Data obtained from the Debt Management Office showed that the country’s public debt rose from N10.16tn as of March 31, 2014 to N12.06tn as of March 31, 2015.
This shows that the country’s indebtedness rose by N1.9tn within a 12-month period, with the public debt rising by 18.7 per cent.
Much of the growth, however, was as a result of the fall in the exchange value of naira against international currencies, especially the United States dollar, in the past eight months.
In dollar terms, the country’s public debt actually reduced from $65.25bn to $63.51bn in the one year period. The exchange rate of the naira to the dollar was N155.74 on March 31, 2014, while by March 31, 2015, it had fallen to N197.
In real terms, however, the public debt rose by 18.7 per cent because the local currency had taken a nosedive as a result of the reduced inflow of foreign exchange earnings following the crash of oil prices.
A dissection of the total public debt showed that much of it (N8.51tn as of March 31, 2015) was owed domestic creditors by the Federal Government.