Saturday, 20 August 2016

Nigeria to Commence International Borrowing – Kemi Adeosun

Kemi Adeosun, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, on Friday said the government will allocate another 60 billion naira ($180 million) for capital projects. She added that the funds will form part of the 2016 budget and addition to earlier releases.

Government capital spending so far has exceeded 400 billion naira this year, Adeosun said, despite the record budget being held up for months by wrangling between President Muhammadu Buhari and parliament.

Last month, Adeosun said the country will commence international borrowing in the third quarter of the year.

The government has said it plans to borrow up to $10 billion, with about half of that coming from foreign sources, to help make up a budget shortfall exacerbated by a slump in oil prices.

Nigeria had initially planned to hold Eurobonds road shows in March but postponed sales as investors complained about the overvalued naira, according to bankers.

Nigeria’s government has said it wants to change the balance of its debt portfolio so that 40 percent of its borrowing comes from abroad, compared with 16 percent now. It also wants to extend the average maturity of its debt profile.

Adeosun met international investors in June on a non-deal roadshow in London as Africa’s biggest economy explores fund-raising options to finance a record budget deficit.

The Finance minister said apart from infrastructure investments, the government was reviewing its tax policies to improve collection and widen the net, make its import tariffs more competitive and cut costs to boost the economy.

Nigeria generated 200 billion naira from independent sources this year, which includes revenues from government departments that would have otherwise not been captured in the budget.

The West African nation will tap partnerships with the private sector to boost investment. Adeosun said the government was in discussion with General Electric to develop and operate rail services to improve transport for goods across the country.