The government of Lagos State, the largest city in Africa, has secured NGN 100 Mn (USD 275,853) in bond from the capital market.
The Series Three Bond Issuance, raised under the State’s NGN 500 Bn Third Bond Program, will be used to finance infrastructure and pressing capital projects.
The largest bond program ever embarked on by any sub-national entity in Nigeria, the financial intervention will enable the mega-city develop key parts of its system – including education, transport, and infrastructural repair.
The raise comes just days after the Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration threw a blanket ban on motorcycles and tricycles in major parts of the city. The ban which is effective from February 2020, affects a promising crop of e-hailing firms operating in the state.
The NGN 100 Mn bond and motor taxi ban seems to be part of the government’s drive to fully attain the mega-city status. Sanwo-Olu did say at the signing of the bond that his administration is “going to make people feel the essence of governance”.
Many African cities are trying to achieve a name for themselves. While Lagos is rallying to become a hotbed of infrastructural elegance, Ghana doubling down in making Accra the cleanest city in the continent.
Rwanda wants to make history by trying to build a green city in Kigali, and Egypt is building New Cairo – a new administrative capital to accommodate its rapidly growing populace.
The efforts these cities are putting into breaking and setting records are collective of visions attributable to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. But these ambitions do come at a cost. Raising such amount of money leaves Lagos’ domestic debt at USD 1.2 Bn.
According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, Lagos accounted for 10.9 percent of Nigeria’s total domestic debt stock at USD 11.17 Bn as of September 2019.
On the most indebted states to domestic lenders in Q3 2019, Lagos still emerged as the most indebted state among the 36 Nigerian states, including the Federal Capital Territory.
On the other side, tanking the operations of bike-hailing startups in the state will only worsen the hellish traffic problems notorious to Africa;s most populated city. Also, apart from rendering hundreds jobless, it adds to the seemingly unfair behavior of the government towards businesses.
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