Total assets of Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund grew to N213.67 billion ($1.07 billion) in 2015, up by 20 per cent compared with the previous year, its managing director said on Friday.
The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) was established in 2011 with $1 billion of seed capital in an effort to manage oil export revenues.
“Total assets recorded a growth of 20 per cent to N213.66 billion at year end,” the fund’s managing director, Uche Orji, said during a briefing on Friday.
The total assets were up from N177.84 billion ($894.57 million) the previous year. And investment income grew by 47 per cent to close at N5.8 billion ($29.18 million).
According to Orji, 2015 was a “difficult year” but the NSIA had “managed to protect its capital in a harsh and volatile market environment”.
The fund is divided into three parts, a ‘Stabilisation Fund’ to act as a buffer against economic turbulence, an Infrastructure Fund and a Future Generations fund.
In November officials announced that $250 million from liquid natural gas export proceeds would be injected into the wealth fund.
Orji said this additional capital was received in February 2016 and will be invested within the new fiscal year.
He said it would be invested using the existing deployment ratio of 40 per cent in Infrastructure Fund, 40 per cent in Future Generations Fund and 20 per cent in Stabilisation Fund.
It is the first fresh money since the previous administration injected $1 billion in 2014.
He further explained that the NSIA deepened investment in Nigeria-based private equity and fund managers.
“This has been one of the most successful asset classes of investment in the world, the difference, however, is that they invest over three to four years and start giving returns.
“We believe it is one of those things that will help the Nigerian capital market develop significantly and will earn us significant amount of return.
”So, we unbounded four Nigeria-based portfolio managers in private equity, bringing our total commitments of private equity to 24,” he said.
The managing director said that one of the key things NSIA embarked upon in 2015 was the framework of co-investments to bring other investors to partner the authority to invest in projects.
‘’The first we arrived at is on real estate and we expect that it will be operational in the second half of this year.’’
He said that if successful, it would be used as strategy for other segments like power, agriculture and health care to help channel investments from outside into the country.
He identified the key sectors for infrastructure investment of the NSIA as agriculture, health care, power and real estate.
Orji explained that the 2015 fiscal year was characterised by high volatility and global market uncertainty, adding that the agency still recorded an overall positive results.