By Nse Anthony-Uko
ABUJA, (Sundiata Post) – The Senate on Tuesday gave approval for the federal government to secure two external borrowings totalling $5.5 billion and which will allow the government to pay down the equivalent of $3 billion dollars in domestic debt.
The senate’s decision followed the adoption of a report by its Committee on Local and Foreign Debts at the plenary.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in a letter dated October 4, 2017 said the external borrowings were already captured in the 2017 Appropriation Act.
The letter had requested the Senate to approve the external borrowings in the form of the Issuance of $2.5bn in International Capital Market through Eurobonds or a combination of
Eurobonds and Diaspora bonds for the financing of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s 2017 Appropriation Act and capital expenditure projects in the Act as well as the Issuance of Eurobond in the ICM and/or loans syndication by the banks in the sum of $3bn for refinancing of maturing domestic debts obligations of the Federal Government of Nigeria,.
The Debt Management Office, DMO has repeatedly said it will help the Nigerian economy to rebalance the government’s borrowing by paying down some of its domestic debt via an external borrowing to reduce the cost of borrowing and also to give the real sector some elbow room to access badly needed capital at home.