Nigeria’s House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee has initiated a probe into the activities of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) since its establishment.
Aminu Umar-Sadiq, the CEO of NSIA, revealed that the organisation has allocated more than $500 million towards domestic infrastructure projects and over $1 billion in third-party investments for Nigeria.
Umar-Sadiq made the announcement when he appeared before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc committee to Investigate the activities of the NSIA.
He said that the agency has consistently achieved positive outcomes in the last ten years looking at its net comprehensive income.
He said further that the NSIA has also carried out a robust infrastructure investment portfolio covering several critical sectors such as agriculture, healthcare and power, while developing over 10 institutions and platforms to improve the financial market ecosystem.
“I will give an overview of the NSIA, as we all know it was created by an Act of the National Assembly in 2011, it has shared ownership of 45.8 per cent of the federal government, state government at 36.2, local government at 17.8 per cent and the FCT at 1.6 per cent.
The institution from inception till today, the NSIA has received $1 billion in 2012 and three sets of $250 million, it has also drawdown of $150 has also occurred. We are a signatory to the Santiago Principle of the IMF and the ISFWF prioritising accountability, transparency and governance in the execution of our operations. By law, we have three separate and main flex bonds: the stabilization fund which during times of economic duress provides stabilization support, and the law makes for 20 per cent allocation as a minimum. We have the future generations fund, which is a diversified portfolio of growth investment managed for future generations of Nigerians. The first two funds are global and are fond of funds, and then we have a Nigeria infrastructure fund which by law is to invest in the infrastructure sectors in Nigeria. In addition to that, we also have third parties managed funds and there are five of them. In terms of the historical highlights of the NSIA, it is important to mention that we have been consistently positive over the last 10 years. When you look at our net comprehensive income, irrespective of market productivities, irrespective of coordination, irrespective of walls this institution has always made money for future generations of Nigerians,” Umar-Sadiq said.
He also said that the net assets growth of the three agencies has grown from N156 billion names in 2013 to N1. 017 trillion as of the end of 2022.
“One of the valuable value additions of the NSIA has been the ability for the country to utilize her capital to catalyse additional capital into Nigeria, to undertake complex consequential infrastructural projects. These projects stand healthcare, agriculture, energy, renewable energy, and financial markets infrastructure, over six or eight different companies we have conceptualised, developed, capitalised, and hire for and each of them is partaking in disruptive activities within the sectors that they were created to undertake within. In addition to that, we have developed and co-developed over 10 institutions and platforms to prove the financial market ecosystem. To name a few we have created a company called Infra-credit, a financial guarantor that motivates domestic capital from pension funds into the infrastructure sector, we created a company MedSef, a healthcare company to undertake oncology as well as diagnostic propositions within the country. We are in the process of creating Herculis a mystic company, you would have heard early on this year we launched a company called Carbon Vista alongside a global partner to play in the carbon space within Nigeria,” he said.
The Chairman of the Ad-hoc committee, Mr Kuye Ademorin-Aliyu, said that the investigation seeks to amongst others prevent waste and inefficiency even as he sought the cooperation of all stakeholders present at the hearing.
He said that the investigation aimed to ensure that the statutory provisions of the law establishing the agency were adhered to.
He added that the House wants to be able to have answers to questions from Nigerians on how the funds of the agency were being managed, adding that if the need arises, the committee will visit sites of projects being handled by the agency to ensure value for money.
Also speaking, the Director-General of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) said that Local Government Areas in the country was a mere appendage of the states and not federating unit and cannot technically be a direct beneficiary of funds from the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
Speaking through the Executive Director, Strategy and Research, Lateef Shittu, Director General of the ForumEnd, A. B Okuaru said since the states are satisfied with the operations of the NSIA, the local government cannot claim not to be aware of projects being carried out by the agency.
He noted that technically, the states were real owners of the NSIA since they control over 54 per cent of the shares of the agency alongside the local government.
He was responding to the presentation of the National President of the Association of Local Government Of Nigeria, Mr Kolade David Alabi, who pointed out that the local government councils were not aware of the activities of the NSIA.
He said by the composition of the NSIA, the Federal Government and the FACT has about 49.96 per cent of the investment, while the 36 states and their local government control about 54 per cent, saying “the states and local government are the real owners only NSIA because we are the majority shareholders.”
He disclosed that in 2022, the governors requested a presentation on the operations of the NSIA from the management, adding that “we were satisfied with the presentation and what they are doing.
“If you look at the constitution, the country is run as a federal system. We have only two federation units- the Federal and State government.
“The local government is not a federating unit, but an appendage of the states, even though it is recognised in the Constitution as a third tier of government. That is why you have states and local government joint accounts. They don’t get money directly from the Federations Account.
“Every single project executed by the NSIA is located in a local government and so, they are beneficiaries of the NSIA projects and we are satisfied with what they have been doing.”
He acknowledged the NSIA investment in health and education, he said the health facilities being invested in by the agency were health facilities belonging to the states, while those of the local government have joy benefited.