Lagos Borrows N137.3bn from Bond Investors at 13%
By Dipo Olowookere
The Lagos State government has sourced N137.3 billion from bond investors at a coupon rate of 13 per cent per annum.
The funds would be used to address part of the infrastructure deficit in the metropolis, the Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu said on Monday.
Some of the projects to receive intervention include the 10-km Regional Road in Eti Osa, six-lane Lekki-Epe Expressway, Ijeododo Road in Alimosho and Oba Sekumade Road in Ikorodu, among others.
The state government had planned to raise N125 billion from the capital market but due to the high demand for the debt instrument, it was increased to N137.328 billion.
The paper with a maturity of 10 years is the third of the Lagos State’s Series IV N500 billion debt issuance programme. The total amount raised by the state government is now N377.715 billion.
Speaking at a ceremony to sign the documents required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to facilitate the exercise, Mr Sanwo-Olu said the oversubscription demonstrates the confidence of investors in the state’s ability to deliver on its infrastructural and socio-economic developmental objectives, while meeting repayment obligations.
He said the iconic projects for which the funds would be earmarked would contribute to a better quality of living for the residents, while also creating a more enabling environment for commercial and economic activities.
“Lagos once again marks another milestone in the domestic debt capital markets, with the issuance of the largest bond ever by a sub-national Government in Nigeria.
“The signing ceremony finalises the issuance of N137.3 billion bond at 13 per cent fixed rate in our Series IV bond issuance under the N500 billion fourth debt issuance programme.
“We set out to raise up to N125 billion, but we closed the book with bids totalling N137.3 billion. This is a strong response from the investing community to our administration’s debut bond issuance.
“This humbling achievement is a testament to continued investors’ confidence in the state’s ability to deliver on its infrastructural and socio-economic developmental objectives, and also to meet repayment obligations.
“In line with our vision to build a Greater Lagos, proceeds from this bond will be used to finance infrastructure projects, primarily in roads, environment and healthcare. These projects include 10-km Regional Road in Eti Osa, six-lane Lekki-Epe Expressway, Ijeododo Road in Alimosho and Oba Sekumade Road in Ikorodu. These will contribute to a better quality of living for our people, while also creating a more enabling environment for commercial and economic activity,” the Governor said.
Mr Sanwo-Olu said there had been multiplier effects in socio-economic activities felt from the previous intervention capital raised justified the cost of investment in critical sectors.
He said Lagos had maintained high discipline on the size and pricing of its bonds, noting that the State got the clearance to proceed with the issuance as its coupon of 13 per cent yearly fell within the acceptable clearing bid.
The Governor disclosed that the issuance process started in April based on the advice of the state’s transaction advisers.
He applauded the Federal Ministry of Finance, SEC, National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and Debt Management Office for supporting the state’s infrastructure drive.
Commissioner for Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo, gave summary of the bid book in respect to the bond, pointing out that 319 bids were submitted during the offer period, while total bids at N146.328 billion value were received.
Mr Olowo said N137.328 billion qualified under the terms of the offer at the clearing price of 13 per cent per annum.
“In April 2021, we accelerated an ongoing conversation on the need to quickly intervene on the huge infrastructure gap in the face of limited financial resources. We took advantage of the favourable investment climate in the capital market to initiate a bridge to finance transaction by redeeming and refinancing the existing bonds.
“It is fulfilling to note that despite the hurdles that were faced, we have been able to achieve the target we set for ourselves. In fact, we exceeded the target. Many thanks to Mr Governor for his timely intervention at different phases. This is undoubtedly another momentous transaction for Lagos,” he said.
Representative of the 24 issuing parties and Managing Director of Chapel Hill Denham, Mrs Kemi Awodein, described the bond as a “landmark transaction” and largest to be issued by a non-federal government entity.
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NGX Index Contracts by 0.03% on Renewed Selling Pressure
By Dipo Olowookere
Selling pressure on large and mid-cap stocks like GTCO, Lafarge Africa, FBN Holdings, Flour Mills and others weakened the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited by 0.03 per cent on Wednesday.
The renewed profit-taking came a day after the local stock market rebounded, as investors embarked on cautious trading, monitoring happenings in the macroeconomic environment.
This left the sectorial performance index mixed at the close of transactions in the midweek session, with the banking space losing 0.25 per cent, the industrial goods index shedding 0.02 per cent, and the consumer goods counter depreciating by 0.01 per cent.
However, the insurance sector appreciated yesterday by 3.61 per cent, while the energy space went up by 0.42 per cent.
The All-Share Index (ASI) could not withstand the pressure and lost 14.22 points to the bears to close at 56,024.52 points, in contrast to Tuesday’s 56,038.85 points.
In the same vein, the market capitalisation of the NGX depleted by N8 billion to settle at N30.506 trillion compared with the preceding day’s N30.514 trillion.
NPF Microfinance Bank was the most actively traded stock yesterday for exchanging 100.8 million units valued at N181.4 million, GTCO traded 43.0 million units worth N1.2 billion, Japaul transacted 27.8 million units worth N11.5 million, Fidelity Bank sold 24.3 million units valued at N140.9 million, and Access Holdings traded 23.0 million units for N293.0 million.
In all, investors bought and sold 397.6 million shares worth N6.5 billion in 5,613 deals on Wednesday compared with the 322.5 million shares worth N5.8 billion transacted in 6,165 deals on Tuesday, representing a decline in the number of deals by 8.95 per cent, an increase in the trading volume and value by 23.29 per cent and 12.07 per cent, respectively.
Union Bank topped the losers’ chart after dropping 4.20 per cent to trade at N7.20, Flour Mills also shed 4.20 per cent to close at N33.10, NGX Group declined by 3.11 per cent to N28.00, Prestige Assurance went down by 2.44 per cent to 40 Kobo, and Courteville slumped by 2.08 per cent to 47 Kobo.
On the flip side, Honeywell Flour gained 9.87 per cent to settle at N3.45, Eterna improved by 9.87 per cent to N12.25, FTN Cocoa rose by 9.86 per cent to 78 Kobo, Cornerstone Insurance expanded by 9.78 per cent to N1.01, and Coronation Insurance grew by 9.52 per cent to 46 Kobo.
Subsidy Removal: CNG at N130 Per Litre Cheaper Than Petrol—IPMAN
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Independent Petroleum Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has advised Nigerians to begin to look into the direction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative energy source to cushion the effect of subsidy removal.
The National President of IPMAN, Mr Chinedu Okorokwo, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday, as the federal government continues its dialogue with the organised labour over the hike in the price of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol.
On May 29, 2023, during his inaugural speech, President Bola Tinubu said the payment of subsidy for fuel had ended because there was no provision for it in the 2023 budget beyond June 30.
His announcement triggered the hoarding of fuel by marketers, and when the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited increased the price of the product across its retail outlets, prices of food, transportation and services went up, forcing the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to threaten a nationwide strike, which was supposed to start today but was stopped by the National Industrial Court.
At a meeting on Monday night between the government and the labour unions, it was agreed that the adoption of CNG as an alternative fuel would be the best option, and it was agreed that the CNG conversion programme earlier planned in 2021 should be revived.
CNG, which is a gas mainly composed of methane and produces less emission, is the cleanest burning fuel operating today with less vehicle maintenance and longer engine life.
In the interview with NAN, Mr Okoronkwo said bringing CNG, which was cheaper than even firewood, as an alternative energy, would create relief for the government and its citizens.
“We have also discovered that bringing an alternative that is cheaper than even firewood which is CNG, will not only create relief for the government and its citizens but it is environmentally friendly.
“The CNG is abundantly available in Nigeria than anywhere in Africa.
“In the Niger Delta region, you see billions of tonnes of gas flare being wasted daily, these are huge amounts that should be accruing to our GDP, but we are wasting it because there is no market for it.
“So, we are asking the government to create the market. How do you create the market?
“What Egypt and India did was to give soft loans to be paid back within stipulated periods; from there, you can get vehicles to use gas instead of fuel,” he said.
“There’s a franchise for the bottling of CNG so that an average woman in the kitchen can use it,’’ he added, noting that the introduction of CNG would cushion the effect occasioned by the high price of fuel currently as a litre of CNG would not cost more than N130.
He advised that repairing the local refineries as well would reduce the impact of the removal as it would eliminate the cost of importation and exportation.
Nigeria Upgrades Tax-to-GDP Ratio to 10.86% From 6%
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed that Nigeria’s tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio has been upwardly reviewed to 10.86 per cent from the 6 per cent earlier reported to reflect better data sources and improved estimation using the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) manual.
The OECD manual is an improvement over the System of National Accounts (SNA 2008) classification of taxes.
Although the System of National Accounts conceptual framework and its definitions of the various sectors of the economy are reflected in the OECD’s classification of taxes, the OECD classifications provide the maximum disaggregation of statistical data on what is generally regarded as taxes by tax administrations.
In a disclosure, the statistics office said the country’s total tax revenue compared with its GDP was at that level in 2021, higher than 8.40 per cent in 2020, which was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the previous year, the ratio was 10.20 per cent, marginally lower than the 10.36 per cent recorded in 2018 but higher than the 9.02 per cent in 2017.
The NBS said the revised computation considered more comprehensive coverage of data at the federal, state, and local government levels and revenue items not previously included in the computations, particularly relevant revenue collected by other government agencies.
The review of the tax-to-GDP ratio was initiated by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, which collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the NBS for better measurement of the ratio.
The data used were sourced from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), FIRS, NBS, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Joint Tax Board (JTB), and other relevant agencies of government that collect revenue.
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