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FG plans domestic foreign currency denominated bonds issuance in Q2 2024

The federal government plans to begin the issuance of domestic bonds denominated in foreign currency starting from the second quarter of this year according to Minister of Finance Wale Edun reported by Reuters.

Mr. Wale Edun announced the government’s plan to market foreign exchange bonds to Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora. during a meeting with business executives in Lagos on Wednesday,

  • He stated, “because of lack of faith in the currency, have decided to try to hold and save in dollars.”
  • “All the funds in the diaspora, we are targeting them. There are all these funds that you have brought into your (local foreign currency) accounts, we are targeting them”

The Minister explained that the delay in issuing the bonds was due to the government’s desire to establish confidence in its fiscal strategy and earn the trust of citizens who are sceptical of government policies.

Furthermore, the Minister lamented the government’s huge debt service burden noting that it is what keeps him awake at night. He said, “When they say what keeps you awake at night, I will say paying the debt service (cost)”

Backstory

Since assumption into office, the administration of President Bola Tinubu has sought to raise foreign exchange to stabilise the naira and fund its massive budget. For 2024, Nigeria has a budget deficit of N9.18 trillion- a drop from the over N13 trillion recorded in 2023.

In October last year, Finance Minister Wale Edun revealed that President Bola Tinubu had signed executive orders facilitating the domestic release of financial instruments in foreign currency with the aim of bringing cash outside the financial system into banks.

  • Earlier in January, the Minister of Finance had told reporters that the federal government plans to tap domestic dollar savings by Nigerians in a bid to create liquidity in the FX market and shore up the value of the naira.
  • Nigerians reportedly have savings in the region $30 billion in domiciliary accounts which the federal is looking to tap into. The Governor of the Central Bank in a call with foreign portfolio investors had hinted of incentives to make Nigerians converts dorm account funds.
  • NewsTimes reported a few weeks ago of the federal government enlisting investment banks such as J.P Morgan, Citi Bank, Chapel Hill Denham Standard Chartered Bank and others to as consultants for a proposed Euro bonds issuance- the first of its kind since 2022.
  • However, the Debt Management Office (DMO) has denied official enlisting of the any firm as adviser for the proposed Eurobonds listing noting that the process requires the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the National Assembly.

 


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