Forwards names of service chiefs for confirmation
Omololu Ogunmade and Muhammad Bello
President Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday sought the approval of the National Assembly to increase $100 million Diaspora Bond approved by the lawmakers in the medium term (2012 to 2014) external borrowing plan to $300 million.
The bond, according to the president, was aimed at raising funds from Nigerians in diaspora for the purpose of financing development projects in priority sectors of the economy.
He further explained that the bond, which would be issued in the International Capital Market (ICM), had generated a high level of interest, a situation he said, indicated that the earlier approved $100 million bond would not be adequate when compared with demands from prospective investors in the bond.
The president in the letter, which was addressed separately to the leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly, further explained that the approval would provide an opportunity to invest the funds to be raised in a project value which, he said, would have greater impact on the economy as well as the potential for a more visible symbol of the contributions of Nigerians in Diaspora to the economic development of the country.
He also noted that the bond would pave the way for allotments to Nigerians in the Diaspora, whom he said, would have returns from their investments.
The president added that his decision was in line with Section 21 (1) of the Debt Management Office Establishment Act 2003.
In the letter also addressed to the House of Representatives, the president sued for continued support and co-operation between the executive and legislative arm of government.
“The Diaspora Bond is to be issued in the Internationa! Capital Market (ICH) and the Honourable Speaker may wish to be informed that the process for the issuance of the bond has commenced with the advertisement of Requests for Proposal for Transaction Parties far the Offering,” he wrote.
He added that ever since the request for the proposal was publicised, there had been “a high level of interest in the Diaspora Bond and there is an indication that the $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 $100 million to an amount up to a maximum of $300 million,” he said, pointing out that the advantages that would be derived from the raise include: more allotments Nigerians in Diaspora, provision of investment opportunity to them and an increase in the cost of issuance as a percentage of the funds raised would be much lower.
On the introduction of the Cyber-crime Bill for consideration and enactment into law, the president expressed hope “that the bill will receive the usual expeditious attention of the honourable members of the House of Representatives.”
He also forwarded for approval as Chief of Defence Staff and service chiefs of the Armed Forces the names of Air Marshal Alex Badeh, Major General Kenneth Minimah, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin and Air Vice-Marshal Adesola Amosu.