President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday implored the board of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) to judiciously invest the Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund in a manner that would produce adequate infrastructure for the benefit Nigerians, especially posterity.
The country had last year decided to key into the over 3 trillion dollar worth of investments amongst other nations that established Sovereign Wealth funds worldwide with a strong management strategy that ensures the sustainability of the funds.
Jonathan who spoke while inaugurating the new board of the NSIA headed by a former deputy governor of CBN, Mahey Rasheed, at the presidential Villa, Abuja, noted that the Sovereign Wealth Fund initiatives and the board’s inauguration would usher in a new era of financial responsibility in Nigeria.
He said, “We look to you to guide the resources of the NSIA and ensure that they invested responsibly for the benefits of our nation. We expect to see the NSIA active in infrastructure investment throughout the country, pulling in core investors from home and abroad.
“Today’s ceremony ushers in a new era of financial responsibility as we provide the fiscal cushion in this uncertain economic times and protect our national savings for future generations of Nigerians.
“Let me state unequivocally that the Sovereign Wealth Fund belongs to all Nigerians represented through the federal, states and local governments. While recognizing the administrative reality of the federal system of government, the administration believes that all tiers of government must work to preserve the common wealth and thereby guaranteeing the future prosperity of our nation.
“It is for this reason that the federal government considered it imperative to assemble the group of credible citizens to manage the Sovereign Wealth Fund.”
The president added that the board members were selected following a rigorous process, and charged it to ensure that the fund is well managed for the benefit of Nigerians yet unborn.
He said, “Its solemn charge and duty is to administer these resources well for the benefit of all present and future generations of Nigerians. In establishing this board, which is the institutional foundation for the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, we are affirming the seriousness with which we aim to pursue the twin central tenets of the NSIA, which are to: build a savings base for future generation of Nigerians; enhance the development of Nigeria’s infrastructure and promote fiscal stability for our country in times of economic stress.
“Given the calibre and collective experience of members of the board of the NSIA, I have no doubt that Nigerians will reap bountifully dividends from investments to be embarked upon by the board.”
Commending members of the board for their patriotism and willingness to take on their new assignment for the country, the president said, ”I will also like to take this unique opportunity to express my own gratitude and that of the nation to the executive nomination committee chaired by the coordinating minister of the economy and minister of finance.
“The executive nomination committee was composed of six Nigerians with integrity and independent minds from the six geopolitical zones of the country. The committee was charged with assisting the coordinating minister of the economy with vetting and selection of members of the board. Our administration attaches utmost importance to the mandate of this board and asks members to see their task as a call to greater service to their fatherland,” he said.
For her part, the coordinating minister for the economy and minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, commended the nomination committee for showing exceptional dedication and commitment, even as she assured the president that the board was poised to make the nation proud.