Lagos, Nov. 9, 2023: GuarantCo has provided N20.23 billion counter-guarantee with a sixteen-year tenor to InfraCredit in support of Lagos Free Zone Company’s (LFZC) three guaranteed infrastructure bond issuances totalling N53 billion.
GuarantCo is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and this transaction is part of a larger guarantee facility by InfraCredit to support the bond programme.
Mr Layth Al-Falaki, Chief Executive Officer, GuarantCo, said the group was delighted to have counter-guaranteed the bond issuance of Lagos Free Zone Company to the benefit of the economy and local people in Nigeria and West Africa.
Al-Falaki noted that this was also its first joint transaction with InfraCredit, which the company and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority helped set up in 2017.
“We are very happy to see the impressive progress that InfraCredit Nigeria has made in the past six years and this joint transaction will be an important pathfinder for GuarantCo’s relationships with other local Credit Enhancement Facilities,” he said.
Chinua Azubike, CEO, InfraCredit, said a key strategies of InfraCredit towards addressing the significant infrastructure financing deficit in Nigeria was to expand its guarantee capacity.
This, he said, was through risk sharing partnerships with development finance institutions, by leveraging their capacity to share long-term risks.
He noted that the Counter-Guarantee provided by GuarantCo to support LFZC would strengthen the company’s capacity to underwrite larger infrastructure projects.
“With this, the company can mobilise more domestic credit from local institutional investors to support impactful infrastructure projects in Nigeria that will support more jobs and accelerate economic growth,” he said.
Ashish Khemka, Chief Financial Officer, LFZC, said the partnership with GuarantCo and InfraCredit towards the common goal of realising enabling infrastructure projects in emerging markets like Nigeria was valuable.
He noted that Lagos Free Zone and Lekki Port projects are a testament to our commitment to change the paradigm of the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
“We appreciate the critical role played by credit guarantee programs run by GuarantCo and InfraCredit in enabling our access to long term credit required for such projects,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in addition to InfraCredit Nigeria, PIDG set up InfraZamin Pakistan in 2021 and is currently in the process of setting up a facility in Kenya.
The Credit Enhancement Facilities seek to address gaps in the local infrastructure financing market through increased use of credit guarantees similar to what GuarantCo does in lower income countries across Africa and Asia.