Nigeria’s sovereign wealth rises by over 440 per cent — Agency

Managing Director, Nigerian Sovereign Investments Authority, NSIA, Uche Orji
Managing Director, Nigerian Sovereign Investments Authority, NSIA, Uche Orji

The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, said on Wednesday that income generated from its various investments significantly grew from N26.36 billion in 2015 to about N142.5 billion (about 440.6 per cent) as at September 2016.

The Managing Director of the agency, Uche Orji, who presented a review of the agency’s 2016 performance and the outlook on projects for 2017, said apart from about N57 billion realized during the year as total operating income from investments, additional N36.6 billion came from net foreign exchange and other fee income and N330.3 million as share of profit of investment.

The consolidated statement of comprehensive income for the period ending September 30, 2016 approved by the NSIA Governing Council during its meeting Thursday last week showed significant reduction in total operating management and administrative expenses from N2.33million to N1.43 billion.

“Total assets grew from N213.67billion in 2015 to over N413.63 billion during the year under review,” Mr. Orji said.

“We went through a phase of massive capital accumulation, investing in 17 countries around the world. So, 2016 was a very interesting year for the NSIA. Our strategic investment focus for 2017 would be on massive domestic infrastructure projects that would add value to both the economy and the people,” he added.

During the year, Mr. Orji said NSIA was also funds managers for various government agencies, including $350 million for Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader, and $100 million for the Debt Management Office.

Besides, he said since May 2015, NSIA has been doing business with 25 per cent of the federal government portion of the stabilisation fund, an amount that generated accumulated returns on investment of about N8.94 billion at about 11 per cent.

He said the agency had deployed 40 per cent of the fund dedicated to infrastructure development for the provision of facilities in key sectors of the economy, including agriculture, healthcare, waterways, autoroads, power and real estates.

In 2017, the NSIA boss said areas of investment would be expanded to cover infrastructure development in the midstream sector of the oil and gas industry, including gas pipelines, oil and gas storage processing and refining facilities, as well as water resources projects.

Other initiatives the agency intends to focus attention on during the year, he said, would be e-government processes and automation to boost efficiency in the services of government agencies and departments in the country.

One project that would attract a special attention of the agency, Mr. Orji said, was NSIA’s involvement in the running of fertilizer blending plants in the country to help deliver fertilizer to farmers profitably at about 30-40 per cent below the current price farmers pay per bag without subsidy.

At the moment, farmers pay as much as N8,000 for a 50 kilogramme bag of fertiliser.

But, Mr. Orji said NSIA plans to bring an end to subsidy in the supply of fertiliser and ensure that the price would crash to an affordable level of about N5,500 per bag.

Already, he said 11 fertilizer blending plants were functional and another was being expected in various locations across the country, including three in Kaduna, Plateau, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Kano, Lagos, Katsina, Niger, Jigawa and Kebbi states.

Mr. Orji said the imported raw materials for the production of fertilizer, which have since arrived the country, were being distributed to the blending plants, while shipping also started last week, to Jigawa and Kebbi states.

“Our objective is to ensure farmers receive fertilizers on time at a reasonable price without subsidy. The target of the programme to be launched next week by the President is to deliver one million metric tons of NPK 20:10:10 fertilizer this wet season.

“People have been importing full blended fertilizer into the country. But, we need to import only 34 per cent of the total volume we consume, because about 66 per cent is already available in Nigeria. All that we need to do is to ensure that rather than importing everything, we import what we don’t have and get what we have locally, by reviving all the blending plants.”

NSIA is also working with the Nigeria Customs Service to create a single window for import and export system to generate revenue, while a $200 million agricultural fund is to be established in the country.

Under the Fund, rice farming and milling projects would be undertaken to ensure 70 per cent of the production were kept for local food security and 30 per cent for export.

Editor’s Note: This story has updated to correct the percentile rise of Nigeria’s sovereign wealth.

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