Feb 1, 2023
Nigeria Targets $217 Billion in Assets for State Fund Manager
(Bloomberg) -- Nigeria plans to grow the assets under the control of a state fund manager more than fivefold to 100 trillion naira ($217 billion) within a decade, and wants it to use them to generate income to shore up the state’s coffers, according to the government.
Ministry of Finance Inc. was established in 1959, and was meant to be used as a special purpose vehicle to invest in commercial ventures across different industries, but it has been largely inactive.
The law establishing MOFI empowers it to enter into “commercial transactions of any description on behalf of the federal government,” President Muhammadu Buhari said Wednesday while inaugurating a new board to oversee the agency’s activities. The fund manager currently oversees assets worth 18 trillion naira, he said without providing details.
MOFI will serve as a clearing house for the management of the government’s investments and assets, ensuring they deliver “ superior risk-adjusted returns to the government,” the president added. He directed MOFI to set up a consolidated register of government assets that will help convert them “into cashflow-generating entities to support the government’s revenue drive.” The West African nation has consistently missed set revenue targets in its annual spending plans since 2015.
With debt service payments consuming about 80% of state revenue last year, Africa’s largest economy is exploring alternative ways of boosting its income. Nigeria is also contending with slow growth and a dollar squeeze after slump in oil production put pressure on its foreign exchange reserves.
Buhari will head MOFI’s new governing council, while former Finance Minister Shamsudeen Usman will head its new board.
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