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Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund hits $3.5 billion

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Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund now has around $3.5 billion in assets under management, up from $1 billion when the current administration took office in 2015.

According to the Finance and Budget Minister Zainab Ahmed, the government will continue to support the managers of the sovereign wealth fund with the necessary policies and framework to ensure implementation of its mandate.

The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) launched in 2013 saying it would invest in infrastructure as well as building up a savings pot for future generations and another to protect the oil-dependent economy against commodity price shocks.

Ahmed said at the inuguration of the new board of the NSIA that the Board will, on behalf of the Nigerian people, guide and oversee the NSIA Management’s activities towards delivering outcomes to transform the fortunes of the country.

‘‘Using the NSIA Act as its guide, the Board will be required to superintend initiatives that meet the current and future needs of Nigerians.

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‘‘On our part as Government, we will continue to support the Authority with the necessary policies and framework to ensure that the mission of the institution is delivered in a transparent, sustainable and inclusive manner,’’ she said.

While inugurating the board, President Muhammadu Buhari said it should focus on investments that support economic diversification.

“This administration took the very difficult decision to invest for the long term. We avoided taking short cuts knowing very well that the full impact of most of the projects we started will only be felt long after we have left office,” he said, according to a statement from his spokesman.

Buhari cited public works on the Second Niger Bridge in southeast Nigeria, the Lagos-Ibadan expressway in the southwest and the Abuja-Kano road in the north as examples of investments by the NSIA whose effects would be felt in future.

He also cited projects in areas such as fertilisers, artisanal gold mining and healthcare.

Ahmed, who also spoke at the inauguration of the new board, gave no further details about the NSIA’s financial position, according to the statement from Buhari’s spokesman.

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