Nigeria inaugurates Board for Sovereign Investment Authority

Timothy Choji, Abuja

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, (M) flanked Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, NSIA Chairman, Mr Jide Zeithin. Others are MD/CEO, Uche Orji, Board Member, Ms Halima Buba, Board Member, Urum Kalu-Eke, CRO/ED NSIA and Board Member, Stella Ojekwe-Onyejeli, Board Member Bello Maccido, Board Member Lois L. Malhumga-Dibie, Ause Ighodalo, Hanspeter Ackermann during the Inauguration of Board of Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) at the State House in Abuja.

Nigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has inaugurated the Board of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Acting President charged the Board to play a major role in Nigeria’s growth and development.

Professor Osinbajo expressed belief in the capabilities of members of the Board to make meaningful contributions towards revamping the nation’s economy.

The Acting President, who congratulated members of the Board, urged them to help move the country out of recession.

“As you know the NSIA fulfils a critical function in our economy and country as a whole, principally it serves as a good tool of fiscal discipline, ensuring future availability of capital through investments in long term assets and managing Nigerian savings, as we navigate the pathway out of recession and into a self-sufficient and diversified economy it is our expectation that the NSIA will remain increasingly strategic to our nation’s growth and development,” he said.

Furthermore, he urged them to see their appointment as a national call, adding that they cannot afford to fail Nigerians.

“Your appointment is a call to service which will require total commitment and dedication of the highest standards, attributes which I am confident that you will epitomize individually and collectively. As representatives of the people, our charge is simple: we require you to fundamentally improve the performance of the authority and strengthen its operations. The National Economic Council, your governing council, and all Nigerians will hold you accountable to this mandate,” Professor Osinbajo reminded the Board.

Professor Osinbajo announced that despite the fiscally constrained environment, the current administration has been able to increase its commitment to the NSIA by 50 percent to the tune of $500.

He said government therefore expects that the committed capital will be deployed into projects that are in line with the Buhari Administration’s key priority areas, which include infrastructure and agriculture, in order to improve the economy.

R-L; Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, NSIA Chairman, Mr Jide Zeithin and NSIA MD/CEO, Uche Orji during the Inauguration of Board of Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) at the State House in Abuja.

Balanced Board

Earlier, Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, who gave a brief history of the NSIA and how it operates, said the Board would perform well because it is an excellent one that is also balanced.

“We had an executive search committee that looked for the best; it is a very balanced board. Every single part of the country is represented which wasn’t quite the way it was in the past. Every single zone is represented here and we have a balance between male and female. We have seasoned professionals. We have bankers, lawyers, people with oil and gas experience, entrepreneurs, and we are very confident that this board will look after our future resources and provide very good decisions and guidance to the execute management in line with the administration’s expectations and requirements,” she said.

Responding on behalf of his colleagues, Chairman of the Board, Mr Jide Zeitlin said: “On behalf of the Board, I want to express our deep gratitude. We welcome the opportunity to serve the nation and we are fully committed to doing so with utmost integrity and transparency and we look forward to being held accountable. As the Acting President already outlined, we will work hard in terms of both making sure that we are prudent stewards of this capital for current and future generations. We will make sure that particularly with the infrastructure funds, that we are fully aligned with policies of this administration and the economic team.”

Established by an Act of the National Assembly in May 2011, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority manages Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund.

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