The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) a civil organization has revealed that Nigeria, under the leadership of president Muhammudu Buhari spent N11.679 trillion servicing debts in the last five years.
The group stated this during the presentation of its report titled 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper,” in Abuja on Monday,
According to the group the amount which was spent between 2015 and 2020 is very concerning considering only N8.31trillion was expended on capital/development expenditure.
Ripples Nigeria had earlier reported through its weekly Ripplesmetrics on Nigeria’s growing debt concern
The report titled, ‘For every N100 earned, Nigeria spent N82 paying debt in 2020’ shows that in 2020, Nigeria had budgeted 2.95 trillion to service debt but ended up spending N3.2 trillion and this is 82 percent of the retained revenue (N3.9 trillion) in 2020.
However, breakdown of the debt service amount from CSJ, showed that in 2015 and 2016, N953.620 billion and N1.475 trillion, respectively, were spent on debt service, while N1.841 trillion and N2.203 trillion went into the same line item in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
The sums of N2.254 trillion and N2.951 trillion went into debt service in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
The N11.679,845,205, 997 five-year debt service profile (2015-2020) also translated to a yearly average of N1.386 trillion.
Speaking at the presentation of the report, the Lead Director of CSJ, Eze Onyekpere, stated that Nigeria’s debt had also been increasing in double digits year-after-year since 2015, with the highest increase recorded between 2015 and 2016.
Onyekpere, citing the Debt Management Office (DMO) statistics, also noted that public debt stock stood at N12,603 trillion in 2015, N17.360 trllion in 2016, and N21.725 trillion in 2017.
“In 2018, 2019 and 2020, public debt stood at N24.387 trillion, N27.401 trillion, and N32.915 trillion, respectively.
“The highest increase was occurred between 2015 and 2016.
“Between 2015 and 2020, Nigeria’s public debt increased by 161 percent, indicating a yearly average increase of 37.74 percent,” he added.
Onyekpere also during his presentation also expressed worry on the future of debt sustainability of the country.
“The Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy (MTDS) 2020-2023 shows that the government has designed 70 percent for domestic debt and 30 percent for external debt while total debt as a ratio of the GDP has been increased from 25 percent to 40 percent; average tenure of debt portfolio is a minimum of ten years.
The trajectory, he noted, would lead to debt service to revenue increasing in the medium term while capital expenditure as a percentage of total federal government spending would be decreasing in the medium term.
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