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Africa Business News of Friday, 26 February 2021


Nigeria seeks fund manager for US$37 billion infrastructure unit

Nigeria plans to hire an asset manager for its new Infrastructure Corp. of Nigeria Ltd., designed to raise as much as 15 trillion naira ($36.7 billion) for projects and to accelerate growth in Africa’s biggest economy.

The nation’s central bank and its funding partners - Africa Finance Corp. and state-owned Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority -- are seeking proposals from companies to independently manage the infrastructure company’s capital-raising plan, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The person requested not to be named because the matter is not yet public.

President Muhammadu Buhari this month approved the government’s seed capital of 1 trillion naira for InfraCorp, as the company is known, along with some private investment. The company will help fund projects from roads to railways and power plants.
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The fund manager will be responsible for coordinating the total equity capital and associated debt raise required by the company, according to the person. Asset managers seeking the role must have been active in infrastructure financing.

“We need to be innovative in our approach to developing our infrastructure in Nigeria,” central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said in a text-message sent by an official from the institution. “We believe that InfraCorp will be a major game-changer in this regard.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey and KPMG expressed interest in being transaction advisers on the deal, according to the person. Ukiri Lijadu and Co. and Kenna Partners were appointed legal advisers, the person said.

PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG didn’t immediately answer calls seeking comment on Wednesday, while calls to Ukiri Lijadu and McKinsey didn’t connect. Representatives at Kenna Partners and BCG couldn’t comment straightaway when called.

Africa’s most populous country plans to boost infrastructure investments to stimulate economic growth after exiting its second recession in four years in the fourth quarter. The nation needs at least $3 trillion over 30 years to close its infrastructure deficit, Moody’s Investors Service said in a November report.

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