The Federal Government yesterday announced the appointment of a consortium of banks including Citi Group, Standard Chartered, Stanbic IBTC, Whitten-Case and African Practice to handle the $2.5 billion Eurobond.
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun gave the indication while also briefing newsmen on the $2.5 billion external borrowing for refinancing after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting yesterday.
The minister while speaking on the impact of the use of the proceeds of the $500 million issued in November 2017, disclosed that the about N162.50 billion was used to redeem Nigerian Treasury Bills (NTBs) which matured in December 2017. She said the NTBs dropped from about 16 per cent to 13 per cent, while the Bonds dropped from about 16-16.50 per cent to 13.50 per cent.
This, according to her “translates to savings for government on new borrowing while also making the cost of borrowing for the real sector cheaper’’ since the sovereign rate serves as a benchmark for other borrowers.
This is just as government announced potential savings on the proposed $2.5 billion refinancing, estimated at N64 billion per annum.Meanwhile, FEC yesterday approved memo presented by the Ministry of Interior for the purchase of 35 operational vehicles for the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at the cost of N483.210 million.
Also, Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, revealed that FEC approved the substitution of Lufthansa as a member of the consortium that will provide transaction advisory services for the establishment of a national carrier.
“Council considered and approved that substitution with another company called AMG (Airline Management Group) with Avia Solutions GE.’’ On why Lufthansa was substituted, he explained: “Lufthansa Consulting did not accept the offer neither have they signed any contract. They countered the offer instead.”
He said Lufthansa also gave conditions, which the government could not meet. On his part, Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu said Council approved equipment to detect illegal radio signals with a view to blocking them.