Nigeria to Convert $25 Billion of CBN Financing to 30-Year Debt

Nigeria’s federal government has set the terms for the conversion of its stock of central bank overdrafts into long-term notes in a bid to create transparency around its dependence on that source of funding, Bloomberg News reported. The 10 trillion naira ($25.6 billion) debt will be exchanged for 30-year notes issued to the central bank, Patience Oniha, head of the Debt Management Office said by email. The agreement on timing for the conversion needs to be finalized to get the required approval from the cabinet, at the earliest in the second quarter, Oniha said. The Nigerian government became dependent on central bank borrowing after oil prices collapsed in 2015. Earnings from crude sales account for about half of government income in Africa’s largest economy. The financing helped plug spending shortfalls as non-oil revenues failed to cover the gap created by lower earnings from crude exports. The increasing reliance on CBN overdrafts has come with negative consequences, the International Monetary Fund said in a report published last week. Read more.