(Bloomberg) — Nigerian lawmakers approved a request from President Bola Tinubu to convert 7.5 trillion naira ($8.2 billion) in overdrafts from the central bank to longer-dated bonds that will be added to the country’s debt.
The senate granted approval at a sitting on Saturday during which they are also endorsed a 28.77 trillion naira spending plan for 2024, higher than the 27.5 trillion naira figure proposed by Tinubu.
Nigeria’s president said the conversion will reduce the cost of servicing the debt to 9% when compared to the monetary policy rate plus 3% that it currently attracts, and also improve the transparency of liabilities owed to the banking regulator.
Lawmakers in May approved the conversion of 22.7 trillion naira in loans from the central bank into bonds. The request was made by Tinubu’s predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, under whose administration loans from the central bank rose by more than 3,000%. That helped increase Nigeria’s outstanding debt by more than 50%; total public debt was 87.9 trillion naira in September.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.