The federal government on Wednesday approved the transfer of about $650 million (about N198.9 billion) to the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) as initial funding for the take -off of the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF).
The National Economic Council (NEC) announced the establishment of the Fund and the disbursement of the seed funding at the end of its meeting in on Thursday.
The establishment of the PIDF was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari who presided over the meeting.
Details released by NEC showed that the PIDF would be managed by the NSIA. The fund is expected to be invested in critical road and power projects across the country.
The initial transfer of $650 million to the NSIA was authorised from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) dividend account at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
A statement from the NSIA said the initiative was aimed at eliminating the risks of project funding, cost variation and completion that have plagued the development of the nation’s critical infrastructure assets over the last few decades.
Ongoing projects mostly impacted by paucity of funding include the 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos to Ibadan Expressway, East—West Road, Abuja to Kano Road, and Mambilla Hydroelectric Power.
“This commitment by the President and NEC, allows all State Governments to own an economic interest in the project companies that will be professionally developed and managed by the NSIA,” the statement said.
“The investments will yield returns, which will diversify revenues to States, improve the fiscal sustainability profile of the Federation and ensure Nigerians benefit from modernised Infrastructure for decades to come,” it added.
The NEC said the PIDF would help secure counterpart funds required for projects being co-developed with China Export-Import and China Development Banks.
The NSIA said any additional funding required from development partners for projects in the country would be mobilized.