FG DEDICATES $1BN FOR SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUND, SETS UP COURTS TO TRY ECONOMIC OFFENDERS
Following the downgrading of Nigeria by the international rating agency, Fitch & Poors, the Federal Government, yesterday said it has set up three commercial courts to try economic criminals. This came even as it has set aside $1 billion for the take-off of Sovereign Wealth Fund to address some infrastructural deficits.
In his keynote address at the 51st Annual Conference of Nigeria Economic Society (NES), Minister of Finance, Mr Olusegun Aganga said the fund has three components, which include, inter-generational savings for the future, stabilization fund and infrastructural fund.
The infrastructural fund, he said, will reduce the cost of food, production and invest in infrastructure as well as serve as catalyst for local and foreign investors.
According to the Minister, the electricity reform, which is ongoing will achieve 40,000 mega watts of electricity by the year 2020 adding that in the capital market, measures are being taken to punish capital market abuse.
Aganga who appeared worried over the low ranking of Nigeria, noted that the government is taking the ranking seriously adding that following this, the government is organizing an economic summit next month. To this effect, he said that the National Economic Management Team (NEMT) has been mandated to deliver on creating inclusive growth which means to create jobs.
He explained that the economy has no meaning if a large army of youths are unemployed. NEMT, he said, has also been mandated to enhance productivity by removing and reducing the economic barriers saying that the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) will be operational, the moment it is passed into law by the National Assembly.
Minister of National Planning, Dr Shamsuddeen Usman, who was represented by Tunde Lawal said that sustainable growth can be achieved when policy distortions are minimized and that for Nigeria to move to the next level, there is the need to design a development plan.
He also stated that the government was committed to supporting consistent policy towards development.
Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr Stephen Oronsaye insisted that government is committed to addressing other imperfections in the Nigerian economic space in order to make the country a haven for investors.
'As you also know, government continues to commit huge resources to the development of the capital market. These and other actions of government underscore the fact that this administration means business in turning around the fortunes of our economy.' he said.