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Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account Worst-Managed Funds—Report

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Excess Crude Account (ECA) of Nigeria has been described as the “worst-governed funds” in the world.

A report released yesterday by released today by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) disclosed that the index assessed the governance and transparency of sovereign wealth funds in 33 countries, where Nigeria was the least.

“Colombia’s Savings and Stabilization Fund is the best-governed of the assessed funds, followed by the Ghana Stabilization Fund.

“The Qatar Investment Authority, with $330 billion in assets, and Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account were found to be the worst-governed funds.

“At least $1.5 trillion is currently managed by the 11 sovereign wealth funds NRGI researchers rated as failing,” the agency said in the statement.

It was revealed that Chile’s Codelco state mining company was listed as the best-governed of 74 extractive sector state-owned enterprises that were assessed for their disclosures and corporate governance. The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India came second.

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Forty-eight countries’ state-owned companies received unsatisfactory ratings. The index identifies weak governance in the China National Petroleum Company, and finds failing governance in the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, the Gabon Oil Company, Turkmengas and Saudi Aramco.

Commenting, Ernesto Zedillo, former president of Mexico and chair of NRGI’s board of directors of the agency said, “The Resource Governance Index shows us that if they are to contribute to their countries’ development, state-owned enterprises require serious reform.”

“But effective governance of the oil, gas and mining sectors is not an insurmountable challenge—the index provides many examples of developing countries defying expectations and stereotypes,” Zedillo adds.

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In recommendations released with the data, NRGI called on governments to support key transparency measures (including compliance with open data standards) and for them to adopt and implement laws requiring the disclosure of the identities of the true beneficiaries of oil and mining companies.

 NRGI also called for a reversal of the trend toward closing civic space in many resource-rich countries.

“Where freedoms of citizens and journalists are under attack, governance of the extractives sector is fundamentally impaired,” said Kaufmann. “Access to information on contracts, revenues, state companies and sovereign wealth funds is only valuable when citizens can hold authorities and companies to account.”

Also, the report stated that the majority of governments inadequately govern their oil, gas and mining sectors, according to the 2017 Resource Governance Index.

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Sixty-six countries were found to be weak, poor or failing in their governance of extractive industries. Less than 20 percent of the 81 countries assessed achieved good or satisfactory overall ratings.

The cross-country study of extractives governance, released today by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), is the most comprehensive of its kind to date. It is based on new research into how countries’ governance affects their potential to realize value and manage revenues from their resources. It also incorporates existing assessments of countries’ “enabling environments”—a measure of how well citizens can access and use information, freely work together to voice their concerns and hold their governments to account, and of the quality of institutions in the areas of administration, rule of law and corruption control, the statement said.

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Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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