The Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) will begin operations in October with an initial fund of US$1 billion, the Coordinating minister for the Economy and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, announced on Tuesday.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala also named Mr. Uche Orji, Global Coordinator and Head of US Semiconductor Research, as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Sovereign Wealth Fund. His appointment is for a term of five years. Mr Orji had also previously served as Managing Director at JP Morgan.
Other members of the Board are Mr. Arnold Ekpe, Mr. Jide Zeitlin, Mrs. Bili Awosika, Mr Bisi Soyebo, Alhaji Hassan Usman and Mrs. Stella Ojekwe-Onyejeli who will also serve as Chief Risk Officer. However, the candidate for Chief Investment Officer has been dropped and the position will be re-advertised.
The team will provide guidance for the operations of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, Dr Okonjo-Iweala said: “With this development, the country is firmly on the path to reaping the benefits of this tried and tested strategy for achieving fiscal prudence and economic transformation. The establishment of an institutional foundation for the Sovereign Wealth Fund is a victory for all Nigerians and a credit to the President who assented to the Bill in May last year.”
She added that it also demonstrated the determination of the Federal Government to improve the lives of Nigerians through far sighted policies and initiatives.
“We have started putting together a quality team to ensure that we realise the objectives that inspired the establishment of the SWF. I am sure the team realises what is at stake and is ready to do the necessary work so that the country can start enjoying the benefits as soon as possible.”
NSIA Act establishing the Authority received presidential assent on 27 May, 2012 as an independent statutory corporation with a mandate to build a savings base for future generations of Nigerians.