Operators Jostle for Rivers State N100bn
The Rivers State Government is putting in place a five-year N250 billion Bond issuance programme to assist
in the financing of infrastructural projects. The first tranche of the bond, which is N100 billion is expected to
hit the capital market in October.
THISDAY checks revealed that some market operators are lobbying to be appointed among the financial
advisers to the issue with the hope of earning some commission given the lull in the equity market.
A source close to the offer said last Friday that considering the dwindling returns, both investors and
operators are getting from the equities market, any bond issue is always seen as opportunity to make
significant money in the market.
“And given the prospects of the Rivers State Bond, issuing house, registrars, brokers, banks, trustees,
accounting firms among others, have been jostling to be part of the process. This is understandable
because they will earn significant commission from the N100 billion and that will be some good money
considering the fact that what they are making from the equities market is very low,” the source who is a
leading market operator said.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Chamberlin Peterside, has said last month that the
appointment of Financial Advisers and Lead Issuing House and other parties to the Bond Issue had begun
while documentation would follow.
According to Peterside, the approval process would be done in September while the bond is expected to
open for subscription in October.
Governor Rotimi Amaechi of the Rivers State, had last week assured prospective investors in the bond of
quick returns on their investment. Amaechi had given the assurance when a team of Standard and Poor’s
-an international public finance rating body visited him, Port Harcourt. He said the state had worked out
modalities for repaying the loan without stress.
“We assure all those who would invest in the bond that they would get back their money with good returns
in good time. The bond is aimed at assisting government fund ongoing projects such as the new M-10
Highway, the Greater Port Harcourt City, the Monorail, the New Mega Hospital, the new Rivers State
University of Science and Technology complex and several other landmark developmental projects,” he
Amaechi stated that his administration had assured investors that they would repay the money within its
tenure. “Our target is to be able to fund capital expenditure. If we wait for Federal Government revenue, we
may not be able to complete our projects on time. In the next four years, our projected revenue is estimated
to be between N900 billion and N1 trillion,” he said.
The governor added that the internally generated revenue (IGR) of the state had risen from N4.5 billion to
N5 billion, which makes the state viable to repay its debts without stress.