Jonathan gets Senate nod for 2nd Niger bridge loan

Senate chamber

The Nigeria Senate approved the request of President Goodluck Jonathan for the increment of the Diaspora Bond from $100 million to $300 million on Tuesday.

The Chairman, Joint Committee on Local and Foreign Debts and Finance, Ehigie Uzamere, representing Edo South senatorial district said the increase in the bond was aimed at using proceeds from the bond to construct capital projects.

Some of the capital projects include the second Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja Medical City.

“The concept of raising funds through Diaspora bond has been employed by several countries over the years with tremendous success,” Mr. Uzamere said. “The committee believes the projects that the Federal Government has chosen to utilize the funds are critical infrastructures that will impact on the economy positively.”

Mr. Uzamere said the dwindling oil price and the need for economic diversification were part of the considerations that guided the committee’s recommendation for approval.

He added that the increment would enable Nigerians in Diaspora an opportunity to contribute to the development of the country.

According to him, if the bond was left at $100 million, interested Nigerians in Diaspora would be denied the opportunity to invest in the country.

“The increment of Diaspora bond is in line with public debt management strategy,” he said. “It will afford Nigerians in Diaspora the opportunity to invest in the development of the country, while earning good returns for their investment. The committee found that the $100 million Diaspora Bond passed in the Borrowing Plan of 2012 – 2014 was too small hence the decision to recommend the increment.”

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