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FG Selects Chapel Hill, Afrinvest To Manage Nigeria’s N15trn Infrastructure Company – Emefiele

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Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says the federal government has approved the appointment of asset managers for the Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria (Infra-Co) Plc.

In February, the apex bank had rolled out calls for proposals from qualified asset managers for the corporation.

Emefiele said this on Tuesday at a webinar, tagged, “Showcasing the investment opportunities in Nigeria’s privatisation and economic reform programme,” organised by the Bureau of Public Enterprises, in collaboration with the Nigerian Exchange Group (NXG) and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission.

He said KPMG had been appointed as the transaction advisers for the Corporation.

“Work has indeed attained an advanced stage, and we have received the approval for the appointment of KPMG as the transaction advisers, and only recently we also obtained approval for the appointment of asset managers,” he said.

“So, following conclusions of these arrangements and further activities, I like to assure all of us that the Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria is expected to begin full operation by the third quarter of 2021.

“We believe that through partnership with the private sector, Infra-Co will be able to leverage close to N15 trillion over the coming years to close the country’s infrastructure gap.”

The governor said Infra-Co, recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, with a capital base of N15 trillion, would raise private sector capital to support investment in key infrastructure in Nigeria.

“I’m happy to acknowledge that the establishment of the Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria has generated a lot of interest from both local and international private fund managers,” he added.

“They are keen to work with the promoters in deploying private sector capital to support investment in key infrastructure in Nigeria.

“Giving the current funding constraints of the Federal Government, leveraging funds from the private sector with the ability to provide operational and technologically know-how is highly essential.

“Furthermore, these investments by the private sector in energy, road and rail assets can significantly reduce the cost of doing business in Nigeria while supporting increased investment of our economy.”

He said investments in rail, road infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and other areas with significant potential are imperative to transform the growth trajectory of the nation’s economy.

Osita Nwanisobi, CBN’s spokesperson, told Bloomberg that the successful companies picked to manage the fund include Lagos-based Chapel Hill Denham, Tripple A, a consortium comprising AfricaPlus Partners, Arc Asset Management, and Afrinvest West Africa. Others are Netherlands-based Sanlam Infraworks and AIIM, a unit of South Africa’s Old Mutual Group.

Oscar Onyema, group chief executive officer, NXG Plc, said the capital markets existed to allocate resources to spur growth and development.

Onyema, who noted that tax was eliminated on stock market transactions in most jurisdictions globally, called for further extension of tax waiver on capital market transactions.

He said the exchange would continue to reduce transaction costs and boost market participation for investors.

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