NBS: Domestic, External Debts Hit N15.63tn, $22.08bn in Q2

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Yemi Kale

•Lagos tops chart
•Era of inaccurate data publication over, says Kale

James Emejo and Udora Orizu in Abuja

Nigeria’s total domestic and foreign debt stock stood at N15.63 trillion and $22.08 billion respectively, as at June 30, 2018, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has stated.

This is as the Statistician General of the Federation/Chief Executive, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Dr. Yemi Kale, Thursday promised that the days when agencies of government published poor statistical figures and got away without questions being asked were gone.

According to the Nigerian Domestic and Foreign Debt (Q2 2018), posted on its website, out of the N3.48 trillion total domestic debts borrowing by states, Lagos accounted for 14.88 per cent, while Anambra had the least debt in the category with a contribution of 0.08 per cent to the total domestic debt stock.

However, the foreign borrowing consisted of $10.88 billion from multilateral agencies; $274.98 million from bilateral (AFD) and another $2.12 billion bilateral from the Exim Bank of China, JICA, India and KFW, while $8.80 billion was commercial.

Lagos State had the highest foreign debt profile among the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) accounting for 34.17 per cent and 6.57 percent in national share.

Its external and domestic debts were recorded at $1.45 billion and N517.36 billion or 14.88 per cent of share in state total.

Edo accounted for 6.57 per cent of external loans at $279.02 million; Kaduna, 5.48 per cent or $232.96 million; Cross River, 4.56 per cent or $193.79 million and Bauchi, 3.18 per cent or $134.90 million.
The foreign debt profile of Bayelsa, Benue and Borno stood at $57.25 million, $34.75 million and $22.29 million respectively.

Kale: Era of Inaccurate Data Publication Over

The Statistician General of the Federation/Chief Executive, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Dr. Yemi Kale has promised that the days when agencies of government published poor statistical figures and get away were gone.
He noted that the public has become better enlightened as “they question and interrogate every figure or information we publish.”

Speaking at the opening of the sensitisation workshop for the conduct of the 2018/19 National Living Standard Survey (NLSS), which held in Keffi, Nasarrawa State, he harped on the need for quality data representation going forward.

He said:”As Statistician General of the Federation, I can easily estimate that, I spend about 50 per cent of my working day, and sometimes weekends, explaining and defending numbers or information that we publish in NBS.
“People now want to know where we got the numbers, how we got the numbers and what the numbers mean for them as individuals, businesses or for their communities.

“While we welcome this new enthusiasm and public engagement in statistics, we also have no alternative but to do all in our powers to get the best quality numbers possible.”

He said the NLSS had become critical in view of all the visible socio-economic challenges being experienced in the country, particularly security, unemployment and environmental constraints.

He said government and partners at various levels require the household survey “to help them understand what is going on, particularly how these challenges are affecting households and communities in the country.
“If we ever needed to generate reliable and good quality information, that time is now.”

According to the SGF, the survey which determines poverty index was critical not just for the statistical system but also the country in general.

Kale said:”Among the plethora of socio-economic variables and indicators it provides, it is from this exercise that we derive statistically sound indicators for measuring poverty and inequality in Nigeria.

“It also serves as a major source of data for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda for tracking Nigeria’s attainment or otherwise, of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

However, he said the NLSS, would for the first time be carried out using electronic means of data collection.
Also, the daily calorie threshold used in computing the poverty rate had been dropped to 2,500 from the previous 3,000 calories per day in the current exercise.

He said:”The last time this survey was carried out was 2009/2010, it’s meant to be done every five years but due to funding and some challenges we were not able to conduct it in 2014. We have been working on this for three to four years.

“It’s a year long stuff, ordinarily you will not find poverty estimation until 12 months and the reason is, as we all know we all have spending patterns at home and they are not the same every month, so we have to take the overall expenditure for the whole year so that the periods of high and low expenditures are captured.

“So it’s going to take one year for us to get the final poverty and inequality numbers. But like I mentioned earlier there are some indicators that we can be publishing quarterly as we go along but the poverty numbers will not be ready until 12 months.”