Nigeria’s Debt Profile Climbs to N32.2tn

•Lagos tops table of debtor-states, Jigawa at bottom

By Ndubuisi Francis

Nigeria’s total public debt stock, which comprises the debt stock of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has climbed from N31.009 trillion as of June 30, 2020 to N32.223 trillion ($84.574 billion) by September 30.

Going by the latest statistics released by the Debt Management Office (DMO), this translates to a growth of N1.214 trillion or 3.91 per cent increase.

In dollar terms, total domestic debt stood at $52,589.01 billion, with the federal government accounting for $41,591.16 billion while states and the FCT accounted for $10,997.86 billion.

However, the FGN alone accounts for a total of $31,985.17 billion external debt.

The new figure, released yesterday by the DMO, is made up of the domestic and external debt stocks of the FGN, the 36 state governments and the FCT.

A breakdown showed that 37.82 per cent of the N32.223 trillion debt stock is external while the balance of 62.18 is domestic.

Compared to the total public debt stock of N31.009 trillion in the second quarter, which was released on June 30, 2020, the debt stock in the third quarter 2020 increased by N1.214 trillion or 3.91 per cent.

The DMO noted that the FGN, state governments and the FCT all recorded increases in their debt stocks due to borrowings to enable them to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and to meet revenue shortfalls.

According to the debt management agency, the issuance of promissory notes by the FGN to settle inherited liabilities also contributed to the growth in the public debt stock since the year 2018 when they were first issued.

While N20.136 billion of promissory notes were issued as at September 30, 2020, the promissory notes outstanding, which are all included in the domestic debt stock, stood at N971.878 billion.

Nigeria’s total public debt stock increased from N28.628 trillion ($79.303 billion) as of March 31, 2020 to N31.009, a N32.223 trillion rise.

The DMO had attributed the rise to the budget support loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), new domestic borrowing to finance the Revised 2020 Appropriation Act (including the issuance of the N162.557 billion Sukuk), as well as promissory notes issued to settle exporters’ claims.

An analysis of the latest public debt stock shows that with the total outstanding domestic debt stock of N4.190 trillion (N4,190,183,315,247.99), Lagos again led the 36 states of the federation and the FCT with a total debt of N493.3 billion, followed by Rivers with N266.93 billion, Akwa Ibom with N739.2 billion and Delta, N235.8 billion.

States with the least domestic debt stock are Jigawa- N31. 03 billion; Ebonyi– N41.27 billion; Katsina–N44.41 billion and Sokoto–N45. 09 billion.

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