FG’s Debt to Expand with N1.021tn Treasury Bills


Obinna Chima
In line with the federal government’s domestic borrowing plan, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to issue treasury bills worth N1.021 trillion between June and August this year.
According to the CBN’s Nigerian Treasury Bills issue programme, a total of N214 billion would be raised by issuing 91-day, 182-day and 364-day treasury bills on June 15.

Also, on June 22, the Bank would also sell treasury bills worth N133 billion, while on July 6, the fixed income instrument valued at N177 billion would be issued by the CBN.

In the same vein, the central bank’s treasury bills issuing programme showed that on July 20, the Bank would issue another treasury bills of various tenor worth N205 billion; N229 billion on August 3rd and N62.436 billion on August 17.

Nigeria, grappling with its first recession in 25 years which was largely brought on by low oil prices and the impact of attacks on energy facilities in the Niger Delta, plans to spend about N7.44 trillion this year.

The West African country expects a budget deficit of about N2.21 trillion this year as it tries to spend its way out of a recession, with more than half the deficit to be funded through local borrowing.

The Debt Management Office (DMO) recently put Nigeria’s total debt stock at N19.15 trillion as at the end of first quarter 2017; up from the N17.36 trillion it was at the end of last year.
According to the DMO, the external component of the country’s debt stood at $13.80 billion at the end of March 2017, as against $11.40 billion at the end of December. But the domestic component of the debt fell to N11.97 trillion, as against N13.88 trillion last year.

A breakdown of the domestic debt component showed that while FGN Bonds was N8.178 trillion, Nigerian Treasury Bills N3.6 trillion, Nigerian Treasury Bond was N191 billion and the FGN Savings Bond N2.068 billion.

The federal government raised a total of $1.5 billion through Eurobond sales in two tranches in the first quarter of this year.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo while signing the budget on Monday pointed out that the economy was already signalling a gradual recovery as growth is headed towards positive territory.
“We are also gradually instilling confidence in our exchange rate regime. This improvement in GDP growth and other macro-economic indicators is largely attributable to our strategic implementation of the 2016 Budget as well as stronger macroeconomic management and policy coordination.

“I am confident that the 2017 Budget will deliver positive economic growth and prosperity – one that is self-sustaining and inclusive. In this regard, the 2017 budget will be implemented in line with our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan,” he added.

Over the 2017-2020 plan period, the government is focussing on five key execution priorities, namely: stabilising the macroeconomic environment; agriculture and food security; energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products; improved transportation infrastructure; and industrialisation through support for micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs).
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun recently said Nigeria’s debt is not too high. However, she pointed out that the country’s revenue was too low.

She had said that the country’s debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio remained low.
She said: “The problem is not that our debt is too high, but that our revenue is too low. It is revenue you use to pay debt and our revenue in Nigeria right now is very low.”