Nigeria confirmed on Tuesday that it has no plans to source debt from the Eurobond market this year as it shifts its focus to domestic borrowing and sourcing from concessional sources. This was confirmed by the DG of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha at an investor conference held on Tuesday.
The Investors Conference with the Federal Government of Nigeria was put together by CitiBank. The conference which was held online was titled COVID-19, Economic and Budgetary Update. Nairametrics listened in on the Conference Call.
Nigeria was represented by the following government officials Zainab S. Ahmed – Finance Minister, Godwin Emefiele – CBN Governor, Patience Oniha – DG DMO, Ben Akabueze – DG Budget Office, and a representative of the Hon. Minister of Health.
In responding to a question about any possibility of Nigeria selling new Eurobond issues this year she explained that focus remains to borrow from the domestic market and from concessional sources like the World Bank and IMF. She also cited the low-interest-rate environment as a major incentive for borrowing locally.
“When we saw where the market was based on the challenges we needed to address in terms of Covid-19 we planned the borrowing to be domestic and then external from concessional sources. We did not include the plan for this year to access the international market. We did not know how long this we last, what the cost will be and all the countries that came to the market were all investment-grade so we did not want to take a chance” she clarified.
She then confirmed that new Eurobond sales are not planned for this year but did not entirely rule it out. “Not for this year but certainly to go back to that market (Eurobond Market) we have to see where the levels again remember that I said borrowing in the domestic cheaper than borrowing in the international market. Having said that I haven’t seen any country in the B- rating in the market at this time” she concludes.
On whether Nigeria was seeking a debt relief from its creditors she maintained this was not the case and that the country was not seeking any debt relief. According to Oniha, “Nigeria is not looking to getting a relief from its creditors whether commercial or bilateral.” Commercial loans refer to loans sold on the foreign market like Eurobonds while bilateral loans are loans between countries like that between China and Nigeria.
Nigeria obtained a $3.4 billion Rapid Instrument Loan from the IMF in August as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the economy. At the same investor conference, the Minister for Finance Zainab Ahmed confirmed that the country has close to closing out a $1.5 billion World Bank facility for the Federal Government and another $1-1.5 billion for States.
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Nigeria has seen its debt profile rise to N27.4 trillion or $84 billion as at December 2019. The loans are divided into foreign at $27.6 billion or N9 trillion and domestic at N18.3 million or $56.3 billion. Nigeria’s public debt profile is likely higher than these figures when you account for the recent devaluation and net new loans obtained this year. The DMO is yet to publish the latest figures for Nigeria’s public debt in 2020. However, as at March 2020, the Federal Government had a domestic debt stock of N14.7 trillion.
DMO reveals what infrastructure Sukuk Fund is financing
The Debt Management Office revealed that Sukuk funding is currently rehabilitating the Outer Marina Road in Lagos.
The Debt Management Office revealed that Sukuk funding is currently rehabilitating the Outer Marina Road which is a major road connecting Lagos Island to Victoria Island, Falomo and Ikoyi.
The DMO disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday evening.
“While the Outer Marina Road is a major artery on its own, It will also be instrumental to easing the traffic in Lagos during the repair of Falomo Bridge. Thanks to the SUKUK, we are able to rebuild Nigeria one infrastructure at a time,” it said.
— DMO Nigeria (@DMONigeria) April 7, 2021
What you should know
The Debt Management Office (DMO) announced last month that it listed its third sovereign Sukuk, N162.557bn 7-year 11.200% AL Ijarah Sovereign Sukuk due 2027, on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the FMDQ Securities Exchange.
FG moves to issue Eurobonds, to select advisers through open bid
The amount to be raised is expected to be within the external borrowing plans for 2021.
The Federal Government has concluded plans to issue Eurobonds for 2021 and is going to pick advisers to the transaction through an open bid process.
The amount to be raised is expected to be within the external borrowing plans for 2021. The Federal Government in 2021 plans to raise $6.14 billion (N2.34 trillion) from foreign sources.
This disclosure was made by the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha, during a chat with Reuters on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.
The Federal Government, who had earlier planned a Eurobond issue early last year after its sixth sale in 2018 where it raised $2.86 billion, deferred such plans due to the disruptions caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The DMO boss at an investors conference with the Federal Government put together by Citibank, last year, said that the Federal Government had no plans to source debt from Eurobond in 2020 as it is going to shift its focus to domestic borrowing and sourcing from concessionary sources.
Earlier this year, Nigeria reduced its external borrowings in a new debt strategy after it redeemed its 6.75% $500 million Eurobond in January with Oniha saying that the DMO was monitoring international markets for new issues by frontier countries.
What you should know
- Ghana had some time last week raised $3 billion from Eurobonds, a year after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted economic activities globally.
- This will be a huge boost for Nigeria especially at a time the Federal Government is still struggling to get approval for the $1.5 billion loan from the World Bank due to issues on currency reforms.
- The Institute of International Finance had said it expected African governments to return to capital markets this year to sell bonds as investors embrace more risk.
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