Nigeria’s debt hits N31tr

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Nigeria’s total debt stock has risen in the last three months to N31.009 trillion ($85.897 billion), from N28.628 trillion ($79.303billion), according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).

DMO yesterday in Abuja new total debt figure comprises the debt stock of the Federal Government, the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The N2.381trillion (or $6.593 billion) increase recorded in the debt Stock, the DMO said, “was accounted for by the $3.36 billion Budget Support Loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).”

Other contributors to the nation’s growing debt profile include “New Domestic Borrowing to finance the Revised 2020 Appropriation Act, the issuance of the N162.557 billion Sukuk and Promissory Notes issued to settle Claims of Exporters”.

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The DMO has also warned that it expects the Public Debt Stock to grow. “The nation’s debt will grow because of “the balance of the New Domestic Borrowing and expected disbursements are made by the World Bank, African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, which were arranged to finance the 2020 Budget”.

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The DMO said more Promissory Notes would be issued later, adding: “This and new borrowings by state governments are also expected to increase the Public Debt Stock”.

It will be recalled that the 2020 Appropriation Act had to be revised in the face of the adverse and severe impact of COVID-19 on Government’s Revenues and increased expenditure needs on health and economic stimulus, amongst others.

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As a result of these borrowings from multilateral financial institutions, the federal government will be compelled to meet some stringent conditionalities like the removal petroleum products subsidy, adjusted electricity tariffs, currency value adjustments and the IMF auditing of the books of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

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