National Economic Council Approves $250m Investment in NSIA

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From Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The National Economic Council, NEC, has approved an additional investment of $250 million into the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

The disclosure was made on Thursday by the NSIA Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Mr Uche Orji, during a briefing with State House correspondents, after NSIA presented its 2018 annual report and 2019 finance update before NEC meeting.

Orji also said NSIA has declared a profit of N24 billion in the first six months of the year and declared a total profit of N44.3 billion in 2018.

He said the Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai will chair a committee of NEC to consider how a portion of the Pension Fund can be leveraged in an investment in the NSIA, with possible implementation with PenCom.

The committee will include the Minister of Finance, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the MD NSIA.

He stressed that this year’s profit was achieved in spite of the volatility of the international market environment, driven by the trade tarriffs dispute between the United States and China and the uncertainty caused by Brexit.

“In a review of the activities of the NSIA, the NSIA is focused on its infrastructure fund on agriculture, road, power, healthcare projects and industrialization. Within the road sector, the 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-West Road.

“The NSIA also intends to deploy capital in expanding its health projects, following a successful implementation of its cancer treatment project Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with University of Lagos Teaching Hospital (LUTH) as well as a diagnostic and Radiology centre in Aminu Kano Specialist Hospital to be commissioned next month and the Federal Medical Centre, (FMC) Umuahia, which is a PPP project that will be finished in the first quarter of 2020,” Orji said.

He gave assurance that to fast track the completion of these strategic projects, NSIA intends to create co-investment fund to bring other investors on board into these projects.

This collaboration, Orji said, will ensure that they are completed, adding that the revenue model will include tolling the roads as well as other opportunities to ensure that these roads are viable.

The NSIA is the agency managing the Sovereign Wealth Fund. The fund was set up in 2013 with about $1.5billion.