‘Nigeria Has No Plans to go to Eurobond Market’

Patience Oniha
Director-General, the Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms. Patience Oniha

Peter Uzoho with agency report

The Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Mrs. Patience Oniha, has stated that Nigeria has no plans of returning to the eurobond market this year, after a sixth outing in November raised $2.86 billion.

Nigeria approved a three-year plan in 2016 to borrow more from abroad. It wants 40 percent of its loans to come from offshore sources to lower borrowing costs and help to fund record-high budgets.

Oniha, who was reportedly asked at an Islamic finance conference in Lagos whether the government would consider a US dollar- denominated Eurobond, said: “For 2019, given the process, I would say no. Foreign borrowing for the 2019 budget is set at N802 billion ($2.7 billion).”

Reuters reported that Nigeria, which emerged from recession last year, has borrowed abroad and at home over the past three years to help finance its budgets and fund infrastructure projects, but debt servicing cost is also rising.

The government had said it wanted to tap concessionary long-term loans to finance its 2019 budget in addition to borrowing at home.

It sold $3 billion in eurobonds in 2017, part of which it used to fund its budget that year. It then followed with a $2.5 billion eurobond sale last year to refinance local currency bonds at lower cost.