This is not a scam.
Nigeria, the West African nation that has gained notoriety for the illicit e-mail spammers aiming for Western bank accounts, is attracting attention for legitimate financial opportunities — investing its own savings.
In an effort to preserve and increase its oil revenue, the country recently established a so-called sovereign wealth fund, following the path of many resource-rich countries. Now, Wall Street titans like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase are courting top government officials, aiming to grab a piece of a portfolio that could eventually be worth tens of billions of dollars.
“The country is at a point of inflection, and what we do in the next few years will set the pace,” said Olusegun Aganga, the former Nigerian finance minister and current minister for trade and investment, who helped create the sovereign wealth fund. “It’s a land of opportunities, which unfortunately has not been tapped well.”
More than half a century after discovering oil in the Niger Delta, the country continues to subsist barrel to barrel. Poverty is rampant. Public corruption is pervasive. And the government coffers are bare, even though Nigeria is the 10th-largest oil producer in the world.
By saving and investing the petro dollars, Nigeria hopes to break the resource curse. The nation, which derives 80 percent of its revenue from oil, created the sovereign wealth fund to buffer its economy from volatile commodity prices and impose fiscal discipline. The government so far has set aside $1 billion for the fund, and it could funnel as much as $2.5 billion a year, if oil prices remain high. . .”
Full Story on New York Times.
Photo description: Olusegun Aganga
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