Teddy Oscar, Abuja
President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday wrote to the House of Representatives, requesting the lower chamber of the National Assembly to approve an extra $200 million to be raised through the Diaspora Bond from an initial $100 million to $300 million.
The amount, which is to be raised through the Diaspora Bond from the International Capital Market (ICM), is for the financing of development projects in priority sectors of the economy.
Similarly, Jonathan has sent the list of the newly appointed chief of defence staff and three (3) service chiefs for the armed forces for confirmation.
In a letter Jonathan sent to the speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Jonathan explained that the initial $100 million would not be adequate.
“I wish to inform the Honourable Speaker that from engagements with Nigerians in Diaspora and the enquires received since the publication of the requests for proposal, there is a high level of interest in the Diaspora Bond, and there is an indication that the USD 100 million could be inadequate relative to the demand expected from investors for the bond, based on the level of subscription expected, I wish to request for the National Assembly’s approval to increase the amount to be raised through the Diaspora Bond from USD 100 million to an amount up to a maximum of USD 300 million,” the letter read in part.
Jonathan listed the advantages that would accrue from increasing the amount from $100 million to $300 million.
“It will allow for allotments to be made to more Nigerians in Diaspora than would have been possible with a lower amount, thereby providing an opportunity for them to participate in the development of the country while earning returns on their investments.
“The issuance of a lower amount could result in the rejection of subscriptions, which would be a disappointment for Nigerians in Diaspora after heeding the call to support the growth of their country.
“It will provide the opportunity to invest the funds to be raised from the issuance in a project with a higher value, which will have a greater impact on the economy and the potential for a more visible symbol of the contribution of Nigerians in Diaspora to the country’s development.
Otherwise, many of our compatriots would be disappointed in missing an opportunity to contribute to the funding of the national economic transformation.
“The cost of issuance as a percentage of the funds raised will be much lower, since some costs, such as the costs of travelling, organization of the Roadshows and the preparation of an offering memorandum will be the same, regardless of the issued amount,” the letter read.
The President’s request was in line with Section 21(l) of the Debt Management Office Establishment (Etc.) Act, 2003.
It states that: No external loan shall be approved or obtained by the minister unless its terms and conditions shall have been laid before the National Assembly and approved by its resolution.
Recall that the National Assembly approved the sum of $9,005.69 million in the Medium Term (2012-2014) External Borrowing Plan, which also included a USD100 million Diaspora Bond.
Meanwhile, in compliance with the provisions of Section 18(1) of the Armed Forces Act, Cap, A.20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the President has forwarded the names of the newly appointed chief of defence staff and service chiefs, including Air Marshall Alex Badeh (chief of defence staff), Major General Kenneth Minimah (chief of army staff), Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin (chief of naval staff) and Air Vice Marshall AdesolaAmosu (chief of air staff).
The list was contained in a letter entitled: ‘appointment of the chief of defence staff and service chiefs for the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria’.
In a separate letter, the President introduced for formal consideration and enactment into law by the House the Cybercrime Bill, 2013, hoping that the bill will receive the expeditious attention of the members of the House.