Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund profit nosedive by N107.8bn in 2017 ―Orji

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NIGERIA Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has announced a group total profit of N22,557,274,000 for 2017 down from N130,379,425,000 in the previous year.

It also announced growth in assets to N533,882,579,000 at the end of the financial year under consideration from N420,934,176,000 in 2016.

Announcing the audited financial results for 2017 at a press briefing on Friday, Managing Director of NSIA, Mr Uchechi Orji attributed the slide in profit to stable foreign exchange market in 2017, which was largely responsible for ballooning of profits in the previous year.

He also blamed the downturn on a four-month investment anomie period occasioned by the absence of a Governing Board.

He also explained that 68 per cent growth in total assets was due to the additional $250 million allocated by National Economic Council (NEC) at the 2016 meeting of the Governing Council but which was received in the third quarter of 2017.

Orji said return on capital employed (ROCE) on Stabilisation Fund was 5.17 per cent; Future Generations Fund- 6.05 per cent and; Nigeria Infrastructure Fund- 3.50 per cent.

He gave the notification that the Fund may witness a slowdown in profit in the coming years because its focus has now shifted to infrastructure funding across the country.

The current year he warned, will also be a challenging year for the Fund because of global market volatility.

Infrastructure funding, he stated, has a long gestation period within which projects are conceived and concluded before they will begin to generate income.

In addition, Orji said NSIA had begun discussions with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other international oil companies on how to invest in modular refineries and basic chemical factories.

According to him, the pattern of NSIA investment will henceforth be 50 per cent in favour of infrastructure, 20 per cent will go to stabilisation while the remaining 30 per cent will be directed towards the future generation projects financing.

Areas of infrastructure focus will be agriculture, power, toll roads and health care.
Orji disclosed that the board has commenced discussions on dividend policy for shareholders but that it should be finalised in 2019.

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