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Eurobond National Assembly approves $1bn issuance

The government is hoping that the issuance will help to make up for the shortfall in its 2017 budget.

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Buhari goes through the draft of the 2017 budget aboard the presidential jet play

Buhari goes through the draft of the 2017 budget aboard the presidential jet

(Presidency)

Nigeria's parliament has approved the government's issuance of a $1 billion Eurobond in a bid to boost the country's economy.

Senate spokesman, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi disclosed this on Wednesday, February 8, stating that this will help to finance the nation’s budget deficit and infrastructure projects like the country's two railway projects.

According to him, "The only request for approval from the executive was...for the issuance of $1 billion Eurobond...for the funding of the 2016 budget deficit, and we immediately granted the approval,"

Investors in the country have been worried about the continuity of government policies especially with the absence of the country's president, Muhammadu Buhari who is away on medical leave in London.

Their concerns were addressed in meetings organised by Citigroup and Standard Chartered this week as they held discussions with Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and other senior government officials.

The government officials met with investors in London and the United States in attempts to issue the bond with a 15-year maturity.

The Finance Minister, Adeosun stated in August that the country's economy, currently undergoing a recession for the first time in 25 years, had commitments for half the amount it wanted to raise from the Eurobond, to be issued in dollars.

The government is hoping that the issuance will help to make up for the shortfall in its 2017 budget, where it has laid out plans to spend N7.298 trillion in a draft President Buhari presented to the Senate in December.

According to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the country's GDP slumped by 1.7% in 2016.

This raises doubts as to if the country will be able to raise the fund to ease its financial worries.

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