The partnership between Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and GuarantCo that was looking at developing a strategy towards redressing Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit, the two have launched a credit facility for infrastructure projects.
The existing funding gap has been identified as one of the major factors militating against efforts to mobilize capital for critical infrastructure development projects.
The creation of Nigerian Credit Enhancement Facility (NCEF), according to NSIA Managing Director/CEO, Uche Orji, was with the specific objective of attracting the investment interest of a pool of capital for whom safety was paramount using pension funds, insurance companies and Sovereign Wealth Funds.
Apart from improving their credit ratings to investment grade, Orji said NCEF could also potentially attract international capital to the critical infrastructure sector.
“NSIA and GuarantCo see this partnership as a potential catalyst for unlocking long-term patient capital, typically required by infrastructure projects to be commercially successful,” Orji said.
Orji considered that one of the statutory mandates of the NSIA is the enhancement of Nigeria’s infrastructure and has seen that NCEF has the potentials of helping to fulfill the mandate.
This, he said, could be achieved through the establishment of the necessary institutional framework and sustainable enablers that would attract long term capital necessary for infrastructural development.
The Head of GuarantCo at Frontier Markets Fund Managers, FMFM, Chris Vermont, said the company shared NSIA’s vision for mobilizing new sources of financing for infrastructure through creating a Nigerian Credit Enhancement Facility.
“We are proud to be partnering with NSIA as they map out a prudent, but ambitious pathway for Nigeria. We hope our experience of best practice across many markets can be combined with NSIA’s local expertise in the service of the country,” Vermont said.