ABUJA – The National Assembly yesterday resolved to proceed on two weeks break, to enable members participate in the forth coming Presidential/NASS elections scheduled for March 28, 2015.  They will resume on March 31, 2015.
Senate of the Federal Republic yesterday, approved request by President Goodluck Jonathan to raise diaspora bond from initial US$100 million to a maximum of US$300 million from the International Capital Market.
The approval followed a recommendation of the Senate Joint Committees on Local And Foreign Debts, and Finance on the matter, as presented by Sen. Ehigie Uzamere.
According to Sen. Uzamere, the concept of the diaspora bond is to afford Nigerians living abroad the opportunity to invest in the development of Nigeria while earning good returns for their investments.
“The Committee believes the projects that the Federal Government has chosen to utilize the funds are critical infrastructures that will impact on the economy positively”, Sen. Uzamere continued.
According to the Senate Joint Committee, the FG plans to utilize proceeds of the bond in construction of capital projects in priority sectors namely, the 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos- Ibadan Expressway, and Infrastructure for Abuja Medical City.
He also explained that based on submissions by the Director General of Debt Management Office and several other interactive sessions with him, the Joint Committee came to the conclusion that with the dwindling revenue from crude oil sale, it has become necessary to diversify sources of funding for government.
The further noted that the US$100 million diaspora bond as passed in the 2012-2014 borrowing plan was too small, considering the life of Nigerians in the diaspora, hence may deny interested Nigerians.
Other reasons upon which the Sen. Uzamere led Joint Senate Committee based their recommendation were that the diaspora bond is necessary to create more space in the domestic market for other borrowers particularly, private firms; and that the larger and present amount of US$300 million is consistent with the Public Management Strategy.