…Explains how E-West Road was removed from NSIA funding
By Emma Ujah
The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, has recorded a total comprehensive income of N160.06 billion, representing about 343 per cent growth in 2020 year, compared to the previous year’s N36.15 billion. The Managing Director, Mr. Uche Orji, disclosed this at a virtual press briefing yesterday.
According to him, the 2020 financial year reflected a strong financial performance, consistent with implementation of strategic infrastructure investment programmes.
“Despite the challenges of COVID-19, NSIA had a strong year owing to strong performance from its investments in international capital markets, improved contribution from subsidiaries and affiliates and exchange gain from foreign currency positions,” he said.
The income for the year under review included about N51 billion foreign exchange gain of N51billion, leaving a core income of N109 billion compared to N33.07 billion in 2019. The organization achieved 33 per cent growth in Net Assets to N772.75 billion, up from the previous year’s N579.54 billion. Orji noted that the organization received an additional contribution of $250 million; and provided first stabilization support to the three tiers of government to the tune of $150 million, which was withdrawn from the Stabilisation Fund.
Within the year under review, NSIA also received $311 million from funds recovered from late General Sani Abacha from the US Dept of Justice and Island of Jersey for deployment towards the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) projects of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Highway, Lagos Ibadan Expressway and Second Niger Bridge.
The MD noted that COVIC-19 adversely affected logistics around infrastructure projects especially the toll road projects and the presidential fertilizer initiative.
According to Mr. Orji, the NSIA-funded projects made significant progress across several sectors including road infrastructure, agriculture, health and education.
He said that in the health sector, the authorities operationalised the NSIA-Kano Diagnostic Centre and the NSIA-Umuahia Diagnostic Centre, where a cumulative of over 43,000 patients received services within the year. The MD said the Administrative and Training centre for the NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre was commissioned last year.
On the organisation’s direct investment in agriculture, the MD said: “The development of NSIA’s Panda agriculture project, in partnership with UFF located in Nasarawa State, gained significant traction in 2020.
“The two-phase development of an animal feed processing business with backward integration through the farming of maize and soyabean on 5,000 hectares of land in Panda, has progressed as planned with the attainment on key milestones.
“Upon completion of the development stage, the developed asset estimated at $29 million will include: A Farm (maize and soybean); maize mill; soybean mill and a new state of the art 147KMT poultry feed mill, with the option of processing fish feed.”
‘’The facility will also incorporate grain storage; and water management assets on an acreage of up to 5000 hectares of land. It is expected that the crop production and feed mill project will be completed in 2022.”
How Minister removed E-West Rd from NSIA funding
Orji also disclosed that the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, PIDF, was established in 2018 to accelerate the execution of critical infrastructure projects, which at the time included Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Highway, East-West Road Project, and Mambilla Hydro-Power Project.
He said Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge and Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road projects were progressing well.
“The East-West Road was removed from the PIDF in 2020 and transferred to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs at the request of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
“The Mambila Hydro Power project is yet to commence due to delays in re-scoping the project to make it more efficient and legal hurdles,’’ he said.
2nd Niger Bridge update
On the Second Niger Bridge, Orji said the original scope of 10.7km stood at 53 per cent completion with a delivery target of 2022. He added , however, that the scope of work had been increased.
His words: “In 2020, the access roads to the Second Niger Bridge, 2A and 2B, 17.5km each (totaling 35km), were added to PIDF scope of work. These had initially been part of scope expected to be carried out by the Federal Ministry of Works but owing to several challenges, they have been unable to commence the projects. leading to a transfer to the NSIA.’’