Patience Oniha, DMO, External debt servicing
Patience Oniha, Director General, Debt Management Office

The Federal Government said it has no plans to return to Eurobonds market this year. The Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha, disclosed this yesterday while speaking during the Islamic Finance Conference in Lagos.

Nairametrics understands that the Government’s decision to any dollar-denominated Eurobond for the meantime is coming after a sixth outing in November 2018 helped to raise the sum of $2.86 billion.

Why the Decision? The Federal Government said it wants to tap concessionary long-term loans to finance its 2019 budget in addition to borrowing locally.

In the meantime, foreign borrowing to fund the 2019 budget has been pegged at N802 billion.

Note that in 2016, the Federal Government of Nigeria approved a three-year plan to borrow more foreign debts. The plan was to ensure that 40 percent of its loans come from outside the country sources as part of an effort to lower borrowing costs whilst funding record-high budgets.

Tracking Nigeria’s Debt: In 2017, Nigeria sold $3 billion in Eurobonds, part of which was used to fund its budget that year. It then followed that up with a $2.5 billion Eurobond sale last year (2018) which was used to refinance local currency bonds at a lower cost.

Meanwhile, just recently the DMO had, on behalf of the Federal Government, listed some Eurobonds in a dual-tranche of $2.50 billion and a triple-tranche of $2.86 billion on both the FMDQ Securities Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Purpose of the Eurobonds: Speaking during the listing on the FMDQ in  Lagos, Oniha said that the bonds were raised for the refinancing of the country’s domestic debt.

According to her,  the $2.50 billion Eurobonds issued in February 2018 was meant for the refinancing of domestic debt, while  $2.86 billion dollars Eurobonds floated in November 2018 was purposely for the financing of the capital project of the budget.

The Eurobonds proceeds would be used to fund the fiscal deficit of the country, as well as other financing needs.

The efficiency of the Eurobonds: The Eurobond issuances are expected to spur private sector participation in the Nigerian capital markets as domestic investors stood to gain increased access to instruments in the secondary markets and a widened opportunity for portfolio diversification.

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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