BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU & JOSEPH ERUNKE
ABUJA—PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday appealed to the Senate to approve an increase in the amount to be raised through the Diaspora Bond from the international capital market from the existing $100 million to a maximum of $300 million.
According to him, this is to allow for allotments to be made to more Nigerians in Diaspora than would have been possible with a lower amount.
The President said from the engagements he had with Nigerians in Diaspora and from enquiries received since the publication of the request for the proposal, there was a high level of interest in the Diaspora Bond as well as indication that the $100 million could be inadequate, relative to the demand expected from investors for the bond.
“Based on the level of subscription expected, I wish to request for the National Assembly’s approval to increase the amount to be raised through the Diaspora Bond from USD 100 million to an amount up to a maximum of USD 300,” the President said in a letter dated January 2, 2014, to the Senate through the Senate President, David Mark.
He explained that the $9,005.69 million approved by the National Assembly in the Medium Term (2012-2014) External Borrowing Plan, included $100 million Diaspora Bond to raise funds from Nigerians in Diaspora, for the financing of development projects in priority sectors of the economy.
President Jonathan stressed that the Diaspora Bond was to be issued in the International Capital Market, ICM, and that the process for the issuance of the bond had since commenced with the advertisement of Request for Proposal for Transaction Parties for the offering.
The President further explained that if a maximum of $300 million was approved, it would provide the opportunity to invest the funds to be raised from issuance in a project with a higher value.