Reuters reports that a presentation was given when Nigerian government officials met with fund managers in New York on a non-deal roadshow held to enlighten bondholders on the country’s growth plan after getting out of recession.
The Nigerian economy, which recovered from a recession in 2017 is still fragile and the government is looking to diversify its revenue from an over reliance on global oil prices to greater tax collection. The economy grew by just 0.8 percent in 2017. However, the Nigerian government forecasts a growth of 4.6 percent by 2020, up from the 1.5 percent achieved in the first half of 2018.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly and was attended by Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the head of the debt office, as well as budget and trade ministers.
The Director General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha told Reuters “we simply used the opportunity of the presence of senior members of the economic management team at United Nations General Assembly to meet with investors and analysts”. Oniha also confirmed that the meeting did not end with a possible bond sale.
The government which needs to seek approval from the parliament before going ahead with bond sales, will raise $2.8 billion of debt offshore as part of the country’s 2018 budget of 9.12 trillion Naira. Nigeria is determined to borrow more abroad, despite the rise of interest rates in the United States.
The presentation shown at the sideline of the United Nations General Assembly, reveals the government wants foreign debt as a percentage of its borrowing to hit 40 percent by 2019, up from 30.2 percent in the first half of 2018.