Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Nigeria’s debt stock rises by 2.3% in three months

Nigeria’s total debt stock rose by 2.30percent in three months, to hit N24.9trillion as at March 31 2019, compared to the N24.3trillion in December 31, 2018.

According to the Debt Management Office, DMO, the debt which rose by N560billion was accounted for mostly by domestic debt which rose by N458.36billion, while external debt increased by N101.64billion during the period.

A debt document published by the agency showed that total external debt stood at N7.8 trillion ($25.6billion) while domestic debt was N17trillion ($55.6billion). This means that the domestic debt accounted for 68.41percent of the total debt portfolio while foreign debt constituted 31.5% of the total debt stock.

This means that within a period of two years, the country’s total debt rose by N5.79trillion. It also means that within a period of two years, the country s debt profile rose by 30.22 percent.

The debt portfolio which was obtained from the DMO website showed that the Federal Government presently owes N13.1trillion domestically, while the states and the FCT owe N3.97 trillion.

Thus, the Federal Government accounted for 76.8percent of the nation’s domestic debt profile while the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory accounted for 23.2percent of the domestic debt portfolio.

Two years ago, the country's external debt portfolio stood at $13.81billion, growing to $25.61bn as of March 31.

This means that within a period of two years, the country’s external debt portfolio had grown by $11.8billion. Thus, the nation grew its external loan commitment by 85.45percent.

The domestic debt component of the Federal Government, on the other hand, rose from N11.97trillion as of March 2017 to N17.09trillion.

This means that within the period, the Federal Government grew its local debt commitment by N5.12trillion, thereby reflecting 42.77percent increase within a period of two years.

“In relation to the Debt Management Strategy, the ratio of domestic to external debt stood at 68.49 per cent to 31.51 percent at the end of March.

“The total public debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio was 19.03 percent which is within the 25percent debt limit imposed by the government,” the DMO added.

According to the states’ debt profile data released by DMO, Lagos recorded the highest domestic debt of N542.2 billion, followed by Rivers with N225.5 billion, Delta: N223.4 billion and Akwa Ibom with N199.7 billion.

On the lowest rung are Yobe with N26.9 billion, Anambra: N33.4 billion, Sokoto: N36.5 billion, Jigawa: N38.2billion and Niger with N43.4 billion.

The data showed that Anambra, Borno, Ebonyi, Ekiti and Lagos profiles as of December 31, 2018, indicated that they had not incurred any domestic debt in 2019.

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