Senate approves government’s planned $2.79bn Eurobond issue


The Senate on Wednesday approved the government’s request to issue a $2.786 billion Eurobond on international debt markets to fund capital projects in the 2018 budget.

President Muhammadu Buhari last week asked lawmakers to approve the bond issue, part of which is meant to help fund the country’s 2018 budget.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, made this known when she addressed State House correspondents at the end of FEC meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nigeria had in November 2017 raised $3 billion dollars in a two-part international bond sale to fund part of the 2017 budget and to refinance maturing local-currency bonds.
The nation had in February, also raised $2.5 billion in Eurobond.
The minister said: “Today in the Federal Executive Council, we got approval for the issuance of $2.9 billion in Eurobond and other securities from the international capital market.
“The purpose of this approval is to enable us to implement the external borrowing plan of N849.673 billion, equivalent to $2.786 billion, which is provided for in the 2018 appropriation act and this is to fund capital projects in the 2018 budget.’’
She disclosed that the council also approved that $82.5 billion be raised to bridge the shortfall of the $500 million Eurobond that matured on July 12.
The minister added that another $60 million combination of loan and grant had been approved for empowerment programme in the Niger Delta area.
According to her, the programme will be implemented in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Imo, Ondo, Edo and Rivers states.
She revealed that the council also approved N374 million for the creation of six advisory groups that would serve as technical advisers on communication and legal advisers.
Ahmed said the council approved another N187.4 million for the purchase of 600 bulletproof vests for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), to fight illegal importation of rice.
On implementation of the 2018 budget, she disclosed that N460 billion had so far been released for this year’s capital projects.