Nigeria’s debt reaches N33 trillion, says DMO

The Debt Management Office (DMO) says Nigeria’s public debt stock has reached N33.107 trillion (about $87.239 billion) as of March 31, 2021.

A statement obtained from DMO’s website showed that the total public debt stock comprised that of the federal government of Nigeria, 36 state governments, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The debt stock also included promissory notes in the sum of N940.220 billion issued to settle the inherited arrears of the federal government to state governments, oil marketing companies, exporters and local contractors.

The report stated that compared to the total public debt stock of N32.916 trillion as of December 31, 2020, a marginal increase of 0.58 per cent was recorded in the debt stock.

Further analysis showed that the increase was in the domestic debt stock, which grew by 2.11 per cent from N20.21 trillion in December 2020 to N20.637 trillion as of March 31, 2021.

According to the DMO, the federal government’s share of the domestic debt includes bonds, Sukuk and Green Bonds used to finance infrastructure and other capital projects, and the N940.220 billion promissory notes.

“External debt stock declined from $33.348 billion as of December 31, 2020, to $32.86 billion due to the redemption by Nigeria of the $500 million Eurobond in January 2021.”

Last April, the DMO explained why Nigeria’s borrowings have continued to increase since 2015 and clarified that its published debt stock is not for the federal government alone.The DMO’s Director-General, Patience Oniha, explained that the debt stock included 36 states and the FCT.

She disclosed that the decline in revenue generation occasioned the federal government’s increased level of borrowings since 2015.

She added that the borrowings, on the decline since 2018, had to increase again due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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