The Federal Government has shelved plans to raise about $950m selling overseas bonds, owing to unfavourable market conditions during the time frame approved for the fundraising, The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, has said.

Ahmed had said in April that the government planned to sell as early as May its second external debt this year to help plug fiscal deficits.

The planned $950m bond sale would account for the balance of $6.1bn overseas borrowing planned for 2021, after it raised the second tranche of $1.25bn in March.

Bloomberg reported Ahmed as saying in an interview on the sidelines of the Islamic Development Bank meetings in Egypt that, “We were not able to do that because the market pricing was not good and also the approval period for us has closed. The approval period was up to May 31, 2022, so we are not going to be able to take that one anymore.”

Africa’s biggest crude producer was one of the first sovereigns to tap the Eurobond market after the start in late February of Russia’s war on Ukraine, which stoked commodity prices and inflation just as the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates.

Nigeria’s seven-year bond in March was priced to yield 8.375 per cent, compared to a similar maturity raised about eight months ago with a coupon of 6.125 per cent.

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