Posted by By Matthew Cowley, Dow Jones Newswires on
Nigeria will buy back all of its overseas debt by end May, central bank Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo said Sunday.
SINGAPORE -(Dow Jones)- Nigeria will buy back all of its overseas debt by end May, central bank Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo said Sunday.
Soludo was speaking at a seminar on the sidelines of a gathering of member countries of the International Monetary Fund here.
"We want to pay it all off," he said.
A statement by credit ratings firm Fitch Ratings in January said Nigeria had around $5.1 billion of overseas debt outstanding, including $1.4 billion of so- called "Brady" bonds and $2.9 billion owed to multilateral institutions.
The Nigerian government recently said it plans to appoint legal advisors to negotiate the repayment of $2.4 billion in debt to the London Club, according to a report earlier this week in the country's This Day newspaper.
Nigeria is benefitting from windfall revenues from sky-high oil prices.
But the government is also seeing a boom in the local debt markets, with demand from local pension funds and overseas investors, Soludo said.
The central bank will issue about $6 billion in debt in the local market this year, primarily to mop up excess liquidity, Soludo said.
So far, most of the debt offerings have been heavily over-subscribed, he said.
The country's debt market has benefitted from the assigning in February of Nigeria's first sovereign ratings, Soludo said.
Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services have both given Nigeria a speculative double-B-minus grade.
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This is a great piece of history, which is dear to our hearts as people and very much appreciated.
Many thanks to the people who worked hard in the past and those who are still making efforts to keep the institution.
The labour is obviouly worth it. We are proud of you all.
A lot still to be done, with the motivation of the champions of this course, others will follow as well to maintain the institution
May God continue to keep the edifice for development of future generations to the glory of God and the benefits of our fatherland.