Sovereign Wealth Fund: Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority commences full operations

Posted by News Express | 20 May 2013 | 4,865 times

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Seven months after its inauguration by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has put in place necessary structures to fully carry out its mandate, News Express can report this morning.

Already, the Authority has settled down at its offices located in the Maitama area of Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

This morning, NSIA Managing Director, Mr. Uche Orji, will hold a special media briefing at which he will “give an update on the progress of the implementation of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) and related issues,” according to a statement made available to News Express.

Orji, who emerged through a very competitive international selection process, started work on October 2. A former Managing Director of JP Morgan and lately Co-Head of the U.S. Technical Sector Research at a prominent global investment bank, UBS, Orji has been contracted for an initial term of five years.

The NSIA advertised several key management and staff positions in December, with Orji announcing that the full complement of staff would be in place by the first quarter of 2013. He disclosed that the NSIA was already “in the process of filling the role of the CIO (Chief Investment Officer),” adding: “We received 300 resumes for the CIO role and will soon commence the process of short-listing the candidates. We hope to have the interviews early next year and have a CIO in place by early March.”

News of the composition of the NSIA Board and management team was broken on August 29 by Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. She described the birth of the NSIA as a demonstration of “the determination of the Federal Government to improve the lives of Nigerians through far-sighted policies and initiatives.”

Quoting from the Act establishing the NSIA accented to by President Jonathan in May 2011, Okonjo-Iweala described the SWF as an independent statutory corporation with a mandate to do the following:

*Build a savings base for future generations of Nigerians;
*Enhance development of Nigerian infrastructure;
*Promote fiscal stability for the country in times of economic stress; and
*Carry out such other matters as may be necessary in furtherance of these objectives.

The minister assured that the launch of SWF “will make our country to be seen as a more attractive destination by both local and foreign investors.”

“We have started putting together a quality team to ensure that we realise the objectives that inspired the establishment of the SWF. I am sure the team realises what is at stake and is ready to do the necessary work so that the country can start enjoying the benefits as soon as possible,” Okonjo-Iweala had said.

She disclosed that a billion dollars had been set aside as initial funding for the SWF, adding that the fund will for now co-exist with the Excess Crude Account, upon which the SWF concept is anchored, but which “will eventually fold into the SAF.”

The NSIA Board is chaired by Alhaji Mahey Rasheed, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

*Photo: NSIA MD Uche Orji.


Source: News Express

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