morgan as sovereign wealth fund's custodian
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By Victor Iluyemi
February 21, 2013 19:37:47pm GMT      |      Views: 446
Vice President Namadi Sambo

Abuja (WorldStage Newsonline)-- The Federal Government of Nigeria on Thursday confirmed the operational pattern of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) which is expected to take off next month and the appointment of a leading financial services firm, JP Morgan, as the custodian.

The government also dismissed as untrue the reported  disagreement between it  and the 36 state governors under the aegis of Nigeria Governors Forum over its take off.

The Fund's Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Unche Orji, who spoke to journalists at  the end of the National Economic Council meeting presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja said the Fund was going on as planned as government was determined to ensure that it becomes  operational by March ending.

Orji who had earlier given a progress report of the Fund at the meeting said he was in the  process of recruiting members of staff and was hopeful that the fund would have a full complement of staff in place by March by which time limited security investment would start.

"The strategies we are going to deploy is obviously hybrid; we will have some external managers managing some of the funds for us and some would be run in-house.  JP Morgan has been selected as our custodian. We also have investment consultants," he said.

Minister of finance and also the coordinating minister for the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said a lot of developments had happened since the appointment of the Fund's CEO.

She said investment strategies had been prepared for the Fund's three windows that include the stabilisation window, infrastructure investment window and the future generation window.

"The $1 billion that has been put aside will be allocated into the three windows and investments can begin shortly according to the strategy," she said.

Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State said the NEC expressed concern over the growing cases of corruption in the country.


He said the issue was extensively discussed and a resolution reached that a session should be organised that would afford stakeholders to speak up against the scourge.

"The council discussed the issue of corruption and decided that there  should be a special session to discuss corruption and issue of mismanagement of resources in the Nigeria," he said.

On corruption, Okonjo-Iweala said NEC's position was in tandem with the position of President Goodluck Jonathan on the issue.

"On the issue of corruption, the NEC is saying what can we do to ensure that in every sector, there is transparency and accountability? From the finance point of view, this is something the President wants. The fact that it was debated and it would further be debated is a good omen," she said.

She recalled that having achieved a level of success in stemming the corruption in the administration of fuel subsidy, the Federal Government was a lady cleaning up the pension sector.

"We have to clean up the system. The problem lies in the old pension system. We are building, according to the PENCOM law, a new department that will take over the management of those pension funds and make sure that people no longer have access to mismanage the fund.

"The contributory pension scheme under the PENCOM has nothing wrong with it. The old pension scheme is what we are tightening up."

Obi added that the NEC at the meeting also mandated the committee it set up to probe the rot in the nation's university to extend its assignment to primary and secondary schools.

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