Osinbajo writes National Assembly, seeks fresh $500m Eurobond

By The Citizen

The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday wrote the National Assembly, seeking approval for the executive to float another $500m Eurobond.

The money will be used to fund the 'implementation of the 2016 budget, which is still ongoing.'

The period for the implementation of the 2016 budget had earlier been extended to March 31, 2017 by the National Assembly.

The request came just weeks after the Federal Government floated a $1bn Eurobond.

Osinbajo said the government had taken advantage of the fact that the $1bn bond was  over-subscribed and was seizing the opportunity of the favourable market conditions to issue the new $500m Eurobond.

The request was contained in a letter he wrote the legislature in Abuja.

At the House of Representatives, the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, read Osinbajo's letter to members during Wednesday's plenary.

The acting President recalled that the 2016 Appropriation Act had a deficit of N2.2tn and a borrowing window of N1.8tn.

The letter read in part, 'The Act also provided for domestic borrowing of N1.1tn and external borrowing of N635.8bn in items 245 and 246, respectively. The Speaker may also wish to note that whilst the approved domestic borrowing has been fully incurred, the N635.8bn external borrowing has not been fully accessed.

'The external borrowing incurred to date consists of $600m from the African Development Bank and $1bn Eurobond from the international capital market only. Thus, based on the 2016 appropriation and applying the average exchange rate, there is headroom to access further international funds.'

There was no debate on the letter on Wednesday. But, the document will be listed on a later date for debate.

However, a separate request by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 to borrow $29.96bn has yet to be approved by the National Assembly.