Okays additional $250m for investment funds
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – THE National Economic COUNCIL, NEC, yesterday constituted an ad-hoc committee to review the ownership of Power Distribution Companies, Discos.
NEC also approved additional investment of $250 million into the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
The review of ownership structure of DISCOSs will be chaired by the Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State and will have Governors representing the six geo-political zones on the Board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company.
Reports indicate that the federal government is considering taking ownership over the distribution assets from the investors and pay them off with N736 billion. The FG described the investors as a failure.
Analysts have observed that Nigeria within 2019 alone has witnessed at least eight major collapses of the national grid plunging substantial parts of the country into darkness.
Briefing State House correspondents after the NEC meeting presided by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chamber Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Imo State Governor, Chief Emeka Ihedioha said that government is desirous to resided the ownership structure of Power Distribution Companies.
Governor Ihedioha also said NEC was briefed on the status of balances in the Excess Crude Account and three other accounts by the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris.
According to him, the balance in the ECA was $324.5 million as of November 20, while the Natural Resource Development Fund Account had a balance of N79.7 billion.
He also said that the Stabilisation Account had a balance of N29.7 billion as of November 20.
The Managing Director Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Uchechi Orji briefed on the additional $250 million for investment funds
He announced the setting up of a committee to work out modalities for collaboration between the NSIA and the National Pension Commission on how to channel pension funds for investment.
Orji had presented NSIA’s 2018 annual report and 2019 finance update to NEC, where he disclosed that the agency made a profit total of N44.3 billion Naira in 2018 adding that so far in 2019 as at the end of the first six months, updating the council that they have made a profit of N24 billion so far.
He said, “This is achieved in the face of a volatile international market environment driven by the trade dispute between the United States and China as well as Brexit challenges.”
NEC passed a vote of confidence in the NSIA whose activities are focused on its infrastructure fund on agriculture, road, power, healthcare projects and has industrialization.
Orji stated that NSIA as the manager of the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) is focused on deploying capital to ensure the completion of the second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano Highway and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Other projects under the PIDF include the Mambila Hydro Power project and East-Ways Road.
Orji also announced NSIA’s intention to deploy capital in expanding its health projects, flowing a successful implementation of its cancer treatment project Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with LUTH as well as a diagnostic and Radiology centre in Aminu Kano Specialist Hospital to be commissioned next month and the Federal Medical Centre Umahia PPP project which will be finished in the first quarter of next 2020.
He said, “To facilitate this, the NSIA will create co-investment fund to bring other investors into these projects to ensure that get to completion and the revenue model will include tolling the roads as other opportunities to ensure that these roads are viable.”