The second board of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority(NSIA) was inaugurated on Friday by the acting President, Yemi Osinbajo.
The inauguration of the nine- member board was done in the Conference Room of the Vice-President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The National Economic Council(NEC) recently approved the nomination of the members of the board which represent the six geopolitical zones. It also approved $250 million capital to be injected into the Sovereign Wealth Fund from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).
The acting President told the Board chairman Babajide Zietlin and members of the board to be committed and dedicated to their mandate.
Osinbajo said: “Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it goes without saying that this background and expectation of NSIA’s role in the future informed our choice of these eminent ladies and gentlemen of noteworthy character and proven professional pedigree before you to oversee the affairs of the NSIA as chairman and members of the Board of Directors for a four year term.
“For those who may demand an explanation of the basis of our choice beyond your academic and track record perhaps it is important to mention that you have been nominated to serve on account on your well-demonstrated integrity, patriotism and unique sense of duty.
“It is my fervent hope therefore that you will bring these worthy attributes to bear as you discharge your duties.
“Your appointment is a call to service which will require total commitment and dedication of the highest standards, attributes which I am confident that you will epitomize individually and collectively.
“As representatives of the people, our charge is simple: we require you to fundamentally improve the performance of the authority and strengthen its operations. “The National Economic Council, your governing council, and all Nigerians will hold you accountable to this mandate.
“Periodically, you will be required to provide evidence of your stewardship to the governing council where your performance, of cause, will be assessed. Indeed despite the fiscally constrained environment, this administration has been able to increase the federal government’s commitment to the NSIA by 50%, committing an additional $500 million.
“Though the federal government is committed to saving, the actual charge with this additional capital is investment.Thus as the NSIA moves to the second phase of its existence the expectation is that the committed capital will be deployed into projects that are in line with the administration’s key priority areas, namely: infrastructure, agriculture in order to improve our economy. For example, we expect prompt action on the commodities exchange, a vital component of our agricultural reform effort.
“I am pleased to note your participation with the governments of Delta and Akwa Ibom on the modular refineries project. They are several key projects that would unlock the economic potential of our country and get us faster out of where we are today.The bar before you is high and all of us are counting on you to deliver.
“So, while congratulating you and wishing you every success in your assignment it is my honour and pleasure to inaugurate the board of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority to the glory of the Almighty God and the enduring development of our nation.”
Osinbajo added, “The discipline and rigour with which the entity was founded and operated reflects in its capacity to deliver on its mandate. Indeed the NSIA has demonstrated that not only do we have the capacity, as Nigerians, to deliver on some of the most complex issues but that we have the men and women to do so.
“Since inception, the NSIA has maintained the track record of consistent positive performance and displayed an impressive capacity for growth. We are proud of its accomplishments and commend the staff and management of the institution.
“As you know the NSIA fulfills a critical function in our economy and country as a whole, principally it serves as a good tool of fiscal discipline, ensuring future availability of capital through investments in long term assets and managing Nigerian savings.
“More importantly, it is a system managed by committed people who seek to create fresh functional and scalable solutions to Nigeria’s economic challenges using limited capital to catalyse inflow of investments. “Increasingly, the NSIA lends itself to the actualization of our administration’s agenda for economic transformation in many ways.
“On a number of occasions we have involved them in the implementation of initiatives central to government’s programmes and they delivered efficiently and sustainably.And as we navigate the pathway out of recession and into a self-sufficient and diversified economy, it is our expectation that the NSIA will remain increasingly strategic to our nation’s growth and development”, the acting President said.
The board chairman, Zetilin said he and other members of the board would be committed to actualizing their mandate.
He said, “We are very committed to protecting the fund for future generations as well as making investments today in infrastructure that will help enhance and align with the government priorities. We are very focused on agriculture, infrastructure more broadly and this is a seasoned team both the executive management team and a very experienced board. So this augurs well for the Nigerian nation.”
Members of the board given a four-year tenure are Babajide Zetilin,Chairman (South West), Bello Maccido (North–West), Halima Buba (North-East), Lois Laraba Machunga-Disu (North Central), Urum Kalu Eze (South East) and Asue Ighodalo (South-South). Hanspeter Achermann,Stella Ojekwe-Onyejeli and Uche Orji are also members .