Lagos Saves N100.7b for Debt Servicing | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Lagos Saves N100.7b for Debt Servicing

Posted: Apr 30, 2015 at 7:55 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

•Cancels Third Toll Plaza on Lekki Expressway

By Ekene Okoro, Lagos


Lagos State Government on Wednesday said it has perfected it’s financial strategy to ensure that funds it borrowed in the quest of realizing its objective of turning the state to Africa model megacity is repaid.

To this end, the government revealed that N100.73 billion has been reserved in the state’s sinking fund reserve.

State Commissioner for Finance Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi who disclosed this at the ongoing ministerial briefing said of the N225 billion currently outstanding in its debt issuance programme over N100.73 billion is in its treasury as at March 2015.

Gbeleyi said, “15 percent of monthly IGR is transferred to a Consolidated Debt Service Account (CDSA), managed by independent Trustees, with N100.73 billion accrued in Sinking Fund reserve for repayment of outstanding issues, while coupons are serviced regularly.

“The State has accumulated over N100.73 billion in the CDSA for the redemption the outstanding three tranches of Bonds, of which the next redemption comes up in April 2017.“

He said the state government got the approval of the Lagos State House of Assembly for the buy-back of the Lekki-Epe Expressway, adding that the negotiated the price for that transaction is N15 billion.

Gbeleyi explained that, “the transaction came to closure in June last year. In terms of completing other condition precedent for government to take over the project and effect the final payment because the payment was done in two tranches of N7.5 billion and N7.5 billion.

“We paid the second tranche last year’s December. And from that date, government took effective control of the project.”

The commissioner further explained that after listening to the demand of the residents, the state government decided to cancel the initial planned third toll plaza on the road.

“For the purpose of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) project finance, one will not find two sources of finances that is, debt and equity. The equity is provided by promoters of the ventures. The debt is provided by various members-commercial banks and other financial institution.

“On the road, we have about N40 billion outstanding to these consortium of senior lenders which include 8 financial institution including the African Development Bank, ADB, Stanbic Bank in Nigeria, First bank and others.

“Thus, even though the state bought out equity interest in the transaction, the debt exposure must still be honoured over agreed contracted terms and conditions.

“We must send the right signal to the community of investors and we must respect the sanctity of contract, rule of law and predictability of investment is something that is sacrosanct if we must continue to attract the right investor to the state.

“Across other PPP transaction ranging from the Lekki Deep Sea Port, the five IPP and various Real Estate including the Eko Atlantic City and others and close to $20 billion has been made in investment commitment.”

According to him if the state government fails to respect sanctity of contract investors will not bring their money into the country anymore.

He said, “Our policy option are open and now that we have the equity interest and in consultation with other major investors in that road, the new administration will evaluate the various policy options that are open to the administration and they will decide how long within the residual life of the concession which terminates in 2038.

“It present another opportunity once the loan restructuring which we have now concluded is in place which was signed at the end of March this year, we can then beginning to think of issuing a new concession structure by the issues that we saw before in that transaction.”