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Nigeria to Service $1b Eurobond With N361b

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  • Nigeria to Service $1b Eurobond With N361b

Nigeria is considering a new debt service provisioning of N361 billion ($1.2 billion) for the $1 billion (N305.1 billion) Eurobond which was acclaimed to have been over-subscribed.

When consummated, the development will not only add to the country’s debt stock, its current debt service provision at over N1.4 trillion will rise, and it will deepen the troubled debt-to-revenue ratio which has been impeding the country’s ability to freely finance growth projects.

Government had said its 15-year Eurobond offer was priced at 7.875 per cent, with a lump sum repayment of the principal ($1 billion) at the due date – February 2032.

The investors had opted for a higher yield to cover their assessed risks or devaluation in early negotiations, asking for a 7.5 per cent for a 10-year period or eight per cent and above for a 15-year period, due to foreign exchange crisis and other macroeconomic issues.

However, the aggregate cost for the deal at the offering rate may not be less than N361 billion at the prevailing official exchange rate, considering that investors would be paid in dollar, representing a yearly average cost of about N24.1 billion ($79 million).

A popular economist who would not want his name in print said the net proceeds of the Eurobond would naturally be less than the amount quoted due to service charges incurred in the process, “but we would be debited with $1 billion.”

“If you factor in these costs, you begin to ask whether we should have been here. It is irritating that in the midst of these challenges, misappropriation, huge governance cost and outright embezzlement of public fund still persist.

“The budget items of some ministries are clear fraud and these have put the country on an unsustainable path. What is there to celebrate about the Eurobond? Is it that we are now committing our young generations, even the unborn, to poverty and immediate struggle?” the economist queried.

But the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, in a statement, said: “Nigeria is implementing an ambitious economic reform agenda designed to deliver long-term sustainable growth and reduce reliance on oil and gas revenues while reducing waste and improving the efficiency of government expenditure.

“We are establishing the building blocks for long-term growth and making the hard decisions that must be made to reset our economy appropriately.”

The Director-General of Debt Management Office, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, also said: “Nigeria is delighted to have successfully priced its third Eurobond issue…The Eurobond is the latest step in a broader debt strategy designed to significantly re-balance our debt profile towards longer term financing and reduce the burden of interest on our annual budget.”

A director at Union Capital Markets Limited, Egie Akpata, said he was sure that the country would raise the amount and predicted an oversubscription earlier, but expressed worry on the pricing, which he said would have been a lot lower if the fundamentals did not get this bad.

“Eurobond is the easiest platform for international fund raising for the country now, because there is no string attached, unlike the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

“With the assurance that our daily oil earnings may be more or less this amount, it is not a ‘back breaking’ deal. But considering the exchange rate, local debts would be better off, as the total cost incurred would be less,” he said.

The Executive Director of Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, Idris Miliki, said with the President’s absence, investors’ risk assessments would always be on the high side.

Besides, he said that both investors and those in acting capacity would approach with caution any economic decision now, because the truth about the head of government is shrouded in uncertainty and that is a risk for investment.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government’s whistleblower policy has so far led to the recovery of $151 million and N8billion in looted funds.

The government yesterday said it would not disclose the identities of the whistleblowers or make public when they would receive the 2.5 to 5 per cent reward promised.

If the whistleblowing policy is well managed, it will boost the fight against corruption so that the nation’s resources can be used to develop the country rather than allowing corrupt leaders to siphon them for use only by their families.

In an interview, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed assured that government would not renege on its promise, arguing that disclosing the identities of the whistleblowers or when they would be rewarded would jeopardise the entire programme.

“We cannot disclose to you when where or how the whistleblowers will be paid, the moment we do that, we have blown their cover and this will jeopardise the entire programme so we have to protect their identities. But nobody will receive anything below 2.5 per cent, there is no question about that,” he said.

The Federal Ministry of Finance in December 2016 devised a whistleblower policy aimed at encouraging anyone with information about a violation, misconduct or improper activity that impacts negatively on Nigerians and government.

The policy stipulated that “In order to encourage Nigerians to key into the whistleblowers’ scheme, if there is a voluntary return of stolen or concealed public funds or assets on the account of the information provided, the whistleblower may be entitled to anywhere between 2.5 per cent (minimum) and 5.0 per cent (maximum) of the total amount recovered.”

Reacting to the development, the lead Director, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Eze Onyekpere expressed reservations over the authenticity of government’s claim and demanded that it tells Nigerians where the recovered money would be deployed.

“They should tell us from who they recovered the money and where they want to deploy it. It’s quite difficult for anybody to believe, so he should tell us from who they recovered the money and what they want to do with it because it is a lot of money, you are talking of over N45 billion by the official exchange rate. He can claim anything, nobody is sure of what he is saying.”

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

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Banking Sector

Adesola Adeduntan’s Early Departure Prompts First Bank Holdings to Scrap Capital Raise Plans

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First Bank Holdings Plc has decided to scrap its plans for capital raise following the early departure of its Managing Director, Adesola Adeduntan.

The decision to cancel the extraordinary general meeting (EGM), which was planned to discuss the proposed N300 billion capital raise, comes amidst Adeduntan’s resignation from his role, eight months before the scheduled expiration of his tenure.

The bank formally announced the cancellation of the EGM in a filing seen by Investors King on Friday.

The meeting, which was initially scheduled to be held virtually on April 30, 2024, aimed to seek authorization from the company’s members for the capital raise and address other related matters.

Adeduntan’s resignation, announced on the same day as the cancellation of the EGM, comes as a result of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s tenure requirements affecting bank executives.

In his retirement letter addressed to the Chairman of First Bank, Adeduntan expressed gratitude for the support received during his stewardship and highlighted the strides made by the bank during his tenure.

He stated, “During this period, the bank and its subsidiaries have undergone significant changes and broken new grounds. We have repositioned the institution as an enviable financial giant in Africa.”

Adeduntan further mentioned his decision to pursue other interests, prompting his early retirement effective April 20, 2024.

The cancellation of the capital raise plans shows the impact of Adeduntan’s departure on the bank’s strategic initiatives.

It reflects a shift in priorities for First Bank Holdings as it navigates leadership changes and seeks to chart a new course for its future direction.

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Banking Sector

First Bank MD, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Resigns to Pursue New Opportunities

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Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the Managing Director of First Bank Nigeria Limited, has announced his resignation from the bank after nine years of leadership.

In a letter addressed to the Chairman of First Bank, Mr. Tunde Hassan-Odukale, Dr. Adeduntan expressed his decision to step down voluntarily, effective April 20, 2024, to pursue new opportunities.

Having served as the CEO since January 1, 2016, Dr. Adeduntan’s tenure has been marked by significant transformations within the institution. Under his leadership, First Bank and its subsidiaries have undergone substantial changes, positioning the bank as a formidable financial powerhouse in Africa.

In his resignation letter, Dr. Adeduntan highlighted the achievements made during his tenure, stating, “We have repositioned the institution as an enviable financial giant in Africa.”

He expressed gratitude to the board of directors of First Bank and FBN Holdings Plc for their support throughout his stewardship.

Dr. Adeduntan’s decision to resign comes as he approaches the end of his contract, which was set to expire on December 31, 2024.

He stated, “After which I would no longer be eligible for employment within the bank.” Despite his departure, he wished the institution continued success and progress in its evolution.

Throughout his career in banking and finance spanning over three decades, Dr. Adeduntan has been recognized for his contributions and received numerous awards.

He holds a Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa, and an MBA from Cranfield University, United Kingdom, and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

Dr. Adeduntan’s departure marks the end of an era for First Bank, as the institution prepares to transition into a new phase of its evolution.

His leadership has left a lasting legacy of transformation and growth, and his contributions will be remembered in the annals of the bank’s history.

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UBA America Strengthens Commercial Diplomacy, Hosts Diplomats, Others at World Bank Summit

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UBA America, the United States subsidiary of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc hosted diplomats, government officials and business leaders to a networking reception in partnership with the esteemed Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) and the U.S. Department of States in Washington DC on Monday .

The event which was held on the sidelines of the ongoing IMF World Bank Spring Meetings was organised by the BCIU and US Department of State to enhance collaboration and fortify commercial diplomacy among nations, institutions and individuals.

Speaking during the event, UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Alawuba, noted that the bank’s co-hosting of the event via its American subsidiary, underscores its commitment towards cultivating robust relationships within the development communities in the United States.

He said, “As a distinguished member of BCIU, a non-profit organisation providing customised commercial diplomacy services, UBA Group and UBA America share BCIU’s vision of actively pursuing strategic opportunities, contributing to global economic cooperation, deepening of economic diplomacy, facilitating ideas, forging partnerships, and adding value for all stakeholders.”.

“Our resolve to co-host this Networking Reception symbolises our dedication to fostering inclusive economic growth and partnership across borders. By leveraging platforms like this, we can collectively address shared challenges and seize opportunities for sustainable development,” he stated further.

BCIU is a non-profit Association comprising of policy experts, strategic advisors, and trade educators, and offers bespoke commercial diplomacy services to the world’s governments and leading organisations, from Fortune 100 companies to global investors and multilateral institutions.

Only last year, the CEO UBA America, Sola Yomi-Ajayi, was appointed to the Board of BCIU, where she collaborates with fellow board members to ensure the organisation operates in alignment with its by-laws and New York 501(c)3 non-profit legislation.

Yomi-Ajayi has been committed to nurturing long-term organisational growth and sustainability, thereby reinforcing the bond between UBA America, BCIU, and the broader international community.

UBA America is the United States subsidiary of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, one of Africa’s leading financial institutions with presence in 20 African countries, as well as in the United Kingdom, France, and the United Arab Emirates. UBA America serves as a vital link between Africa and the global financial markets, offering a range of banking services tailored to meet the needs of individuals, businesses, and institutions.

As the only sub-Saharan African bank with an operational banking license in the U.S., UBA America is uniquely positioned to provide corporate banking services to North American institutions doing business with or in Africa.

UBA America delivers treasury, trade finance, and correspondent banking solutions to sovereign and central banks, financial institutions, SMEs, foundations, and multilateral and development organizations. Leveraging its knowledge, capacity, and unique position as part of an international banking group, the Bank seeks to provide exceptional value to our customers around the world.

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