By Isaac Aregbesola
The federal government has rolled out the first ever Diaspora bond of $300 million to raise funds from Nigerians in the Diaspora to finance capital projects.
Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, advised Nigerians to take advantage and invest in the bond.
A statement by her Media Assistant, Mr Abdurrahman Balogun, noted that the Debt Management Office (DMO) announced the commencement of a global offering of Nigeria’s first Diaspora Bond.
She said the DMO also filed a registration statement for the bonds with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to her, the bond will provide an opportunity those in the Diaspora to participate in the development of the country.
She said her office as well as the Nigerians in the Diaspora were excited as the first ever diaspora bond was being rolled out to the benefits of Nigerians.
The SSA said it was a unique way of lubricating the interest of Nigerians in the Diaspora to participate in the development projects being carried out by the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
She said that the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, in February promised to roll out the Diaspora bond through the DMO.
She said that the DMO had also said that application would be made for the bonds to be admitted to the official list of the UK Listing Authority and the London Stock Exchange Plc.
The office, according to her, will ensure that the bonds were admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s regulated market.
“The bonds will be direct general obligations of Nigeria and will be denominated in U.S. dollars.
“The international Joint Lead Managers are Bank of America Merrill Lynch and The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited.
“The Nigerian Joint Lead Managers are First Bank of Nigeria Limited and United Bank for Africa Plc,’’ she quoted DMO as saying.
She explained that the DMO added that there would be a series of investors’ meetings in the UK, the U.S. and Switzerland from June 13.
Dabiri-Erewa said that as part of measures to fund capital expenditures, the Federal Government had also in February announced offering of one billion dollars euro bond.
The bond, she said, was under its newly-established one billion dollars Global Medium Term Note programme.
“We are very excited that the National Assembly has approved the Diaspora Bond.” (NAN)