Nigeria might use money set aside for funding joint venture projects with foreign and local oil firms to make up any shortfall in the 2016 budget if government revenue projections are not met, Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, said. “The Plan B is around the cash calls,” Adeosun told Reuters in an interview in Lagos when asked how the budget would be funded if revenue projections fell short.
Cash calls are the government’s financial obligations to joint venture projects between state oil firm NNPC and international and local oil companies. The West African nation has been trying to boost tax revenues and the non-oil income to fund a record $30b 2016 budget aimed at reviving Africa’s biggest economy hit by the slump in oil prices.
Adeosun said that if the revenue does not come in they will not fund those cash calls from the budget. “We will force those cash calls out into the modified carrier arrangement and we will release that money back into the federation account. That is where the fiscal buffer sits,” she added.
The Minister also explained that they are studying the possibility of issuing a Panda bond, which are yuan-denominated bonds launched in 2005 by China and sold by overseas entities. According to The Star, so far only a handful of foreign entities have raised debt there. HSBC and Bank of China (Hong Kong) did so late last year.
However, she declined to put a figure on the size of the possible issue, saying only: “We were looking, originally, at doing about a billion dollars on the Eurobond market so may split that between the renminbi and the Eurobond.”