NSIA confirms receipt of $311m Abacha loot

*To be utilized in funding second Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan road, others

*Grew asset by 5% to N649bn in 2019

The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has confirmed that it is now in possession of $311 million Abacha loot which was released by the federal government to fund key infrastructure projects in the country.

Managing Director of NSIA Mr Uche Orji, disclosed this at a virtual press conference held on Friday which was organized to announce the Agency’s 2019 financial Statement.

“The federal government has transmitted $311 million Abacha loot to the NSIA. This was facilitated by the legal counsel of the NSIA,” he remarked. 

According to him, the money is domiciled in cash with the Central bank of Nigeria in a special account.”

Orji said the NSIA “hopes to start using the money in the third quarter of the 2020” on some critical infrastructure projects like the Second Niger Bridge, Lagos Ibadan Expressway among others.

Orji said the money would go a long way in funding some of its projects more so as the release of the cash has now ensured that the NSIA will not go to the market to raise as much money as it had earlier wanted to raise.

On financial performance, the NSIA disclosed that in 2019, it recorded a five per cent growth in Total Assets from N617.7billion in 2018 to N649.84billion as of the end of 2019.

It also recorded a Profit-After-Tax of N34.46billion for 2019 financial period.

The figures are contained in the 2019 audited financial statement of the agency which was released on Friday in Abuja.

The NSIA also said it recorded a total comprehensive income of N36.15billion in 2019 as against N44.34billion recorded in 2018.

Excluding foreign exchange gain of N18billion in 2018 and N1.28 in 2019, the net income in 2019 was N34.87billion compared to N26.28billion in 2018.

Also, it closed key transactions and increased capital deployment on domestic infrastructure projects specifically in agriculture, healthcare, and infrastructure enabling financial institutions.

In the healthcare sector, the NSIA said it operationalized the Cancer Centre at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital in May 2019.

The Authority also said it recorded significant progress on the civil and construction works at the Advanced Diagnostic Centres at both the Federal Medical Centre Umuahia and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital.

These construction works, it said, were subsequently completed in 2020.

On the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, the NSIA said it delivered 6.5 million bags of 50kg bags of NPK 20:10:10 while accredited participating blending plants increased from 18 to 31 in 2019.

For the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, the Authority said it received N90billion from government and deployed capital across three of the major road projects under the PIDF.

The three major road projects are the Second Niger Bridge, Lagos – Ibadan Expressway and Abuja-Zaria-Kaduna-Kano Road.

As of the end of 2019, it said a total of N181.9billion had been deployed across all the three projects.

Speaking on this financial performance, the Managing Director, NSIA, Mr Uche Orji, said that the outlook for the Fund remains promising.

He said, “the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented human and health crisis with significant impact on global markets. As such, it may be difficult to predict the markets’ overall reaction to the development.

According to him,” It is predictable that the volatility introduces by the onset of the pandemic may linger. However, the Authority continues to monitor the market conditions with the view to leverage the upside risks that avail themselves in the market.

He said the NSIA “expects that our investment strategy will continue to deliver positive returns in the long term in 2020 as the markets normalize and new opportunities emerge.”

The NSIA boss said asset allocation strategy remains stable across the various funds adding that Future generations fund remains 25 per cent public equities, 25 per cent private equity, 25 per cent Absolute Returns and 25 per cent Other diversifiers.

He gave the areas of focus for the Nigeria Infrastructure Fund to include agriculture, healthcare, power, toll roads and gas industrialization.

Orji said the NSIA closed key transactions and increased capital deployment on domestic infrastructure projects specifically in motorways, agriculture, healthcare, and power:

He noted that, “operationalizing several subsidiaries of the NSIA will be a key focus especially in the healthcare sector where we have several projects in the pipeline.

NSIA has invested in several financial companies that help develop the capital markets including Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company, InfraCredit, NG Clearing, Development Bank of Nigeria, and Family Homes Funds.

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The NSIA boss said the Authority would continue to deploy capital into vital sectors of the economy with increased focus on sectors that will engineer real growth.

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