• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Nigeria to delay proposed $3.3bn Eurobond on coronavirus concerns

Zainab Ahmed

Nigerian government will delay this year’s issuance of the $3.3bn it had initially planned because “the time is not ripe”, Finance minister, Zainab Ahmed said on Monday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 1st International Conference on Nigerian Commodities market organized by the Securities and Exchange Commission in Abuja, Ahmed said the government was still monitoring the markets and was yet to send in a formal request to the National Assembly for approval to enable it go ahead with the borrowing

“We are in the process of doing that, I can tell you that we are not going out immediately because the market indication is not in favour of external borrowing at his time, even if we get the approval, we will defer it and watch the market, and go out only when the timing is right,” she told reporters.

The new Eurobond, the first after the 2018 issuance, will be used to partly fund the 2020 budget deficit and refinance an existing $500 million Eurobond due in January next year, the DMO had said.

Ahmed said the new coronavirus pandemic has now presented a situation for government to look inwards and diversify revenue sources away from oil.

“First of all, it is a reality call for us, that we must develop a non-oil attitude to everything that we do. It is a time for us to review what we have planned,” she said.

According to her government will prioritize spending in favour of major capital expenditure that will have greater impact, create jobs and visibility and also enhance the ease of doing business in the country.

“Any expenditure that is not critical, we must defer to do it at a later time when things become more normal,” the minister noted.

As soon as we have approval from the president and the national economic council and also when we round up our consultation with the parliament.


Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja