The Senate has granted President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for an additional $200m Diaspora Bond from the international market on Tuesday.
On February 4, 2015, Jonathan sought the approval of the Senate to increase the initial $100m that had been earlier approved in the 2012-2014 Borrowing Plan. This request was made known to Senator David Mark, Senate President, in a letter addressed to him by the President.
The President argued that the increment was needed to finance critical infrastructure in the country and also give Nigerians in the Diaspora the opportunity to invest in Nigeria’s development.
Senator Ehigie Uzamere, Chairman of the Joint Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, confirmed meetings were held with officials of the Debt Management Office in pursuing the approval of the Senate.
He pointed out that his committee decided the earlier approved $100m was too small “considering the life of Nigerians in the Diaspora.”
Uzamere also emphasized the need for the government to diversify source of income in the face of the falling oil prices. He explained “The Diaspora bond is necessary to create more space in the domestic market for other borrowers particularly private firms. The Federal Government plans to utilise the proceeds of the Diaspora bond in the construction of key capital projects in priority sectors of the economy.”
He added that the proceeds of the bond would fund the construction of the second Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and provision of facilities at the AbuFollow Us on Social Media