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FX inflow: FG considering ‘diaspora bond’ issuance to boost remittances

Wale Edun: Swift economic reforms key to post-COVID-19 recovery Wale Edun: Swift economic reforms key to post-COVID-19 recovery

The federal government says it is considering the issuance of a diaspora bond to boost remittances.

Wale Edun, the minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, disclosed this to journalists at a press briefing on Saturday.

The news conference was jointly held with Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in Washington DC, the United States.

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The government officials addressed journalists on the outcomes of their participation at this year’s spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group, and strategies to improve the economy.

Speaking on plans to attract investment, Edun said remittances are one of the ways to boost foreign exchange (FX) supply and funding for investment in the country.

“There are Nigerians abroad, they’re doing very, very well,” the minister said.

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“They have significant funding. There are even Nigerians in Nigeria with funds abroad, that too would be counted as a remittance.

“In order to help the issue of supply of foreign exchange to the Nigerian economy, the government is looking at attracting those funds and capturing those funds through a diaspora type of instrument — a diaspora bond.

“We think that would be a very attractive instrument for Nigerians abroad and for foreign holdings of foreign currency.

“And we look to having a substantive, substantial and successful issue later in the year.”

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Edun also said the Nigerian delegation met with investors during the IMF and World Bank meetings, which officially ended on Saturday.

He said the team, led by himself and Cardoso, spoke to groups of international investors, portfolio investors and “also those potential foreign direct investors who bring what I can describe as the quality funding, the kind of funding that builds factories and creates jobs directly”.

“And the response and the reaction from virtually all of them, I can say without exception, has been one of greater confidence in the economic management of the country, and greater interest and willingness to invest,” the minister said.

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“So, the whole ecosystem of international finance has been here and we’ve engaged with all of them,” Edun said.

“And I announced earlier some of the things that we have come away with, we’ve come away with funding to improve electricity to provide power to 300 million people on the African continent and we know that the lion’s share, or the largest single portion will come to Nigeria.

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“And we all know what the provision of electricity does to empower a nation, reduce poverty, improve the economy.

“I suppose we can also say that we’ve come away with a bigger say for Africa through an additional chair, an additional seat on the board of directors of the IMF will help to complete that process and I think that is a major success for Africa as a whole.”

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Edun said Nigeria is a private-sector-driven economy, and the policy of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is to encourage private (domestic and foreign) investment to grow the economy and create jobs, thereby reducing poverty.

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