Sovereign Wealth Fund drops to $300m –Oshiomhole

Edo State Governor and Chairman of the National Economic Council Ad-Hoc Committee on the management of the Excess Crude Account and related Federation Account issues, Adams Oshiomhole, has said that the $1bn Sovereign Wealth Fund has been depleted to $300m.

The Managing Director, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Uche Orji, had last week claimed that the $1bn initial sovereign fund contributed by the government was intact and had generated N15.7bn profit last year.

But Oshiomhole, who spoke with State House correspondents after meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House on Thursday night, said the claim was false.

He said he had evidence to debunk the claim that the fund was invested in projects that were already funded from other sources.

He said, “I reported to the media that the Sovereign Wealth Fund people, in their report to us, which I have in black and white, showed clearly that they have only $300m left in the account.

“We have it in black and white and I can publish it if anybody wants to deny that because it was not submitted to me secretly. It was submitted at a plenary of the committee.

“And then we asked, because I knew that the fund was $1bn, what was done with $700m and they said they have made some investments.”

Continuing, he said, “We asked them what they invested in and they said the second Niger Bridge and partially in the Kaduna-Abuja rail. That is what they said and I was not alone there.

“We were about five governors and it was a full plenary. But we know that the Kaduna-Abuja rail was funded with Chinese loan, which even Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala spoke about, when they said the loan from China was not used for Lagos, she said it was for the Kaduna-Abuja rail.

“You media need to develop your own library and have your record so that when people speak from both sides of their mouths, you can replay back. Because sometimes it hurts me when political leaders and technocrats say one thing in the morning and they change the language the following day.”

The governor said he was not the issue, stressing that he was only standing by the truth.

“Don’t make me the issue, I’m not. The only difference is that there is beauty in standing by the truth and ultimately, it will set you free,” he stated.

Oshiomhole also said that professional international auditors were engaged to ensure confidence, and value-for-money in the ongoing forensic audit of all Federal Government revenue generating agencies in the country.

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