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Economy still strong despite JP Morgan’s delisting – DMO boss



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The Director General of the Debt management Office (DMO), Dr Abraham Nwankwo has described the Nigerian economy as a virgin land for investors not withstanding JP’s Morgan delisting.
According to him, the JP Morgan delisting does not affect the market, saying the market was developed by domestic investors who are still very much around to invest in it.
“JP Morgan looks for countries that qualify and put them on their list so that the can sell their own service. We developed the market by ourselves and the market is still there because the people who developed it are still here. We did not develop the market based on foreign participation, we developed it and it attracts foreign participation. For the avoidance of doubt, we encourage foreign participation in the bond market, but that does not mean we depend on foreign participation. Since JP Morgan announced the delisting the bond from its index, the Nigerian market has remained vibrant. ” Nwankwo said.
He said the Nigerian economy continues to be strong and attractive to investors because Nigeria is operating at near full unemployment of resources whether in agriculture, solid minerals, oil and gas, transportation, ICT.
“So I can assure that whatever amount we reasonably decide to borrow from domestic and external sources, we are in a position to do that. And even if we have need to go to the international market to do a Euro bond, we will succeed,” Nwankwo said.
He reiterated the fact that the country’s public debt to gross domestic product remains sustainable, saying even before the collapse in oil prices, the country’s public debt had been managed in such as if there was already a crisis.
According to him, Nigerian bond market has the capacity to provide funds that will be required to finance 2016 budget deficit.
The 2016 federal government budget is expected to be higher than the N4.4 trillion of 2015, indicating that the DMO will, as usual, borrow on behalf of the government to fund the deficit. This is more so given the falling crude oil prices.