The Debt Management Office (DMO) has said that Nigeria’s $15. 668 billion external borrowing contributed in strengthening the Naira in the foreign exchange (forex) market.
Director-General of the DMO, Ms Patience Oniha, spoke at a workshop on Understanding Nigeria’s Public Debt Management organised for The Secretariats of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts and House Committee on Aids, Loans & Debt Management, in Zuba, near Abuja.
“The DMO has raised over $15.368 billion through Eurobonds and a $300 million diaspora bond to finance budget deficits and various projects.
“Through these securities issuance in the international capital markets, the sources of funding for the Federal Government has expanded while, it created opportunities for Nigerian corporates including banks to raise capital abroad.
“Perhaps, even more important, the proceeds of Eurobonds issued, increased Nigeria’s External Reserves thereby supporting the Naira exchange rate.”
She said $15.668 billion was raised from external borrowings between January 2011 and September 2021.
Ms. Oniha said the new borrowings are in compliance with legislations and public debt management requirements and managed in line with international best practice and serviced in a timely manner.
The DMO, she added, undertakes an annual debt sustainability analysis and is guided by a Medium Term Debt Management Strategy which is prepared every four years.
With a few weeks to the end of 2021, the DMO boss said about 90 per cent of the year’s borrowings have been achieved through various securities.
know already, we will raise between N200 billion and N250 billion Sukuk, so what is outstanding is about N345 billion,” she said.
So far, the Federal Government she said has “raised about N2.8 trillion, what is remaining is about N350 billion. We’ll do a Sukuk, possibly within two weeks, the remaining we would raise from an FGN bond auction in December; we still have one more month to go. So we are almost there.”
On the external borrowing side, Ms. Oniha said $4 billion out of the $6.18 billion approved external borrowing in the 2021 budget have so far been secured.
“We did have what you will call demand, which is the same thing as order book or subscription of over $12 billion, but the advisers said to us, let’s drop the interest rate a bit and see how much we get.
“You know after you issue, then there’s a secondary market where they are traded, so we dropped the rate a bit and we still had demand of over $9 billion, but $4 billion was a good size to issue at once so that it doesn’t become such a surplus in the market that the price will not be very good both for the sovereign and for other borrowers”.
For the remaining $2.18 billion, Oniha said the DMO is “working with the transaction advisers and monitoring the market. If we think the market is good and our supervisors say we should raise that money, we will. But our options are on the table for the borrowing sources. We’ve done quite a lot to fund the 2020 budget.”