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LASG Raises N137.3bn Capital Market Bond To Address Infrastructure Deficit

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, presided over the ceremony where necessary documents required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to facilitate the issuance of 13 per cent fixed rate bond were signed by the State’s Attorney General, issuing parties and trustees of the funds.

The event marked the third time Lagos Government would be issuing a long-tenure bond of 10 years (2021-2031), bringing to a total value of N377.715 billion bond issued from the Lagos State’s Series IV N500 Billion Debt Issuance Programme.

The State set out to raise N125 billion from the capital market but closed the bids with N137.3 billion, following oversubscription. The development, Sanwo-Olu said, demonstrated a “strong response” from the investing community and testified to confidence of investors in the State’s ability to deliver on its infrastructural and socio-economic developmental objectives, while meeting repayment obligations.

The Governor said proceeds from the bond would be used to finance key infrastructure projects in healthcare, environment and road construction, including 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.

Sanwo-Olu 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.

He said: “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.”

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. With the issuance of the third bond, Sanwo-Olu said the imperative to aggressively drive his administration’s THEMES agenda had been boosted, pledging to deliver more iconic projects would be raise the value of the State’s economy.

The Governor 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.

Olowo said N137.328 billion qualified under the terms of the offer at the clearing price of 13 per cent per annum.

He said: “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.”

The State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Titilayo Shitta-Bey, said members of the State Executive Council, in the December 20, 2021 meeting, approved the resolution of the Government to issue the bond.

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.

She said all the issuing parties stood boldly behind the Lagos Government to realise its development objectives for which the bond was facilitated.

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“I And My Team Are Not Responsible For The Woes That We Have Today ” – Current CBN Governor

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Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso has said that he’s not responsible for the economic challenges facing the country.

Cardoso said this at the first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting under his leadership on Tuesday, February 27. He also said that the CBN is taking necessary steps to get the country’s fiscal and monetary health back to normal.

He said;

”I laugh at that question but it’s not a laughing matter and I think it is very important for Nigerians to understand that the Central Bank Governor; I and my team, are not responsible for the woes that we have today; we are part of the solution.

“We are determined to ensure that we work hard to get out of the mess that Nigeria is in. We assumed responsibility in a time of crisis of confidence; there was a crisis of confidence and you may all want to go to bed and wish that crisis of confidence was not there but it was, and we can’t turn back the clock.

“All we can do is do the difficult things to make a bad situation better and I do believe that the efforts that we are making are beginning to bring back confidence because to be frank, without confidence in your business, you are not going to get far.”

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Court Sentences Actress To Six Months In Prison For Spraying, Stepping On New Naira Notes

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Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos state, On Thursday, February 1, convicted and sentenced one Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin an actress to six months imprisonment for spraying and stepping on the new Naira notes at a social event in Lagos.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), made this known in a statement issued on its X handle.

Part of the statement reads: “Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday, February 1, 2024, convicted and sentenced one Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin, an actress, to six months imprisonment for spraying and stepping on the new Naira notes at a social event in Lagos.

“She was first arraigned on February 13, 2023, by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on two-count charges, to which she pleaded “not guilty”.She was subsequently granted bail on February 15, 2023.

“One of the court reads: “That you, Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin, on the 28th day of January 2023, at Monarch Event Centre, Lekki, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, whilst dancing during a social occasion tampered with the sum of N100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria by spraying same in the said occasion and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act, 2007.”

“At the resumed hearing on Thursday, Omoseyin, however, changed her “not guilty” plea to “guilty”, in view of the overwhelming evidence against her.”

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Payments Forum Nigeria 1.0: Experts to Discuss Trust, Security and Privacy in AI Era

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PAFON - Payments Forum Nigeria

Financial industry experts are warming up for the first edition of Payments Forum Nigeria (PAFON), scheduled for the first quarter of this year.

The Payments Forum Nigeria is a cross-industry platform focused on addressing issues that require broad cooperation and coordination across many constituents in the payments industry.

Payments Forum Nigeria which will take place at Oriental Hotel, Lekki Road, Lagos on Thursday March 21, 2024, by 9am, aims at providing an inside-look at the industry, offering perspectives from key stakeholders, including payment networks, technology innovators, leading merchants, issuers, acquirers and payment processors.

Throughout the years, the finance world has shifted into something much more than just banking and big corporations.

Blockchain and the FinTech society have managed to create a new world that is much more inclusive, and full of opportunities.

Based on a report by Gartner, by 2024, 40% of privacy compliance technology will rely on AI, up from 5% in 2019, and by 2025, 60% of large organizations will use at least one privacy-enhancing computation technique in analytics, business intelligence, or cloud computing, and financial services industry is not exempted.

For instance, effective April 2024, Nigerian financial institutions will be mandated to implement stricter Know Your Customer (KYC) measures, requiring all customers to provide their Bank Verification Number or a national identification number (NIN) for account or wallet opening, following a circular by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Our goal is to enable information exchange and knowledge sharing on key industry insights issues amongst key stakeholders, with the objective of ensuring a collaborative and proactive approach to push for policies that enable growth, tackling/mitigating fraud and limiting occurrences and losses”, said Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, the co-founder of TechCastle Foundation, organisers of Payment Forum Nigeria (PAFON).

He said that the Forum is driven by the reasons to; “educate and inform financial service players and other stakeholders on various issues and trends (both locally and globally); proactively share data/information amongst banks, Fintechs and other service providers, to enable prompt responses to prevent and/or limit (customer-related) losses; and discuss key Payments security trends”.

“Speakers will be drawn among industry players such as banks, Fintechs, mobile money operators, blockchain experts, Cybersecurity, etc., as we expect attendees from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); e-Banking Heads; Chief Compliance Officers of banks in Nigeria; Chief Internal Auditors of banks in Nigeria; Office of The National Security Adviser; Switching companies; the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; Licensed Mobile Payment Operators; Electronic Payments Providers; Information Security Experts; Consumer Protection; Financial Policy and Regulation; Information Technology; Legal Services; Banking Supervision; Corporate Communication; Shared Services Office; Blockchain Security Experts, etc”, he added.

For participation and sponsorship, please contact: Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi via: 08123355522 or Peter Oluka: 08184346261 or email: [email protected].

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