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Sovereign Wealth Fund takes off with $1bn grant

BY EMMA UJAH, ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, yesterday announced the allocation of $1 billion (about N155 billion) take-off capital to the three statutory funds through which it would achieve its operational objectives.

Managing Director of the authority, Mr. Uche Orji, told newsmen in his maiden briefing that the Future Generations Fund, as well as the Infrastructure Fund were allocated 32.5 per cent, each while the Stabilisation Fund was allocated 20 per cent.
He explained that the remaining 15 per cent would be warehoused as unallocated in the immediate term, until such a time that a decision would be taken on it with a view to adding to any of the funds, as considered necessary.

Orji said: “the Future Generations Fund and the Nigeria Infrastructure Fund will each get 32.5 per cent, while the Stabilisation Fund will receive 20 per cent .  The remaining 15 per cent will be kept as unallocated for now, and used to top up each of the ring-fenced funds, as opportunities arise.”

The ring-fenced funds are the Nigeria Infrastructure Fund.  The MD revealed that his team would commence investment in the Stabilisation Fund early next month.  Similarly, investment in the Future Generations Funds would start next month and would continue throughout the remaining part of the year.

Mr. Orji said that a detailed review of investment windows in the nation’s transport, power, water, and housing sectors was on-going with a view to investing the Infrastructure Fund in such a professional manner to guarantee the highest value for Nigerians.

“Our focus is on investments that are both relevant to the current needs of Nigerians, profitable and sustainable”, he said, adding, “we are ready to go anywhere to get the best deals for Nigeria”.

According to the MD, international investors have already shown strong interests in the Nigerian economy and were prepared to partner with the NSIA in their quest for investments in the country.

Mr. Orji said that a delegation of the authority led by the Board chairman, Alh. Mahey Rasheed has already met with officials of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, International Finance Corporation, US Export-Import Bank, Union Bank of Switzerland, and Goldman Sachs, among others.

“The International support we have received is a reflection of the potential opportunity in Nigeria, the benefit of the NSIA and the capability of the NSIA to be a catalyst for significant international  investment” , he said.

The NSIA boss said that his team decided to forge ahead with the mandate of the authority in spite of the law suit instituted by the governors against the federal government over the establishment of the organization, because the NSIA was not a party to the suit.

He added that the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Fund was for all three tiers of government and that the governors were well represented on the Governing council and that as such he was optimistic that all issues would be resolved.

“The return on investment belong to all Nigerians”, he explained and that his team would “repatriate benefits to the Nigerian people through the 3-tiers of government.”
Mr. said, however, that return on investment would be paid to the three tiers of government after five years of consistent profitability, in line with the provisions of the law establishing the authority.


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