The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority( NSIA) has secured Foreign Direct Investment commitments (FDIs) in excess of $305 million.
The NSIA Managing Director/ CEO Dr. Uche Orji, who broke the news, said these Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) had been sealed to provide financial investment in agriculture, infrastructure credit financing (infracredit) and estate development.
Orji said the NSIA secured $105m for agriculture. “These are commitments people have signed, most of them were signed and the money still held offshore. As we close transactions, the money will come in. For real estate, $100m has been secured; for infra-credit another $100m of contingent credit secured. These are the ones that are handy today. There are still ones that would come but when they come, they come,” he said.
Orji noted that the NSIA was in the process of allocating $10 million to revamping the moribund Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) for optimum operation before its sale.
On Commodity Exchange, Orji noted that the injection of capital should not be misconstrued for halting privatisation, noting that the Exchange was being revived to attract value as against selling it as scrap.
Orji spoke yesterday in Abuja at a press briefing on the NSIA’s Q3 2016 performance and outlook for 2017.
On the much talked about Second Niger Bridge, Orji said it was abandoned because of paucity of funds, and the change of government. Some of the grey areas have been settled and the contractors have been mobilised back to site, he said.
He was optimistic that the project would be completed in 2020 as scheduled but he would have better information on that after the National Economic Council (NEC) approves a new financing arrangement for it.
“There was a pause, we went through a phase and we have resolved some of the issues; we are now working together. The contractors have been mobilised to go back to work.
There is a new financing strategy we are going to be discussing with the Ministry of Works. If that is achieved, you see progress. There was a bit of time lost , but we are back on track but the financing structure will change. Once it is approved, it will move faster.
Are we still looking up to completion date of 2020? I think so . I will be able to give a definitive answer in another three months as soon as our financing plan is approved.”
According to Orji, “the agency recently submitted its report to the governing Council at the 74th session of the National Economic Council which approved $250 million additional capital to it (second Niger Bridge)”
To Orji, 2017 will be a year of harvests.
He said: The organisation planned to increase its domestic infrastructure investment, adding: “There are compelling opportunities in today’s environment. We have to focus on social infrastructure, such as affordable housing”.
He said NSIA had $255 million in the stabilisation account which the government is at the liberty to borrow whenever it deems fit. Of the amount, 20 % is always in liquid as required by law so that the equity holding governments can draw from it.
“The way stabilisation fund is structured, we make sure the fund is not put in a long term investment which take years to mature. Right now, we have $255 million in Stabilisation Fund, so if the government needs it will go through the National Economic Council. That money is available.”
Orji added: “We are required by law to keep 20% of our fund in stabilisation account. Obviously, we are not there yet because government is injecting capital into NSIA. The option is left for the government to take. The law requires the Minister of finance to put it into writing, “we need x y z amount” and take it to NEC for approval and we are under mandate to honour it.”