Sovereign Wealth Fund contributors to reap dividends from 2018

Elizabeth Christopher,Abuja

The Managing Director, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr Uche Orji,has  said  that contributors to the Sovereign Wealth Fund will be eligible to dividends from 2018.

Orji disclosed this in Abuja when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, paid him a working visit.

We are not allowed to pay dividends until after 5 years of consistent profitability.”

“From next year, the federal, states and local government will be eligible for dividends from the contributions they made,’’ he said.

Orji said that NSIA was set up in 2012 as an agency, to build a saving base for the country, enhance development of the nation infrastructure and provide stabilization support in times of economic stress.

He said that the Federal Government owned 46 per cent contribution to the Fund while the states and local governments owned the balance of 54 per cent.

“The NSIA has three Funds – Stabilisation Fund which holds 20 per cent of the Agency’s asset – Future Generation Fund which holds 40 per cent of the asset and Infrastructure Fund which also holds 40 per cent of the asset.

“The stabilization fund and the future generation fund are mostly invested outside the country while the infrastructure fund is invested in Nigeria,’’ he said.

Orji said that with 31 staff strength – 26 core staff and 5 consultants – NSIA had increased to I.5 billion dollars under the management.

He disclosed that in 2016, the authority had a total comprehensive income of N149 billion, most of which were returns from investment.

Orji said that the investments of the Fund were well diversified.

Specifically, he said that the authorty’s Stabilisation Fund was to the tune of about 3OO million dollars from which the Federal Government could draw in times of urgent need.

Orji said that the strategy of the Infrastructure Fund was to attract investors in to the country.

“We have five areas of focus for Infrastructure Fund which are agriculture, health care, motor ways, power and commercial real estate.’’

On agriculture, the NSIA boss said the body had intervened in reviving moribund fertilizer blending companies across the country.

He said the authority was also in the process of reviving Commodity Exchange to attract people into farming.

Orji said that the NSIA was working with Lagos University Teaching Hospital to set up multi-speciality hospitals to treat cases of Cancer, Cadio and Renal diseases.

He said the hospitals would help to stop the billions of dollars being spent abroad on health by many Nigerians.

Orji said that the authority was also intervening in the construction of Lagos-Ibadan expressway as well as the Second Niger bridge.

The Minister commended the Authority for its intervention in the critical sector of the economy through the Infrastructure Fund.

He underscored the need for the NSIA to place priority attention on making public its activities to correct the erroneous impression that the Authority is only  to access fund.

Ime Njoku