BY MARK ITSIBOR, Abuja
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has dissociated itself from a report claiming that the federal government does not have a plan to raise funds from the Eurobond market as part of its external borrowing in 2019.
The DMO said the remarks attributed to its director-general, Ms. Patience Oniha, was a misrepresentation of her comment at the Islamic Finance News Nigeria forum which held in Lagos on June 18, 2019.
The reports claimed that the director-general made the remarks while responding to a question on whether the federal government would issue a U.S. Dollar denominated Sukuk Bond in 2019 which she stated was unlikely given the processes involved in the Sukuk issuance.
In a rejoinder yesterday, the debt office said it would go into the cheapest markets include Securities Issuance such as Eurobonds in the International Capital Market in its core objective of reducing debt service costs.
The 2019 Appropriation Act provides for New External Borrowing of N824.82 billion (equivalent of $2.7 billion at $1/N305).
Consistent with the Debt Management Strategy of reducing debt service cost, Ms. Oniha said, “The plan for raising the New External Borrowing is to first access cheaper funding from Multilateral and Bilateral lenders as may be available.
“Thereafter, any balance will be raised from Commercial sources which may include Securities Issuance such as Eurobonds in the International Capital Market.”
The DMO reiterated that it would continue to focus on its objective of reducing debt service costs by emphasising borrowing from concessional sources while considering Eurobonds and other commercial sources as secondary options.
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