Nigeria’s finance minister said this week she expected economic growth for 2015 to be around 6.75%, an improvement on the government’s forecast of 6.2% this year. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the country’s oil savings account, the Excess Crude Account, was broadly flat since August at $4.11bn and that the fledgling sovereign wealth fund had $1.55bn in it, she told a media conference.
Nigeria’s oil savings in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) have recovered this year, though remains way below where it was two years ago. The ECA declined as low as $2.5bn at the start of 2014, from around $11.5bn at the start of January 2013, according to the central bank. Oil prices have dropped more than 25% since June on strong supply, signs of weak growth in demand and indications that key oil producers, particularly Saudi Arabia, have a limited appetite to cut output to bolster prices.
Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer and biggest economy, established the Sovereign Investment Authority (SIA) in 2011 with US$ 1bn of seed capital in an effort to better manage oil export revenues.