By Nduka Chiejina, Assistant Editor
The federal government has released the $311 million Abacha loot to the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) to fund its activities.
Managing Director of NSIA, Mr. Uche Orji, made this disclosure at a virtual meeting with the press to discuss the authority’s 2019 financial statement.
According to Uche Orji, “the federal government has transmitted the $311 million Abacha loot to the NSIA. This was facilitated by the legal counsel of the NSIA.”
He stated that the money is domiciled in cash with the Central Bank of Nigeria in a special account.”
Orji said the NSIA “hopes to start using the money in the third quarter of the 2020” on some critical infrastructure projects like the Second Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, among others.
The NSIA boss, who was happy at the release of the Abacha loot to the NSIA, said the money would go a long way in funding some of its projects more so as the release of the money had now ensured that the NSIA would not go to the market to raise as much money as it had earlier wanted to raise.
With regards to the performance of the NSIA in 2019, the NSIA recorded a five per cent growth in total assets from N617.7billion in 2018 to N649.84billion as of the end of 2019.
It also recorded a profit after tax of N34.46billion for the 2019 financial period.
The figures are contained in the 2019 audited financial statement of the agency which was released on Friday in Abuja.
The authority also said it recorded the total comprehensive income of N36.15billion in 2019 as against N44.34billion recorded in 2018.
Excluding the foreign exchange gain of N18billion in 2018 and N1.28 in 2019, the net income in 2019 was N34.87billion compared to N26.28billion in 2018.
Also, it closed key transactions and increased capital deployment on domestic infrastructure projects specifically in agriculture, healthcare and infrastructure enabling financial institutions.
In the healthcare sector, the NSIA said it operationalized the cancer centre at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital in May 2019.
The authority also said it recorded significant progress on the civil and construction works at the advanced diagnostic centres at both the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital.
These construction works, it said, were subsequently completed in 2020.
On the presidential fertiliser initiative, the NSIA said it delivered 6.5 million bags of 50kg bags of NPK 20:10:10 while accredited participating blending plants increased from 18 to 31 in 2019.
For the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, the authority said it received N90billion from government and deployed capital across three of the major road projects under the PIDF.
The three major road projects are the Second Niger Bridge, Lagos -Ibadan Expressway and Abuja-Zaria-Kaduna-Kano Road.
As of the end of 2019, it said a total of ?181.9billion had been deployed across all the three projects.
Speaking on this financial performance, the Managing Director, NSIA, Mr Uche Orji, said that the outlook for the fund remains promising.