10 September 2015, Lagos – The Managing Director and Chief Executive of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Uche Orji, has said the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) is not expecting to get any fund from the government because the price of crude oil at the international market is currently below the benchmark.
Orji, who spoke with State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, said his agency had been able to invest the $1 billion seed and made a profit of N15.7 billion profit.
The NSIA boss who described his meeting with the president as successful said: “The government gave us $1billion which is the only contribution we have received and we made N15.7billion profit last year from the contribution.
“We haven’t got additional fund from the government but the fund is structured in a way that it can go through hard time. We all know that the oil price is volatile, it comes up and goes down but the NSIA fund is structured in such a way that it can remain continuously profitable.”
Asked whether he was expecting further funds from the government, Orji said: “Oil price is below benchmark and because we are supposed to be funded when the oil price is above benchmark. So, it will not make any sense for the government to make any contribution now when the oil price is still low. But there are other ways to support the fund which we have discussed with the president.”
On the involvement of his agency in the Second Niger Bridge, he said: “Our commitment is that we have a vehicle called NSIA Motorways Investment Company that partners with Julius Berger investments to become the preferred bidder in the second Niger Bridge. We are still going through the process of signing concessional agreement to become a concessionaire and to do all of that we needed to prepare the project.
“The progress we have made so far is in preparation of the project. Making sure that the environmental impact assessment is made, the bridge properly designed and funded through our financial structuring.
“It is the project preparatory state that we are going into and that has cost us $2.2 million. This is a big project; the project we are looking at is 11.9km. The current Niger Bridge is one lane going and one lane coming and what we are building is three lane coming and going. So, it a big project.
“It is a four year construction period and we are looking at 2020 for the completion of the project.”