FG to constitute governing council for Sovereign Wealth Fund

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Abuja -  Mr Uche Orji, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), has said that the governing council for the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) will soon be constituted.

Orji said this in Abuja on Friday when he spoke as the guest speaker at the Learning Series workshop of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The workshop had as its theme, “Sovereign Wealth Fund and the Nigerian Capital Market… joining up the dots’’.

Orji also said that the board of the NSIA would soon announce its first investments, adding that adequate measures had been taken to ensure the safety of the 1billion dollars capitalisation fund.

To ensure the profitability of the fund, he said that innovative products were being developed that would help guarantee maximum returns on investment.

“One of the best ideas we have seen so far is the creation of monoline insurance.

“Now, we have to appoint somebody to go and develop the idea and get investors and see how that eventually works,” Orji said.

The SWF Bill was signed into law in May 2011 by President Goodluck Jonathan, and was set up with a 1 billion dollars fund from the Excess Crude Account.

Orji noted that the Stabilisation Fund of the SWF had an initial investible fund of 200 dollars million, while the Infrastructure Fund and the Future Generation Fund, each also had investible fund of 325 million dollars.

The managing director said the balance of 150 million dollars, which would be kept as `unallocated’ for now, would be used to top up each of the funds as opportunities arise

He identified seven areas of investment of the fund as road, transport, health care, housing, power and gas, agriculture and water resources.

Orji said that within the next few weeks, “details of how much is going to be deployed to these sectors will be unveiled’’.

He also said that the percentage of the fund that would be invested in the country’s stock market would be in two tranches.

“The first tranche of investment is the Emerging Market Portfolio and there is also the Private Equity which we are going to be investing in private equity companies here and abroad.”

Also speaking, the Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Arunma Oteh, said the purpose of the series was to sensitise Nigerians on how to finance the country’s huge infrastructure deficit.

“The Ministry of National Planning recently put together an integrated infrastructure master-plan which says that in the next 30 years, Nigeria will need about 3.9 trillion dollars for investing in infrastructure.

“Given the size of our budget which is about 30 billion dollars  a year, then obviously we need to look for innovative ways to support the funding of infrastructure and be able to make instruments available in the capital market to help it support infrastructure.”

Oteh said the event was to ensure that, for every dollar spent in Nigeria, four dollars were gotten in return.

She described Nigeria’s SWF as being unique for developmental purpose. (NAN)

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