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Nigeria: House of Representatives Approves Sovereign Investment Authority Bill

(May 20, 2011) The Nigerian House of Representatives approved the Sovereign Investment Authority Bill (Nigerian House of Representatives website (last visited May 17, 2011), which the upper house had passed on May 11, 2011, bringing the legislation one step closer to taking effect. (Nigerian Parliament Passes Wealth Fund Bill, REUTERS (May 17, 2011).)

The bill is expected to sail through the remaining hurdles. The proposal for the bill is said to have originated from the Office of the President, and therefore the bill naturally enjoys the support of the President. (Id.) Barring any unforeseen problems, the President is expected to sign it as soon as it reaches his desk. In addition, according to some MPs, the House of Representatives did not make major amendments to the Senate version of the bill, which should make the harmonization process of the two versions of the bill quick and uncontroversial. (Id.)

The bill establishes the independent Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, which will create and manage three funds geared towards investing excess oil revenues to build savings for the Nigerian people, enhance infrastructure, and provide stabilization support in times of economic stress. (Hanibal Goitom, Nigeria: Senate Approves Sovereign Investment Authority Bill, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (May 13, 2011).) Currently, excess oil revenues are credited to the excess crude account (ECA) and distributed among federal and state and local governments. (REUTERS, supra.)