(Adds local bond, total public debt details)
By Camillus Eboh
ABUJA, April 4 (Reuters) – Nigeria will issue its first 30-year naira bond, the debt office said on Thursday, in a move to attract long-term investors and extend the maturity profile of its debt.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, has been racking up debt to boost the sluggish economy and fund infrastructure projects. Total public debt stood at 24.39 trillion naira ($79.44 billion) at the end of 2018, up from 21.7 trillion naira a year earlier.
But debt servicing costs have risen. Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said last week the government had strategies to finance the 2019 budget of 8.83 trillion naira and would consider cheap concessionary loans to reduce costs.
The new 30-year federal government bond would be attractive to long-term investors and would help in “developing the domestic capital market and reducing the re-financing risk” of the government, the debt office said in a statement.
Nigeria’s debt office also said it expected the government to approve total borrowing of 1.649 trillion naira in 2019.
Half the debt, 824 billion naira, would be foreign borrowing, Patience Oniha, the director general of Nigeria’s Debt Management Office, told reporters in Abuja.
The funds raised would create jobs and build infrastructure, a debt office presentation said on Thursday, adding that the debt would be raised via federal government bonds, Islamic sukuk and green bonds to fund projects to reduce carbon emissions.
Nigeria’s parliament must approve the borrowing plan.
$1 = 306.0000 naira
Reporting by Camillus Eboh in Abuja
Additional reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha and Alexis Akwagyiram
Writing by Paul Carsten
Editing by Larry King and Edmund Blair