The Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms. Patience Oniha, said on Friday the country’s public debt stood at N26.215 trillion as of third quarter last year.
The DMO chief, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja, said the figure was about 2. 0 percent higher than the N25.701 trillion recorded at the end of the second quarter of 2019.
Oniha also said Federal Government intends to borrow N850 billion from the domestic market and another N744 billion from external sources totalling N1. 6trillion this year.
She said: “Public Borrowing is not done by one. It is not approved by one man. It is a collective decision. So when we take on this administration as having borrowed, let us bear in mind that borrowing is cumulative and there are rules and regulations about borrowing. There are laws and procedures that must be complied with.
“In fact that the document must be presented to the National Assembly is in compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the DMO Act. So we are complying with the laws on public borrowing.”
According to her, there is a deficit of N2.18 trillion in the 2020 budget which the administration hopes to address.
She said under the Debt Management Strategy, the DMO team had increased the external borrowings because they had lower interest rate, longer-tenured and help to boost foreign reserves.
The domestic instruments, she said, had more short terms and the domestic borrowings were being structured into longer terms.
Oniha said the current administration’s borrowings were driven by the government- approved debt management strategy and not an ad-hoc decision.
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