03 August 2013, Abuja – Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that the $1 billion Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund was being safely invested and that Nigerians would reap the proceeds of the fund shortly.
She spoke during an assessment visit to the Abuja office of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Friday.
“The Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund has taken off. The $1 billion has been allocated into various buckets. $325 million has been allocated for Infrastructure, Stabilisation Fund $200 million; and Future Generation Fund another $325 million. The balance we will allocate as we get along.
“The monies have been safely invested for our future generations; monies being , safely managed to go into very important infrastructure for this country and monies are being safely managed for our stabilisation Fund to help us manage the fluctuation in our macro economy as we go along”, she said.
The minister revealed that the board has decided on the first infrastructure investment. But that it needed to finalise talks with private sector investors who would serve as partners.
The board has been discussing a series of infrastructure projects for the country. Very soon we will be telling you which ones they are going to be working on. The board has decided on the flagship infrastructure project. “
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, said that the best experts in global fund investment both at instutional and individual levels have been hired to advise the NSIA, with a view to making it very successful in its operations.
“We are using topflight investment advice and we have a topflight board”, she said, disclosing that global financial managers such as City Group, Goldman Sachs, Credite Suisse, United Bank of Switzerland, and Nigeria’s Stanbic IBTC have been engaged to guide NSIA in investment decisions.’’
According to her, the board and management of the NSIA recognized the responsibilities on their shoulders and were determined to give the best in investment returns to Nigerians.
She described the authority as a “very small professional institution. And it will remain that way. As of now the total number of staff is 15 and we don’t want it to be bloated. That is what we want”, adding, “reports outside indicate that this Sovereign Wealth Fund has started in a very good way.’’
– Emma Ujah, Vanguard