InfraCredit Supports Transport Services Ltd on N12bn Bond Issuance

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By Goddy Egene

InfraCredit, a specialised infrastructure credit guarantee institution has announced its guarantee of Transport Services Limited’s (TSL) N12 billion 10-Year Series 1 Senior Guaranteed Fixed Rate Infrastructure Bonds Due 2030 under a N50 billion Debt Issuance Programme.

The Series 1 bond was oversubscribed by 73.2 per cent with firm commitments from 18 institutional investors including 11 domestic pension funds.

The transaction was the first 10-year bond issuance by any company in the transportation and logistics sector. The bond proceeds will be used to refinance its short-term loans to matching long term fixed rate debt that will sustainably support TSL’s consistent business growth and expansion plans.

In a statement, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TSL, Mr. Ayodeji Wright, said: “The TSL Bond was conceived few years ago and I am profoundly grateful to the entire Project 4 Transaction Parties, TSL bond investors and the regulators, who have made this become a reality today. The successful issuance of the bond is attributable to our relentless and collaborative efforts, underscored by our track record of excellence in 19 years of existence as an indigenous logistics and evolving mobility company.

“Today, TSL remains committed to delivering its vision of providing bespoke supply chain and logistics solutions within Nigeria, and to sub-Saharan Africa. The TSL bonds will undoubtedly be the springboard to provide the financial reinforcement to our business strategy, strong operating model and will in turn stimulate an atmosphere for a profitable growth over the next decade.

Also speaking, the CEO of InfraCredit, Chinua Azubike, said: “Despite challenges brought by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, this achievement demonstrates InfraCredit’s continuing support for inclusive access to long term local currency finance for infrastructure development, and the deepening of the domestic debt capital markets with good quality asset classes for domestic investors.

“TSL, over its 19-year history, has built a strong pedigree as a highly experienced and innovative transport and logistics service provider particularly in safety, maintenance, and journey administration. “As we expand and diversify our guarantee portfolio to the transportation sector and given the importance of transport infrastructure to Nigeria’s economic recovery, we believe that our role remains vital in enabling businesses to deliver more essential infrastructure that can drive a clear and sustainable development impact on economic activities as well as improve the livelihoods of Nigerians.”

TSL, co-founded by Ayodeji Wright and Wale Fatoki, is a leading fully integrated transport and logistics company that delivers value added logistics and distribution services to a wide range of corporate and retail clientele in industries such as agro-processing, fast moving consumer goods, oil and gas, cement, amongst others under fixed term contracts.

MTN Nigeria Expands Rural Connectivity

MTN Nigeria yesterday disclosed that it is extending its coverage to millions of Nigerians living in underserved and unserved communities nationwide through its rural telephony program.

The telco disclosed this in a statement.

It pointed out that today, over 20 million Nigerians live in areas with limited or no coverage.

This, it stressed, “MTN aims to change.”

“Through the rural telephony program kicked off this year, the company has identified over 3,000 locations across the country for a phased rollout, over three years.

“Thus far, 583 live rural sites have been installed nationwide; more than half of which were installed this year and connect communities such as Kurba, Agbiyi Umuede, Tobolo, Opaha, Tudun Faila, Oguru Uzo Uwani and Sarkin Kaya Rini. Going forward, MTN plans to install more than 1,000 new sites each year in the next few years to cover all the identified locations,” it explained.

According to the telco, to achieve the goal, it has has been working with technology partners. “Together, they are deploying infrastructure that will accelerate connectivity and aid the consistent rollout of low-cost connectivity solutions in these areas that have non-existence or limited network coverage and broadband services,” it added.

Speaking on the initiative, the Chief Operating Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mazen Mroue, said: “Our core belief is that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern, connected life. It is driven by an understanding of the potential impact of connectivity on the socioeconomic outcomes of individuals, communities and the country as a whole.

“This belief drives our rural expansion goals and fuels our commitment to continue pushing until everyone is connected.

“MTN Nigeria continues to invest significantly in expanding existing capacity and installing new technologies; thus advancing digital inclusion.”