Nigeria eyes $2.8 bln debt from offshore sources -debt office

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Nigeria plans to raise $2.8 billion of debt offshore as part of its 2018 budget and will explore all options to lower costs, the head of the Debt Management Office (DMO) told Reuters.

The Nigerian government has issued out plans to receive loan abroad despite increasing interest rate in the United States which was capable of acruing higher returns on the country.

Nigeria’s economy plunged into recession in 2016 and left last year. It has approved a three-year plan of lower borrowing cost such that 40% of its loan would emanate from offshore.

Presently, Nigeria’s has 23% of its debt from abroad and it had reached 16% at the moment the plan was approved.

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“We will explore all options keeping in mind our twin objectives of extending the tenor of the debt stock and lowering costs,” Patience Oniha told Reuters, without giving details.

Oniha in January said the “DMO could tap capital markets or concessionary loans from the World Bank and would consider funding options after the 2018 budget had been approved.”

President Muhammadu Buhari last week signed a record 9.12 trillion naira budget for 2018 into law, aimed at fostering growth in Nigeria before elections next February, in which he will seek a second term.

The National Assembly will now have to accent to the new borrowing before it can carried out.

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