ABUJA, Sept 1 – 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, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said on Wednesday.
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.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday inaugurated a new NSIA board, saying 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.
Reporting by Felix Onuah, writing by Estelle Shirbon, Editing by Catherine Evans