Just a day after Patience Oniha of the Debt Management Office (DMO) disclosed that the Federal Government has no plan to return to Eurobonds market this year (2019), the debt office said it might issue some Eurobonds after all.
Nairametrics had reported that the Federal Government was ruling out Eurobonds, at least, for the next year.
According to the new development, the debt office confirmed that the Nigerian government may issue Eurobonds if necessary to help finance its 2019 budget.
Why the U-turn? While foreign borrowing for the 2019 budget was set at N824.82 billion ($2.7 billion), the Federal Government said it wants to tap concessionary long-term loans to finance its 2019 budget in addition to borrowing locally.
The Government is first looking at accessing any cheaper funding from multilateral and bilateral lenders. A statement from the Debt Management Office noted that in line with financing the 2019 budget, “any balance will be raised from commercial sources which may include security issuance such as Eurobonds.”
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.
President Biden directs international air travelers must quarantine upon arrival
President Joe Biden has directed international air travellers to quarantine upon arrival in the United States.
The United States President Joe Biden has issued an executive order on Thursday that makes it mandatory for international air travellers to quarantine upon arrival in the US.
Similarly, the executive order also includes a directive that all interstate travellers in the US will be expected to wear a face mask. This travel order applies to airports and planes, trains, ferries, intercity buses and public transportation, but grants them the ability to issue exemptions.
What the US President is saying in the executive order
According to a report from Reuters, President Biden’s order says, ‘‘To the extent, feasible air travellers must comply with applicable U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines concerning international travel ‘including recommended periods of self-quarantine.”
However, the executive order does not explain how it will be enforced as the implementation still remains quite hazy.
The order also directs US agencies to engage with Canada and Mexico on public health protocols for land ports of entry including implementing CDC guidelines. Almost all non-essential travel at US land borders with Canada and Mexico has been suspended till February 21.
The CDC recommends a 7-day quarantine for people arriving in the United States from nearly all countries.
Biden is directing agencies to reconsider international contact tracing requirements for U.S.-bound passengers, which was abandoned by the Trump White House, as well as the possibility of follow-up Covid-19 testing for travellers after they arrive in the United States.
In addition, the US President has also directed that all travellers including US citizens, will be required to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test before entering the country from abroad in an order that underscores the CDC policy announced last week.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Trump administration had resisted calls for the enforcement of a mask-wearing requirement.
- The Biden administration has also announced that it would reimpose coronavirus-related ban on most non-U.S. citizens arriving from European Union, Brazil, the United Kingdom.
- This follows the lifting of the restrictions by former US President, Donald Trump through an executive order on Monday.
FG to take delivery of first set of Covid-19 vaccines in February
The FG has announced that the country expects to take delivery of its first set of Covid-19 vaccine doses in February.
The Federal Government has announced that the country expects to take delivery of its first set of Covid-19 vaccine doses in February, with health workers, vulnerable people and top government officials to be given priority.
These vaccines are expected to be procured through the Covax initiative which is backed by the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation.
According to a report from Bloomberg, this disclosure was made in an interview by the Executive Director/Chief Executive of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, who said that as many as 100,000 doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, would be purchased.
What the Head of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency is saying
Shuaib said that the first batch of the vaccines, which is enough for a maximum of 50,000 people, equivalent to about 0.00025% of Nigeria’s population, would be allocated to health-care professionals working in Covid-19 isolation centres and those supporting them, as well as the country’s senior political leaders.
He said, “We are waiting for final confirmation from Covax on when the first doses will arrive. A most recent indication is they’re expected in February.”
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Federal Government, had initially announced that it was expecting the first set of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines to be available at the end of January through the Covax initiative.
- The Minister of State for Health, Olurunnimbe Mamora, had also said that the country was yet to purchase any Covid-19 vaccine as the country was still assessing the prices of different shots, their availability and the logistics required for a nationwide roll-out.
- Shuaib revealed that the Federal Government had acquired 3 ultra-cold freezers to keep the Pfizer vaccines at the required temperature. He said that in the longer term, the government planned to invest in vaccines that were easier to store, such as those created by AstraZeneca Plc, and the University of Oxford.
- Nigeria, with a population of more than 200 million people, plans to vaccinate about 70% of its population in the long run and is working on other options, besides Covax, for supplies.
Nigeria records 1,964 new cases of Covid-19, highest daily surge
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control announced that 1,964 new cases of the covid-19 virus were recorded on Thursday
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, on Thursday, 21st January 2021, announced that 1,964 new cases of the Covid-19 virus were recorded across 24 states in the country.
This represents the highest number of cases recorded in a single day. It also represents a 41.7% surge compared to 1,386 cases recorded on Wednesday, 2oth January 2021.
According to the NCDC, the cases were recorded across 24 states; Lagos State recorded the highest with 824 new cases, representing 41.9% of the total daily cases.
Others include: FCT (246), Plateau (166), Kaduna (128), Ogun (76), Nasarawa (74), Anambra (69), Edo (50), Rivers (45), Ondo (44), Niger (40), Oyo (38), Adamawa (35), Kano (31), Akwa Ibom (27), Gombe (19), Kwara (13).
More details shortly…..