A Green Paper on the proposed Natural Resources Fund has been approved by the Cabinet and will soon be tabled in the National Assembly, Minister of State Joseph Harmon announced.
The Fund is expected to be a special purpose investment vehicle for the oil revenues generated when production begins by ExxonMobil and its partners in two years.
A Green Paper is the first step in the process to bring legislation to govern the management of the Fund.
According to the State Minister, the Green Paper was designed to stimulate discussions and put forward key issues for consideration relating to the legislation.
Included in the document, he noted, was information on why the Fund is necessary as well as proposed short-term and long-term plans to deal with fiscal and financial issues relating to the oil revenues.
The document also addresses options for resource allocations and investment and saving, Minister Harmon said.
He explained that there are three options for investment of the oil money which will be considered during a subsequent public consultation process.
“[The] investment is intended to be safe investments,” Minister Harmon remarked.
He explained that the general idea of the Natural Resource Fund is to “basically ensure that the revenues which come from oil goes into that Fund, and it is that Fund which will fund the estimates in our budget so that projects identified for budgetary support will get that support through the Fund.”
Minister Harmon added: “the oil revenue will not go directly to any particular sector but it will go through the Fund and the Ministry of Finance in preparation of the budget will call upon the Fund for resources to fund projects that have been identified.”