From Uche Usim, Abuja
Despite the shaky exit from the COVID-19-induced recession and concomitant global supply chain disruptions of 2020-21, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) posted a profit of N153.56 billion in the 2021 financial period.
This makes it its ninth consecutive year of making profits at a time most countries are succumbing to the pangs of inflation and an anaemic economy.
Speaking at a virtual press briefing on Monday, the Managing Director of NSIA, Mr Uche Orji, noted that the Authority set up in 2012 to manage Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund achieved a core income of N100.8 billion in 2021 compared to N109.6 billion in 2020.
This excludes foreign exchange gains of N45.8 billion in 2021 and N51.2 billion in 2020. The Authority recorded a marginal decline of 8.17 per cent in Total Comprehensive Income from N160.06 billion in 2020 to N146.98 billion in 2021.
He added that the NSIA also achieved a 19.02 per cent growth in Net Assets to N919.73 billion in 2021 from the N772.75 billion recorded in the preceding period of 2020.
“The funds performed well on an individual basis with the Future Generation Fund (FGF) growing by 11.98 per cent to N976.868 billion in 2021 while the Stabilization Fund (SF) and Nigeria Infrastructure Fund (NIF) grew by 1.60 per cent and N4.64 per cent to hit N278.827bn and N962.778 billion, respectively.
“The NSIA reached major milestones across domestic infrastructure projects specifically in motorways, agriculture, healthcare, technology, gas industrialization among others”, he explained.
Orji also revealed that the second Niger bridge was 94% completed, adding that the facility will become usable by December this year, even as ancillary works continue on other phases of the project.
Under the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI), Orji said it produced over 12 million 50kg bags of NPK 20:10:10 equivalent in 2020, bringing total production since inception to over 30 million 50kg bags equivalent.
The number of participating blending plants increased to 44 from less than seven at inception in 2017.
In line with the Fund’s objective, Orji said the NSIA successfully invested in a hyperscale cloud data company–Kasi Cloud Limited.
“The NSIA has invested about $12 million in early-stage venture capital fund managers focused on the African technology space.
Under its gas industrialization initiative, the NSIA boss noted that the Authority made significant progress on developing the Ammonia and Di-Ammonium Phosphate production plants in partnership with OCP.
On a global outlook, Orji said the risk of recession looms as central banks across the globe intensify efforts to contain inflation –stagflation, a possibility in the United States.
“Global commodity prices to continue to surge as the Russia-Ukraine crisis enters a new phase. There is the likelihood of a food crisis in 2022 and beyond due to the scarcity of commodities and raw materials for fertilizer.
“Again, China’s economic performance will be constrained by a resurgence of COVID-19 in some regions. Security to remain a concern, weighing in on the investment climate.
“Financial performance of the NSIA will be impacted by the rapidly crystalizing headwinds. There will be significant portfolio restructuring in the FGF to diversify the portfolio, improve the risk/return profile, and generate liquidity through secondary transactions.
“NIF will remain resilient and we will begin to recycle funds from investee companies. Asset transfers will be an important component of our funding strategy in the mid to long term.
“NSIA will prioritize ESG both as an asset class and in our investment process,” he said.