“We’re very honoured to have a partnership that is strategic with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) because they’re globally recognised as an innovative issuer that brings both well-known institutional investors in our market,” Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) director general Arunma Oteh told CNBC Africa on Tuesday.
“We’re honoured at this partnership, which has strengthened in the last three and a half years. One of the things that is our mandate is market development, and IFC has been a true partner in this respect.”
The partnership comes ahead of Nigerian Bond Market Conference, which will be held on 7 August in Lagos.
The Nigerian bond market, in the last two years, has recorded significant growth as regulators increase efforts to improve on liquidity and transparency in order to maximise increasing interest in the fixed income market.
The IFC had previously hosted the Efficient Securities Market Institutional development programme, which is funded by bilaterals around the world, where the corporation provided fixed income advisers for 18 months. This programme, according to Oteh, was particularly important to SEC, as it allowed them to streamline their processes and requirements in a debt capital market.
“Our relationship with SEC is tremendous. SEC has taken the leadership in deepening the capital market and creating an environment where private investment and funding could be efficiently intermediated between the institutional investor and the private sector,” said IFC vice president Jingdong Hua.
IFC is the first multi-lateral institution to access Nigeria’s domestic bond market.
“The conference is supposed to keep that momentum. In February, we launched the first ever Nigeria bond and the demand was very strong. We initially had planned to issue an 8 billion naira. We are working with the SEC to launch the first long-term local currency bond programme, our Nigerian Domestic Medium term programme, to continue the momentum and to show our commitment to the domestic market.”
Plans are to issue an equivalent of one billion US dollars under the programme, on the back of strong commitment the IFC has made to Nigeria.
In the fiscal year ended 2013, the IFC also made a new commitment of over 1.5 billion US dollars to Nigeria, supporting private sector development in priority sectors such as infrastructure, agribusiness and SME financing.