Nigeria investment authority floats four subsidiaries to fund infrastructure development

NSIA also has interests in funding power projects.

The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, said last week that it has incorporated four subsidiaries to promote investments in five strategic sectors of the economy.

The Chief Executive Officer of NSIA, Uche Orji, who reviewed the progress of the agency, unfolded the investment plans of the authority in five key sectors, namely agriculture, real estate, motorways, power and healthcare.

Mr. Orji said the newly incorporated subsidiaries include NSIA Motorways Company Limited; NSIA Power Investment Company Limited; NSIA Health-care Investment Company Limited; and NSIA Real Estates Investment Company Limited.

NSIA, he said, has allocated about $100 million (about N16.2 billion) to the power sector following an agreement reached with a private equity company to invest 200 per cent of the amount in the sector.

Mr. Orji said that there were lots of investment opportunities in the power sector that the authority has identified. He said his agency was looking for power generating and distribution companies as well as opportunities for greenfield and secondary investors.

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“There are a lot of investment opportunities, but we are not close to announcing any at this stage,’’ he said.

He added that NSIA has interest in funding power projects with the recent $550 million (about N89.1bn) from the Federal Government for the programme.

He said that the investment authority had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with a firm, AMA-Sinohydro, to collaborate on investment opportunities in various projects, including hydro-electric power plants, multi-purpose dam, real estates and transportation infrastructure.

On motorways, he said that the focus of investment programme would be on the construction of the second Niger Bridge with equities from Julius Berger Nigeria Limited and other equity partners.

“We are now the lead financing partner in the consortium with responsibility to invest our equity and attract other equity partners and raise debt for this project,” Mr. Orji said.

He said NSIA has already received soft commitments from potential equity partners, pointing out that this would be the first federally-tendered Private-Public-Partnership, PPP, project in motorways in Nigeria.

He expressed belief that the negotiated construction costs for the project would be bankable in the current structure, adding that the concession agreement negotiation on the bridge project had commenced.

The announcement of a timetable for getting to a “financial close” on the project, he said, would be made soon.

He expressed the hope that the NSIA equity, Julius Berger’s “soft commitment and other equity partners and government viability funding”, would work together to ensure that the project commenced in March, 2014.

He said his agency had been negotiating for core infrastructure investments on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which has been going on for over 10 months.

Mr. Orji said he was hopefully that the effort would lead to an agreement on a bankable structure.

On real estate, Mr. Orji said that investments would be on tools that would help accelerate the growth of the market, adding that the authority was negotiating with a state government and the Federal Capital Territory for affordable housing programmes.

“Our strategy is to invest ‘via funds’ as well as make direct investments in areas that would help accelerate the agriculture market. We have made an investment into a fund for agriculture finance run by Sahel Capital partners, which will work to invest in shared infrastructure for small holder farmers as well as other areas,” Mr. Orji said.

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