The National Economic Council (NEC) presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday, approved additional investment of $250 million into the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

It also appointed Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, chairman of a committee to review the status of the ownership structure of Distribution Companies (DISCOS).

The NSIA manages the surplus income produced from Nigeria’s excess oil reserves is deposited.
The wealth fund commenced operations in October 2012 and was set up by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority Act, which was signed in May 2011.
The fund was allocated an initial US$1 billion in seed capital. However, an additional $0.5billion was contributed to the fund.

The Managing Director, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Uchechi Orji made the disclosure while briefing State House correspondents after a meeting.
He also 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 of N44.3 billion in 2018, adding that so far in 2019 as at the end of the first six months, they had made a profit of N24 billion.
“This was 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,” Orji stated.

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-West Road.
Orji also announced NSIA’s intention to deploy capital in expanding its health projects, following 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.

“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.”
On committee to review the status of the ownership structure of Distribution Companies (DISCOS) are Governor Emeka Ihedioha, among governors representing the six geo-political zones who are currently serving in the Board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).

He said: “NEC also resolved to constitute an Ad-hoc Committee including Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna State and governors representing the six geo-political zones who are currently serving in the Board of the NDPHC to review the status of the ownership structure of the Power Distribution Companies. The Committee will also include representative from the National Council on Privatization and the BPE.”

The Imo State governor also said that the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, while also briefing on behalf of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning reported to Council that the balances in Excess Crude Account (ECA)as at 20th November, 2019, is $324,539,031.51, with Stabilization Account at 20th November, 2019 N29,480,483,393.33, while the Natural Resources Development Fund Account stands at 20th November, 2019 = N 79, 751, 649,521.54.


By Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye,
The Sun

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