Nigeria’s parliament has approved the government’s request to sell a $1 billion Eurobond on the international debt market to help finance its budget deficit, the senate spokesman said on Wednesday.
“As at today, the only request for approval from the executive was … for the issuance of $1 billion eurobond … for the funding of the 2016 budget deficit, and we immediately granted the approval,” Senate spokesman Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi said in a statement.
He added that the government said it wanted to use part of the eurobond proceeds to finance two rail projects.
Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun, Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele and other senior government officials have been meeting investors in London and the United States on a roadshow to issue the bond with a 15-year maturity.
Citigroup and Standard Chartered Bank organised the investor meetings.
Adeosun said in October that Africa’s biggest economy had commitments for half the amount it wanted to raise from the eurobond.
Nigeria is suffering its first recession in 25 years and needs to find money to make up for shortfall in its budget. Its revenues have plunged along with global oil prices and militant attacks in its crude-producing heartland, the Niger Delta.
The government has laid out plans to spend a record 6.86 trillion naira ($22.5 billion) to help pull Nigeria out of recession in a draft 2017 budget sent to parliament for approval.
It planned to spend 6.06 trillion naira last year, but struggled to fund it.
The government has set out a $30 billion overseas borrowing plan to finance planned infrastructure projects until 2018, but analysts were skeptical whether it would be able to raise the funds.