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FG to Raise $1bn Via Eurobond in November

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In order to finance the 2016 budget, the Federal Government is to raise $1bn through the issuance of Eurobonds by November, investigation has shown.

The amount to be raised from the international bonds market is part of the $4.5bn that the Federal Government plans to borrow from the market in three years.

Authoritative sources told our correspondent on Wednesday that the government was watching events in the international capital market to know the best opportune time to approach it to raise the fund.

Further investigation revealed that the international capital market had become very attractive to the Federal Government because of the dearth of foreign exchange in the country as a result of poor earnings from the nation’s major forex earner, crude oil.

It was also learnt that most of the monies expected from external borrowings to finance the 2016 budget would come from the issuance of the $1bn Eurobonds.

Other sources recently approved by Federal Executive Council for external borrowing to support the 2016 budget are the World Bank, African Development Bank, China Exim Bank and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.

According to the budget passed by the National Assembly in May, the Federal Government is to borrow N900bn from external sources and N984bn from local sources.

At an exchange rate of N400 to a dollar, the $1bn that the government plans to raise through Eurobonds is N400bn or 44.44 per cent of the N900bn it plans to borrow from abroad to finance some capital projects in the 2016 budget.

In preparation for the issuance of the Eurobonds, the Debt Management Office has advertised for key partners to offer the government consultancy services in order to avoid poor showing at the international bonds market.

The consultants being sought by the Federal Government through the DMO are two international banks to serve as joint lead managers, one local bank to serve as financial adviser, one legal adviser and one technical adviser on communication.

In the advert, the DMO stated, “The Federal Republic of Nigeria is in the process of establishing a $4.5bn Federal Government Medium Term Note Programme, 2016 – 2018, out of which it intends to issue $1bn Eurobond in the year 2016.

“The purpose of establishing the FGMTN programme is to enable the FRN to have the flexibility of quickly taking advantage of favourable market conditions in the international capital market to raise funds, if and only when the need arises.”

Our correspondent learnt that officials of the DMO and the Ministry of Finance would in alliance with the transaction partners soon begin to sensitise the market to enable the country to take the earliest advantage of the market even though a target of November had been set.

It was also learnt that the Federal Government had adopted a cautious approach to the market in order to get the best result.

In 2015, the Federal Government could not muster the courage to approach the international bond market to raise the funds that it had scheduled to borrow from the market because of circumstances prevailing within and outside the country.

Instead, it resorted to the local bond market to raise the funds it had earmarked to borrow from abroad.

The government could also not approach the market early enough this year because the 2016 budget that prescribed a borrowing of N900bn from external sources could not be passed until May.

However, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, had at a recent town hall meeting, said the government had a 12-month window to implement the 2016 budget. This means that the government can continue to implement the budget till May 2017.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Faceoff as Humanitarian Minister Writes Finance Minister on N206bn Budget Padding

N206 billion inserted into the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development

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Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq has written to the Minister of Finance seeking clarification on the N206 billion inserted into the ministry 2023 budget. 

It would be recalled that some ministries and government agencies alleged the insertion of some projects amounting to N423.8bn in their respective budget proposals without their knowledge. 

Some of the concerned MDAs include the National Universities Commission (NUC), Ministries of Defence, Power, and Humanitarian Affairs. Investors King learnt. 

Representatives of the MDAs had told the National Assembly that they can not explain what the sums are meant for or the details of the projects tied to the funds since they were not part of their proposals sent to the finance ministry for the 2023 fiscal year.

According to the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd), about N11 billion was inserted into the ministry’s budget. He told a Senate Committee during budget defence sessions. 

Similarly, the Minister of Health also alleged the same thing accusing officials of the Ministry of Finance of padding. 

The Executive Secretary of NUC, Professor Abubakar Rashid, also told the joint Senate and House Committee on Tertiary Education and TETfund during budget defence that N12 billion was inserted by the Ministry of Finance into the agency budget. 

“In NUC’s budget, we have a problem. We had additional money given to us that we didn’t request, but I later went to the Ministry of Finance to find out because our budget was always hovering around N3 billion” he said. 

Sources from the ministry of humanitarian affairs disclosed that the letter written by the minister seeking clarification is necessary owing to the negative public perception it could give the ministry and the minister in particular. 

The sources added that the minister’s husband who is a governorship candidate in Bauchi state might also be affected by the negative media perception. 

“We are disturbed and the minister is not leaving anything to chance. We want a quick clarification of the inserted figure in our ministry’s 2023 budget proposal,” the source said. 

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EFCC, ICPC to Track Large Withdrawals as CBN Launches New Notes

Godwin Emefiele has said the central bank will engage the service of both EFCC and ICPC to monitor large withdrawals from banks. 

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Indications have emerged that both the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) will collaborate with commercial banks to track large withdrawals as the CBN launches new naira notes. 

Investors King reported yesterday that President Muhammadu Buhari has unveiled the new naira notes ahead of their circulation. 

While briefing the press after the launch, the central bank governor, Godwin Emefiele noted that the apex bank will engage the service of both EFCC and ICPC to monitor large withdrawals from banks. 

Emefiele disclosed that the amount of money that can be withdrawn from the counter would be reduced drastically. 

He added that bulk withdrawals would require several procedures and security checks to track use.

“We will restrict the volume of cash that people can withdraw over the counter. If you need to draw large volumes of cash, you will fill out uncountable forms; we will take your data, whether it’s your BVN or NIN so that our law enforcement agencies like EFCC and ICPC can follow you and be sure that you are taking that money for a good purpose,” he said. 

The CBN governor however refuted that the policy is aimed at anyone. There has been speculation that the currency redesign was targeted at some politicians especially those in the opposition. 

“There is no need for anybody to think this program is targeted at anyone. Like you heard the President, he said, this discussion to redesign and reissue currency started early in the year,” he stated. 

It could be recalled that the central bank announced its intention to redesign N200, N500, and N1000 in October 2022. 

While making the announcement, the CBN governor noted that the policy is aimed to address the excesses of currency circulation, counterfeiting and terrorism. 

Emefiele said there was significant hoarding of naira notes by members of the public, with statistics showing that over 80 percent of the currency in circulation was outside the vaults of the commercial banks.

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CBN Disburses N41.02 Billion to 4.6 Million Smallholder Farmers in October

The central bank disbursed N41.02 billion to several smallholder farmers under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP)

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it disbursed N41.02 billion to several smallholder farmers under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) across the country in the month of October.

This was stated in the bank’s communique no. 145 of the monetary policy committee minute published on Tuesday.

The apex bank has now disbursed a combined N1.067 trillion to 4.6 million smallholder farmers cultivating 21 commodities across the country.

In the same month, the central bank also provided a N0.30 million grant to large-scale agricultural projects under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS). Consequently, the total disbursement under the Scheme for agro-production and agro-processing stands at N745.31 billion for 680 projects.

Explaining the significance of the disbursement to the bank’s ongoing policy, the apex bank said it would help boost the non-oil export sector and deepen the nation’s foreign reserves.

In addition, the bank released the sum of N48.30 billion under the N1.0 trillion Real Sector Facility to seven (7) new real sector projects in agriculture, manufacturing, and services. Cumulative disbursement under this Facility currently stands at N2.15 trillion to 437 projects across the country, comprising projects in manufacturing (240), agriculture (91), services (93) and mining sector (13).

Furthermore, under the 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity (PPP), the bank disbursed the sum of N20.78 billion to nine (9) projects in healthcare, manufacturing, and services.

The cumulative disbursement under the Facility, therefore, amounted to N114.17 billion in 71 projects. Moreover, the Bank disbursed N4.00 billion under the Intervention Facility for the National Gas Expansion Programme (IFNGEP) to promote the adoption of compressed natural gas (CNG) for transportation and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking.

Meanwhile, the CBN-led monetary policy committee raised the interest rate by another 100 basis points from 15.5% to 16.5%. Therefore, the apex bank has risen interest rates by 500 basis points in 2022 alone.

 

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