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.
WHO gives condition for approving Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine as the vaccine gets a name
Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V for the foreign markets.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that any form of approval of prequalification of the Russian vaccine will require rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data.
This disclosure was made by the spokesman of the WHO, Tarik Jasarevic, during a United Nations briefing in Geneva about clinical trials.
He said that the UN health agency and the Russian health authorities are currently discussing the process for possible WHO prequalification for its newly approved COVID-19 vaccine.
Tarik Jasarevic, during the UN briefing in Geneva said, “We are in close contact with Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO prequalification of the vaccine, but again prequalification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data.”
Meanwhile, in a related development, Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V and it is available for foreign markets. The name references the world’s first satellite, which marked a symbolic accomplishment for the USSR during the cold war and space race era. Now, the Russian Government basks in its success at becoming the first country to approve a vaccine for COVID-19.
The head of Russia’s Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) pointed out that Russia had already received requests from more than 20 countries for 1 billion doses of its newly registered COVID-19 vaccine.
Nairametrics had earlier reported today the announcement of the registration of the first COVID-19 vaccine in what could be described as a step ahead of other vaccine developments. The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who made the disclosure during a televised government meeting, said that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than 2 months of human testing.
However, the speed at which Russia is moving to roll out the vaccine has prompted some western countries and international scientists to question whether the Russian government is putting national prestige ahead of solid science and safety.
Nigeria signs African Trade Insurance Agency agreement
The African Trade Insurance Agency was launched to provide risk solutions for investors.
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the instrument of accession agreement for Nigeria for the establishment of the African Trade Insurance Agency. This was announced by the Federal Government on Monday night.
President @MBuhari has signed the instrument of accession of the agreement for the establishment of the African Trade Insurance Agency; sequel to the directive of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), that the instrument be prepared and forwarded for execution.
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) August 10, 2020
The agreement is coming after the Federal Executive Council ordered that an instrument be prepared and forwarded for execution.
The African Trade Insurance Agency was launched in 2001, to provide risk solutions for investors, after the East African economic Union (COMESA) executed a World bank funded study to discover why Africa does not attract more Foreign Direct Investments.
The organization said it added credit insurance to its portfolio in 2006 after its members identified global trade as a major pillar of growth in the continent which has seen it grow as a market leader for risk mitigation in Africa. The ATI also attracts funding from the African Development Bank and World Bank
Nigeria joining the agreement would provide Nigeria with the necessary insurance financing to increase investment inflows into the country and improve economic productivity.
Russia announces the registration of the first COVID-19 vaccine
Russian President made the announcement in a televised government meeting.
Russia has announced the registration of its first COVID-19 vaccine in what can be described as a step ahead of other vaccine development.
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who made the disclosure, called it effective protection against the deadly pathogen and revealed that one of his own daughters had already received it.
Putin in a televised government meeting said, “As far as I know, this morning the first vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection in the world was registered,”
The announcement is seen as a propaganda coup for the Russian government against the west amid a global race to develop vaccines against the coronavirus pandemic that has killed nearly 750,000 people, infected more than 20 million and crippled major global economies.
Pharmaceutical firms like AstraZeneca Plc and Moderna Inc. are still conducting final-stage trials of their vaccines in studies that are expected to soon yield results.
Nairametrics had about 2 weeks ago reported that Russia had concluded plans to register a coronavirus vaccine between August 10 and August 12 in what would be regarded as the world’s first official approval of a vaccine against the coronavirus pandemic.
It also announced plans for a mass vaccination campaign against the coronavirus disease from October after disclosing that it had completed trials for the vaccine.
This vaccine which is being developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute in collaboration with the Russian Direct Investment Fund started phase 3 trials last week. The Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Tatyana Golikova, who was at the meeting, disclosed that medics could start receiving the vaccine by the end of the month.
Russia, which is reported to be the fourth most affected country globally, has recorded almost 900,000 COVID-19 cases with over 27,000 coronavirus-related deaths