Lagos State Government has again achieved a milestone in its financial prudence and debt management drive as it recently won an international achievement award for successfully floating an N80 billion bond in November last year.
The prestigious award of Best Local Currency Bond Award for 2012, the first of its kind to be conferred on any organisation in Nigeria, was presented to the State in London by its sponsors, EMEA Finance, a leading magazine in the United Kingdom known for its in-depth global financial research and analysis.
Published by Exporta Publishing and Events Limited, the Magazine took special recognition of the N80 billion bond which the State floated in 2012 and commended the State for taking the bold step to address its infrastructure regeneration projects. It could be recalled that the N80 billion bond is the first tranche of the total N167.5 billion Second bond programme of the Government which is the largest sub-national bond ever issued on the Nigerian bond market.
Presenting the Award to the State’s Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, during the EMEA Finance Presentation of Achievements 2013 Awards Dinner, Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of EMEA Finance, Mr. Christopher Moore, noted that Lagos has won the award across three continents namely Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
According to Moore, “The Magazine has a vision to be independent voice, that speaks at the highest level of integrity and journalistic ethics for the financial community and others across the EMEA region namely, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Lagos State Government is, therefore, not only a national or continental winner but an inter-continental winner”.
Speaking to newsmen after the award, Abiru, said part of the credibility of the bond was the way and manner Lagos State has managed its debt management strategy.
The Commissioner noted, “Essentially part of the credibility of the bond is the way and manner Lagos State has managed its debt management strategy which has been adjudged to be very efficient. This is also influenced by the fact the debt that we raised provided the fund that we used to expand the economy of Lagos because they are essentially monies that are channelled to capital expenditure”.
“The qualification would also include the fact that Lagos State boasts of very strong fiscal strategy in terms of fiscal revenue. The borrowing that we contract is essentially to complement our yearly recurrent revenue surplus which is typically about 40 percent of our yearly revenue”, Abiru said.
According to him, “What this means is that the fact that all our recurrent expenditures are covered by our revenues, the revenue we generate, and it is the net recurrent surplus that will contract loans such as has given us this achievement tonight to complement to fix our capital expenditure infrastructures”.
Also present at the occasion were the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Debt Management Office, Mrs. Olabowale Ademola, Editor of EMEA Finance, Mr. Tim Burke and awardees in other fields from other countries such as Qatar, Turkey, Lebanon and Zambia as well as organisations such as FBN Capital, Credit Suisse, Barclays and IFC.