Sovereign Wealth Fund grows to $2bn

  • Naira notes

 

The Sovereign Wealth Fund currently stands at $2bn, with the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority seeking further growth through agriculture and the addition of asset management.

The government’s contribution stands at $1.5bn, with the rest, including funds owned by the institution and those managed for several government agencies, the Chief Executive Officer, NSIA, Uche Orji, said in an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana.

The agency has revamped 11 fertilizer-blending plants so far this year as part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s initiative to boost farming output and reduce the economy’s dependence on oil, which contributes two-thirds of government revenue.

Africa’s most populous country of more than 180 million people is also the continent’s biggest oil producer.

“At the moment, agriculture is our number one area of investment,” Orji said, adding that the NSIA planned to rehabilitate another nine fertilizer-blending plants within a year.

The 11 plants delivered six million bags of fertilizer at 30 per cent below market prices, halting government subsidies, the Information ministry said last month. The project created 50,000 jobs and saved the government N50bn in would-be subsidies this year, it said.

The SWF also wants to expand by going beyond government cash injections to undertaking asset management, according to Orji.

“That’s the major line of conversation we are having with various agencies and various arms of the government,” he stated.

Orji said the fund would soon announce a joint venture in health care with a partner he declined to name, and was considering oil and gas investments.

Nigeria’s economy, which vies with South Africa’s as the largest on the continent, expanded in the second quarter by 0.55 per cent as agricultural and oil output increased, ending its worst slump in 25 years.

 

 

Punch

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