FG to raise N213.7bn Treasury bills next week

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’Femi Asu  with agency report

The Federal Government plans to raise N213.75bn ($681m) from short-dated Treasury bills at an auction on March 15, the Central Bank of Nigeria said on Wednesday.

It plans to raise N39bn in three-month debt, N48.45bn in six-month bills and N126.30bn in one-year notes, using a Dutch auction system. Payment will be due the day after the auction, according to Reuters.

The CBN issues Treasury bills twice a month to finance the government’s budget deficit, help manage commercial lenders’ liquidity and curb rising inflation.

The country’s inflation had climbed to 18.72 per cent in January, its 12th straight monthly rise. The trend was worsened by dollar shortages, which had crippled the country’s import-dependent economy and triggered the first recession in 25 years.

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The Federal Government is also facing funding challenges due to the drop in the price of oil, which the nation depends largely on for revenue. It expects the budget deficit to widen to N2.36tn this year as it tries to spend its way out of the recession.

More than half of the deficit will be funded through local borrowing, the government has said.

The government said on Tuesday that it planned to sell N1.13tn ($3.70bn) worth of Treasury bills in the second quarter of the year, according to the CBN’s debt calendar.

The central bank aims to auction N243bn in 91-day bills, N198bn in 182-day and N689bn in 364-day debt.

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The Federal Government is planning to raise $300m via Diaspora Bond this month, according to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.

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