Nigeria’s total debt rose 75.29 percent to N87.38 trillion at the end of the second quarter of 2023, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).
This means the country’s public debt increased by N37.53 trillion in the three months to June 2023, compared with N49.85 trillion recorded at the end of March 2023.
A report by the debt office stated that the debt was ballooned by N22.71 trillion in Ways and Means Advances made to the federal government by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“Nigeria’s total public debt stock as at June 30, 2023, was N87.38 trillion ($113.42 billion).” It comprises the total domestic and external debts of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the thirty-six states, and the Federal Capital Territory.
“The major addition to the public debt stock was the inclusion of the N22.712 trillion in securitized FGN’s Ways and Means Advances,” DMO stated in the report.
The statement also noted that other additions to the debt stock were new borrowings by the federal government and the sub-nationals from local and external sources.
“The reforms already introduced by the present administration and those that may emerge from the recommendations of the Fiscal Reform and Tax Policies Committee are expected to impact debt strategy and improve debt sustainability,” the DMO said.
The DMO had earlier projected that Nigeria’s public debt burden may hit N77 trillion following the National Assembly’s approval of the request by former President Muhammadu Buhari to restructure the CBN’s Ways and Means Advances.
The Ways and Means Advance is a loan facility through which the CBN finances the shortfalls in the government’s budget.
The Director-General of the DMO, Patience Oniha, during a public presentation of the 2023 budget noted that the debt would be N70 trillion without N5 trillion in new borrowing and N2 trillion in promissory notes.
However, the latest data showed that the current debt stock of N87.38 trillion exceeded the DMO’s projection by N10.38 trillion.
Further breakdown showed that Nigeria has a total domestic debt of N54.13 trillion and a total external debt of N33.25 trillion.
While domestic debt makes up 61.95 percent of total debt, external debt makes up 38.05 percent.
The domestic debt rose by 79.18 percent from N30.21 trillion, while the external debt rose by 69.28 percent from N19.64 trillion in Q1 2023.
(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; firstname.lastname@example.org; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)