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Nigeria: Bayelsa State plans N50 Billion Bond

Bayelsa State Government is to raise N50 billion Bond from the Nigerian capital market.

Speaking during a visit to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, yesterday, Governor Timipre Sylva expressed confidence that the bond would be fully subscribed and also called on investors and other stakeholders to take advantage of the Issue to invest in the state.

He said the aim of the Bond Issue is to raise money to continue the developmental initiatives of the state government, under the Bayelsa State Infrastructural Development Initiatives.

The governor had earlier signed into law the State Bond Bill 2009 and two complementary bills to facilitate effective implementation of its physical development initiatives.

According to Sylva: ” They would provide the platform for the government to execute projects that would impact positively on generations of Bayelsans yet unborn.”

He explained that the Debt Management Office Bill was in line with a Federal Government directive.

Reacting to speculations in some quarters that the administration had over-borrowed, Sylva said what mattered was not the government’s indebtedness, but how such debts are managed.

On the significance of the Bond Bill, he said it was necessary in view of the government’s desire to embark on massive infrastructural development, pointing out that because of paucity of funds, the state required whatever soft loans it could access for support in the realisation of its developmental goals.

According to him, the state’s airport project is estimated to cost about N45 billion, adding that the building of roads in the three senatorial zones would cost over N100bn.

The bond, Sylva stressed, was crucial to the development of the state, considering its numerous advantages of being project-specific and the long-term repayment plan.

He stressed that the government could not afford to subject the bond issuance programme to the passing impulse of politics, noting that he has been vindicated by the passage of the bill by the House of Assembly.

The bond, opened, Wednesday, was approved by the relevant authorities in the market, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Nigerian Stock Exchange.