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Nigeria’s debt rises by 22.4% as Buhari, governors borrow N6.6tr in 12 months



DMO: Domestic debt servicing increased by over N247bn in 2017

Nigeria’s total public debt stock rose by 22.47% in 12 months following increased borrowings by the Federal and state governments to fund budget and other governance costs.

The Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha, disclosed this at a media briefing on Thursday in Abuja.

She said the federal government borrowed N6.64 trillion through the issuance of Eurobonds, sovereign Sukuk, and the government bonds between December 2020 and December last year to take the country’s total debt to N39.556 trillion from N32.915 trillion recorded in December 2020.

She stated that some of the funds went into the execution of economic recovery and capital projects in the country.

Oniha said: “Nigeria’s total public debt as at December 31, 2021, was N39,556 trillion or $95.779 billion. The amount represents the total external and domestic debts of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory.

READ ALSO: Naira depreciation increases Nigeria’s debts by N34.3bn

“The comparable figure for December 31, 2020, was N32.915 trillion or $86.392 billion. The public debt stock for December 31, 2021, includes new borrowings by the FGN and the sub-nationals. For the FGN, it would be recalled that the 2021 appropriation and supplementary acts, included total new borrowings (from domestic and external sources) of N5.489 trillion to part-finance the deficit.”

“The total public debt stock to the gross domestic product (GDP) now stands at 22.47 percent as at December 31, 2021, and it is still under ‘Nigeria’s self-imposed limit of 40 percent.”

Despite the rising debt stock, the DMO chief insisted the government was conscious of the debt to GDP ratio of 55 percent stipulated for developing countries by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and 70 percent of ECOWAS ratio.

She revealed that the government was working on measures to improve revenue and control its debt collection.

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