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Nigeria’s external debt payments hit 4-year high of $854 mln in May 2024

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Nigeria’s external debt servicing has reached a four-year high, with data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealing a payment of $854 million in May 2024.

This surpasses the previous high of $4.43 billion recorded in February 2020.

The $854 million payment marks the third-highest monthly debt service figure since the CBN began tracking this data in October 2003.

The highest remains in February 2020’s $4.43 billion, followed by $1.52 billion in November 2006.

Nigeria’s 2024 debt servicing has seen considerable variation throughout the year. Payments started at $560 million in January, dipped to $283 million in February, and then further decreased to $276 million in March.

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April saw another decline to $215 million before the significant spike to $854 million in May. The total debt service payment for the first five months of 2024 is now $2.19 billion.

The CBN data also sheds light on Nigeria’s debt servicing trends in 2023. The year began with a $112 million payment, followed by a jump to $288 million in February.

Debt servicing continued to rise in March, reaching $400 million, before dipping to $93 million in April. May saw another increase to $221 million, showcasing the cyclical nature of the country’s debt obligations.

The year ended with a significant decrease in December, with payments reaching only $65 million.

While the CBN data provides valuable insights, it’s important to note that the reasons behind these fluctuations are not entirely clear.

The high debt servicing figures raise concerns about Nigeria’s ability to manage its external debt obligations in the long term. It remains to be seen how the country will address this challenge moving forward.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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